|FULHAM 0 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)|
|Date : – 4th March 2021||Kick off : – 18.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Craven Cottage|
|Crowd : – 0,000|
|Referee : – David Coote (Nottinghamshire)||Linesmen : – Mr. Dan Cook; Mr. Nick Hopton|
|Fourth official : – Peter Bankes|
|VAR official : – Jarred Gillett||VAR Assistant : – Peter Kirkup|
|Weather : – Mild, dry|
|Fulham kicked off the first half attacking the Hammersmith end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 8 minutes
|Tosin (o.g.) 18m 37s|
| Lookman (foul on Doherty) 39
||Bale (foul on Loftus-Cheek) 45+1|
|Reed (dissent) 90+4|
|1.||Alphonse AREOLA||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|34.||Ola AINA||2.||Matt DOHERTY|
|16.||TOSIN Adarabioyo (o.g)||6.||Davinson SANCHEZ|
|5.||Joachim ANDERSEN||4.||Toby ALDERWEIRELD|
|33.||Antonee ROBINSON ( 23. Joe BRYAN 75)||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|17.||Ivan CAVALEIRO ( 11. Aleksander MITROVIC 71)||5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG|
|18.||Mario LEMINA||28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE ( 11. Erik LAMELA 75)|
|15.||Ruben LOFTUS-CHEEK ( 29. Andre-Frank ANGUISSA 64)||9.||Gareth BALE ( 27. Lucas MOURA 67)|
|20.||DELE Alli ( 17. Moussa SISSOKO 67)|
|27.||Josh MAJA||7.||Heung-Min SON|
|2.||Kenny TETE||3.||Sergio REGUILON|
|13.||Tim REAM||15.||Eric DIER|
|30.||Terence KONGOLO||25.|| Japhet TANGANGA
|25.||Josh ONOMAH||8.||Harry WINKS|
|14.||Bobby CORDOVA-REID||45.||Carlos VINICIUS|
|Manager : – Scott Parker||Manager : – Jose Mourinho|
|Kit Supplier : – adidas||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – BetVictor||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Clear Score||Shirt Sponsor : – Cinch
|Colours : –
||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
Facing Scott Parker’s Fulham side at Craven Cottage that needed points to pull away from the relegation places, Tottenham were never going to have an easy ride, but a single goal won the match for Spurs, as they have to dig in to defend a second half surge from the home team. Jose Mourinho might have been listening to the pundits view of how Spurs should play as he unleashed the four attacking players in Dele, Son, Kane and Bale that Tottenham fans have been waiting to see in the same side. It worked to an extent, with the balance of play in our favour in the first half, but the game swung the other way after the interval.
When Ndombele failed to win the ball in the middle of the pitch early doors, Loftus-Cheek ran forward with the ball, but finished with a scuffed shot that went across the box and had to be cleared by Sanchez. It went out to Lemina, but his shot ended up way into the stand behind the goal. Fulham were starting with energy and a reverse ball by Reed from 20 yards into the box for Lookman on the left looked like it might test Lloris, but Sanchez recovered well to take the ball off him and Hugo cleared it up. Spurs might have done better with Bale taking a 22 yard free-kick, but although it was struck with power, it didn’t come down quickly enough and it went over the bar.
17 minutes in, Son played a ball in from the left wing with the outside of his right foot and picked out Harry Kane who was free in the box. On the six-yard line, you would have bet your house on the ball ending in the net, but Harry’s downward header was straight at Areola. With a header a yard either side of the keeper and it would have been a goal. A minute later, it was a goal and breaking out from the back, Bale played it forward to Dele. It his the returning attacking midfielder on his heels, but there was nobody around him and he retrieved the ball and sent it left to Son. He took on Aina with a step-over and hit the ball low across goal to be met by Dele’s run with a touch that sent the ball past the keeper from close-range. The BT Sport staff were looking at it and decided to take the goal off our number 20, claiming it was going wide until it took a touch off Tosin on its way in.
VAR looked at an incident when Reed’s free-kick dropped onto the top of Hojbjerg’s shoulder. It was a little bit worrying, as PEH had a hand raised but his back to the ball and anything could have happened, but as it was the Cottagers didn’t even get a corner out of it. However, if you re giving penalties for a ball that drops onto someone from behind, the game really has gone. Kane was the subject of a VAR review as he looked to have been brought down in the box by Aina when Ndombele played a smart pass through to him, but once more there was no decision given.
The referee wasn’t having a great game and when Kane looked to be away inside the Fulham half, he pulled the game back for a foul on Ndombele, losing all the impetus they had built up. A lot of niggly fouls were being committed by Fulham, but Coote was satisfied by only punishing them with free-kicks. That was until Lookman went ion studs up on Doherty, bringing the first yellow card of the match. Spurs worked that free-kick to the edge of the home penalty area and Dele dragged the ball back under the sole of his boot for Bale. He was challenged and it ran right for Dele again, putting a cross to the far post for Son, but his header went wide.
