|FULHAM 0 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)|
|Date : – 23rd January 2023||Kick off : – 20.19|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Craven Cottage|
|Crowd : – 24,190|
|Referee : – Paul Tierney (Lancashire)||Linesmen : – Mr. Contantine Hatzidakis; Mr. Neil Davies|
|Fourth official : – Craig Pawson|
|VAR official : – Michael Oliver||VAR Assistant : – Darren Cann|
|Weather : – Dry, very cold|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Hammersmith end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 11 minutes
|None||Kane 45+0m 49s|
|Palhinha (foul on Hojbjerg) 16||Son (foul on Tete) 28|
|Romero (foul on Mitrovic) 70|
|Bentancur (dissent) 78|
|17.||Bernd LENO||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|2.||Kenny TETE ( 11. Manor SOLOMON 80)||17.||Cristian ROMERO|
|31.||Issa DIOP||15.||Eric DIER|
|13.||Tim REAM (c)||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|26.||Joao PALHINHA||5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG|
|6.||Harrison REED ( 10. Tom CAIRNEY 65)||30.||Rodrigo BENTACUR|
|14.||Bobby DECORDIVA-REID ( 8. Harold WILSON 87)|
|18.||Andreas PEREIRA||21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 38. Yves BISSOUMA 90+1)|
|20.||WILLIAN ( 30. Carlos VINICIUS 87)||7.||Heung-Min SON ( 9. RICHARLISON 76)|
|9.||Alexsander MITROVIC||10.||Harry KANE|
|1.||Marek RODAK||20.||Fraser FORSTER|
|4.||Tosin ADARABIOYO||2.||Matt DOHERTY|
|3.||Layvin KURZAWA||6.||Davinson SANCHEZ|
|12.||Nathaniel CHALOBAH||25.||Japhet TANGANGA|
|21.||Daniel JAMES||34.||Clement LENGLET|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Manager : – Marco Silva||Manager : – Antonio Conte|
|Kit Supplier : – adidas||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – W88||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – World Mobile||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch
|Colours : –
||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|On a very chilly night by the River Thames, Spurs dug out a 1-0 win that was just about the right result, because, for all of Fulham’s first half possession, the Tottenham team performance prevented any real danger to their goal. There was little to warm the cockles except for Harry Kane’s expert finishing that racked up another record or two.
The start of the game was delayed for 15 minutes due to local traffic issues and then further delayed because of referee’s technology being defective. You would have thought they would be ready for the designated kick off time after they said they were going to clamp down on time-wasting !
An Eric Dier tackle just inside the Fulham half after 25 seconds had the home keeper worried as it ballooned up into the air and dropped on the top of the net. Lloris claimed a low ball into the box early on and that would have given him some confidence, but Fulham looked to get wide and get the ball into the box at every opportunity. It only took three minutes for the negative chants to start, but they did turn to ones in support of the team soon after. Spurs were finding it impossible to play out from the back, giving the ball away as Fulham closed players down and when we had a chance to move up-field, Son was tackled to provide Decordova-Reid with a shooting opportunity from 25 yards that forced Hugo to plunge to his right and push the ball wide.
Things weren’t helped by Romero giving the ball away cheaply in the defensive third, one causing Hojbjerg to foul Harrison Reid thirty yards out that Pereira tried to test Lloris with, but while it was on target, it was straight at him. A good move down the right by Tottenham won a corner that was played into the far post, where it was headed out to Hojbjerg, who mis-hit his volley and Davies tried to turn it on goal, but it went over the bar.
An extremely late tackle by Palhinha when he went through Hojbjerg caused a good move forward for Spurs to stop and the Portuguese midfielder received a yellow to add to his collection. Reid brought a good stop for Hugo when he turned a cross from Pereira at goal, with the Spurs captain grabbing the ball at the second attempt. While Spurs were happy to play the ball across the back-line, it wasn’t really making much ground forward and when it looked like we might, the moves were brought to a halt by a foul by a Fulham player. When Son looked to get away in the centre-circle, Tete pulled him back and the ref let play go on, so when Son caught Tete on the ankle, he got a booking. The referee should have brought it back for a Spurs free-kick, but then the consistency in his decision making was already to show itself as lacking. It even spread to the VAR room when Diop put his arm across Kulusevski’s face in the box, but they made a quick refusal of anything Tottenham’s way.
Harry Kane got a shot on goal from outside the box, receiving a pass from Bentancur and turning two players ten yards inside their half before striding forward to shoot, but it was too high. Fulham had been on top in terms of possession and territory, but the game was still goal-less, with Tottenham getting a free-kick out on the right wing ten yards inside the Fulham half, which was played back to the other side of the pitch in our half offering some explanation of why we had not been threatening the home goal. Dejan got the luck when his run down the right ended with the ball bouncing back to him off the corner post and he pulled a pass back for Emerson Royal, whose shot was shovelled around the post by Leno. That corner brought two more but there was no end result from them.