Loftus-Cheek ran away when a Spurs move broke down and Bale slid in before Davies brought him down on halfway. Gareth picked up a yellow card for his attempted foul and when play restarted, Robinson made a run up the left, going past four green shirts before he pulled the ball back in the box for Maja. He laid it into the path of Lemina, but he was leaning back as he struck the ball with his instep and it rose high into the Hammersmith End.
The second half started with a succession of petty fouls, with Fulham trying to employ a higher harder press, but the aggression wasn’t getting them too far until Dele fouled Loftus-Cheek on their left wing to present them with a free-kick. It was played in and Andersen won it at the near post and Hugo touched it over. Tosin won the header at the following corner, but it was at Lloris, who held the ball just in front of his line. It prompted a little spell of possession in the Spurs half, but as soon as they turned it over, they got eight players back behind the ball. A long ball forward was brought under control by Lookman, but Matt Doherty did well to toe the ball away from the Fulham striker.
When Ndombele ran into the Fulham half, he knew that Lookman would bring him down at some point and when he did, a free-kick was taken and blocked by Cavaleiro who was not ten yards away. Coote allowed him to escape without a booking, instead marking the ten-yard line with his foam machine. Bale decided to try a shot from 30 yards, but just hit the wall. Dele was almost in a little while after, as Kane picked out a ball beyond the defence and unfortunately, it just wouldn’t come down for him and Areola grabbed it as it bounced high above Dele’s head.
Fulham had a couple of openings, with Loftus-Cheek finding space in the box, but a bad touch allowed Sanchez to take the ball away from him and then a minute or so later, he fired a good opportunity way over the bar. The misses were almost consigned to history when Spurs failed to clear an attack and Sanchez kicked it against Lemina, with the ball falling to Maja, who drilled it past Hugo’s left hand as he dived at his near post to level the score. It had been building and just when the celebrations died down, VAR ruled that Lemina’s arm had been hit by the clearance and the goal was disallowed, despite prolonged complaints from Andersen. It was a lucky escape for Tottenham with just over an hour gone.
Sissoko and Moura came on for Dele and Bale, as Mourinho looked to stem the Fulham comeback and try to get Tottenham into the game, as they hadn’t really started after the half-time break. Spurs were having to do a lot of defending, but couldn’t keep the ball away from their penalty area and Lamela for Ndombele was the next change, as Tanguy faded a little as Fulham pushed on.
It was still not possible to hold onto the ball on the few occasions that Spurs had it. With twelve minutes to go, Tottenham won a corner on the left wing, with Son taking it and it went low in to the near post, but it was missed by everyone and went through to the far post, where Anguissa cleared it. From the resulting throw in. Lamela dragged the ball under his foot past Tosin close to the dead-ball line and looked it pull the ball back for Kane, but Reed intercepted.
When Fulham attacked next, they wanted a penalty when the ball was struck at Davies, who had his arms behind his back, so there was no decision to make. It was almost a smash and grab raid with eight minute remaining when Lamela played Kane in around the penalty spot, but he was stretching and could not lift the ball over Areola as he came out, allowing the keeper to block the shot and Moura lifted his shot over the bar as the ball ran loose. Lookman played a low ball into the six-yard box from the left and Higo did well to smother the ball. It was almost déjà vu of other games this season, as Tottenham dropped deeper and allowed Fulham to move forward, rather than putting the onus on keeping the play at the other end. When Mitrovic fizzed a low ball from the right side into the far post area, Sanchez and Doherty went towards the ball and it was Doherty who got the touch, putting the ball narrowly wide of Hugo’s right-hand post.
The fourth official showed four minutes to be added on, so there was still time for Spurs to see out. There wasn’t a green shirt who could put a foot on the ball and while Lamela was showing quick feet, he was not able to keep hold of the ball allowing Fulham to launch the ball forward again. When Kane had the ball on halfway on the left, he had Lamela and Moura breaking on the other side of the pitch, but took the ball on to win a free-kick, which Harrison Reed was annoyed about, picking up a caution for his protests. When Harry took the free-kick, he blasted it off on the other side of the pitch and the final whistle went to signal a win that was hard earned, but the defence did well to repel Fulham’s concerted efforts in the second half … and that’s something you can’t say very often. A second successive clean sheet and a second successive win helped to add points on the board. It was especially important as it took us over that all important 40 point mark, so we should be safe from relegation … not something you can say yet for Scotty’s side.
It was always going to be a tough match, but the first half performance should have wrapped the game up. Fulham were desperate for points, so you knew they would mount a resurgence, but the second half performance was a little bit woeful by Spurs, failing to push the home side back, which was the point of starting with Son, Kane, Bale and Dele.
The upcoming Palace game will be much the same and Spurs need to sharpen up to make sure they don’t slip up.
|Everton||1||South Coast Big Club||0|
|Crystal Palace||0||Manchester United||0|
|Sheffield United||1||Aston Villa||0|
|Manchester City||4||Wolverhampton Wanderers||1|
|West Bromwich Albion||0||Everton||1|
Premier League Table 2020-21
|6||West Ham United London||26||13||6||7||40||31||45||+9|
|14||South Coast Big Club||26||8||6||12||31||44||30||-13|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||26||5||11||10||26||33||26||-7|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||27||3||8||16||20||56||17||-36|