Five minutes before half-time, Bentancur was tackled on halfway and the ball was played left to Willian, whose shot was beaten out by Lloris. Fulham then won a free-kick similar to a foul on Kane minutes before for which nothing was given. It gave them the chance to swing another cross in that Diop won and headed way into the Spurs fans. Fortunately, Palhinha got in his way. When Spurs did get a free-kick, when Ream caught Son’s ankle after the ball had gone, it was just outside the box and Kane and Perisic lined up to take it, but Harry hit it straight into the wall. It brought a bit of possession in the Fulham half, but only brought a late corner. That came to nothing, but when Spurs moved the ball around, Royal lost a man with a trick on the edge of the centre-circle in the Fulham half, which would have been disastrous had it gone wrong, but he found Davies with a pass and Ben moved the ball on to Son. With a bit of space, he fed Harry inside him and with a turn and a curling shot that left Leno for dead, the ball was nestling in the keeper’s bottom left hand corner to give Spurs the lead and Kane the goal that equalled Jimmy Greaves’ Tottenham goal-scoring record. It was a fantastic piece of play to turn away from Ream, who couldn’t live with him and as clinical a finish as Harry had ever scored.
Much like Thursday’s game at the Etihad, Spurs grabbed an added time lead that they probably didn’t deserve on the balance of play, but it would be the next 15 minutes of play that would determine if it would be enough. Having kicked off late because of traffic problems and then further delayed by the referee’s communication with the assistants failing, the second half saw more technical problems, but I don’t think that was the reason for the poor display he was giving.
The second half nearly started with a decision to make, as Perisic was tracking Decordova-Reid back and raised a boot as they got to the side of the penalty box, but a goal-kick was the outcome to the relief of the visiting fans, who had seen Spurs crumble after the restart at City. The play went much the same way as the first with Fulham pressing, but a Spurs break won a corner that was taken short and crossed to the far post, where Dier’s header into the goalmouth was met with Kane’s header. Unmarked in the six-yard box, you might have expected it to end up in the net, but it went straight at Leno and he pushed it over the top. The corner was again played short and crossed deep, but Perisic’s volley from wide on the dead-ball line went low into the keeper’s arms. Fulham tried a quick free-kick that saw Pereira free Mitrovic in the box, but the angle was too tight on the left and while he got the ball across, no white shirt had joined the attack and Spurs cleared to win another corner, but this was cleared.
There was some booing from the Fulham fans when Romero took his time over a free-kick, which is ironic after the criticism that their team had received for slow play. Kulusevski was finding space on the Spurs right and was getting the ball into the box, but Fulham came back into the match around the 65 minute mark and Spurs seemed to have dropped off a little. Still looking confident on the break, Kane mugged up Palhinha and the Fulham man crudely brought him down, which would have meant a yellow card going by what we had seen before, but, of course, when he was already on a booking, the referee bottled it and booked Bentancur instead for asking why !
Kane came close to getting his 200th Premier League goal when a Tottenham free kick was recycled and played across to the far post, where Dier nodded it into Harry, who turned, but couldn’t quite wrap his foot around it enough to find the target. With a couple of minutes left, Cairney tried a curler from the left into the far side, bringing a save from Hugo, although the ball was probably going wide. Spurs looked as though they might break when Cairney played a loose ball, but play was halted when Kulusevski collided with Robinson, who was on the floor. It was accidental so Spurs received the ball when it was dropped and immediately, Hojbjerg was fouled by Palhinha … again … right in front of the referee, who again, did nothing. Spurs were almost presented with a good chance, when Hojbjerg was gifted the ball on the edge of the Fulham box, but his ball into the area went straight to a white shirt, A one goal lead is always a nervy one and with six added minutes, it makes that even worse. The freezing surface didn’t help things, as players were starting to slip over. A break in play gave the “Levy Out” brigade to start their campaign of chanting at most away games, but when the final whistle went with Fulham heading back towards their own goal, they turned to cheers briefly, before starting up again.
It wasn’t a convincing win, but one that Spurs needed and earned with a controlled second half performance. The passing was still a bit off and the space they allowed Fulham in the first half was not the best plan against a side who like to get the ball into the box quickly, so there are still improvements to be made. However, the effort in the second half prevented Fulham having much of a sniff at goal and the clean sheet will do a lot for most of the players who have been slated lately.
|AFC Bournemouth||1||Nottingham Forest||1|
|Leicester City||2||Brighton & Hove Albion||2|
|South Coast Big Club||0||Aston Villa||1|
|Mancashter City||3||Wolverhampton Wanderers
|Woolwich Wanderers||3||Mancashter United||2|
|West Ham United London||2||Everton||1|
|Crystal Palace||0||Newcash United||0|
Premier League Table 2022-23
|6||Brighton & Hove Albion||19||9||4||6||37||27||31||+10|
|16||West Ham United London||20||5||3||12||17||25||18||-8|
|20||South Coast Big Club||20||4||3||13||17||35||15||-18|