FULHAM   1  (1)
(Won 5-3 on penalties)
Date : –  Tuesday 29th August 2023 Kick off : –  19.45
Competition : –  League Cup Second Round Venue : –  Craven Cottage
Crowd : –  21,043
Referee : –  Josh Smith (Bedfordshire) Linesmen : – Mr. Matthew Jones; Mr. Sam Lewis
Fourth official : –  Sam Barrott
Weather : –  Mild, with light rain in the second half turning chilly
Fulham kicked off the first half attacking the Putney End
Playing time : –   90 + 10 minutes


    van de Ven (o.g.)  18m 42s   Richarlison  55m 22s
    Pereira     Son
    Jiminez     Kulusevski
       Skipp  (foul on Palhinha)  63
       Wells  (dissent)  72
       van de Ven  (foul on Wilson)  76


1.   Marek RODAK 20.   Fraser FORSTER
2.   Kenny TETE 12.   Emerson ROYAL
13.   Tim REAM 6.   Davinson SANCHEZ
31.   Issa DIOP 37.   Micky van de VEN  (o.g.)   
33.   Antonee ROBINSON 33.   Ben DAVIES  (c)
6.   Harrison REED   (  38.   Luke HARRIS  77)  27.   Manor SOLOMON  (  10.   James MADDISON  82)  
26.   Joao PALHINHA 5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG
4.   Oliver SKIPP    (  29.   Pape Matar SARR  72) 
11.   Adama TRAORE   (  8.   Harold WILSON  61)  14.   Ivan PERISIC  (  7.   Heung-Min SON  71)  
10.   Tom CAIRNEY   (  35.   Tyrese FRANCOIS  83)      
14.   Bobby DECORDOVA-REID   (  18.   Andreas PEREIRA  77)  18.   Giovani Lo CELSO  (  44.   Dane SCARLETT  46)
19.   Rodrigo MUNIZ   (  7.   Raul JIMINEZ 83)  9.   RICHARLISON     (  21.   Dejan KULUSEVSKI 72)  
Substitutes Substitutes
17.   Bernd LENO 13.   Guglielmo VICARIO
27.   Kevin MBABU 17.   Cristian ROMERO
44.   Luc de FOUGEROLLES 38.   Destiny UDOGIE
30.   Carlos VINICIUS 8.   Yves BISSOUMA

    = Assist        =  Goal scored       =  Own goal scored

Manager : – Marco Silva Manager : –  Ange Postecoglou
Kit Supplier : – adidas Kit Supplier : – Nike
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Colours : – Colours : –


With nine changes to the side from Saturday’s win at Bournemouth, it was ironic that the two players who remained from that match were the ones to score in this 1-1 draw that went to penalties, with Spurs failing with one that led to their 3-5 penalty shoot-out exit from the League Cup.

The first five minutes was scrappy, with both sides failing to make well-weighted passes and with little fluid movement, but a short pass to Solomon by Sanchez allowed Robinson to intercept and cross to the far post where Rodrigo Muniz rose to head down, but a yard wide of the goal.  Fulham were employing an energetic press, which we can expect from most of our opponents this season and Forster had a clearance very close to his goal charged down by Reed, but to the right side of the Spurs keeper’s goal, the ball went wide.  Sanchez did well to cut out a low pass across the box from Reed intended for Muniz, as Fulham settled better than us.  Their dominance paid off in the 19th minute when Cairney went left, took on Sanchez and turned him inside out before crossing low along the six yard line and it caught Micky van de Ven’s ankle to loop the ball over Forster and into the goal at the far post, despite Perisic’s acrobatic attempt to keep it out.

Spurs had put little together going forward, but Richarlison turned on a ball 25 yards out that almost picked out Giovani Lo Celso’s run into the area, but it was a little to firm and Rodak claimed it.  As has been seen in previous game this season and pre-season, we have issues down our right side, with Robinson’s pace causing problems and when he crossed little Harrison Reed won a header in the Spurs box, but put it over the bar.  A long diagonal pass from Hojbjerg won Spurs a corner as Tete stopped it reaching Perisic, but when it was played short to the left corner of the box, Solomon spurned the opportunity to curl one of his trademark shots into the far post, but played it down the inside of the box, but too strong for Lo Celso and Royal to get to. 

Spurs didn’t appear to know whether players were going to come short or go long for passes, leading to Fulham comfortably picking them off.  The game had a pretty slow pace to it and there seemed little hurry from Spurs, although the home side were a bit more urgent in wining the ball and when Muniz shoved van de Ven off the ball, he managed to get a low shot off that Fraser kept out at his near post with his big left foot.  Around 35 minutes gone, Spurs were starting to find their angles to play and receive passes, but, ultimately, they were unable to find a way through the home defence and nothing came from it.

A shot did come from Richarlison after Sanchez won the ball, Richi knocked it to Skipp, who passed square to Lo Celso and his return pass gave the Brazilian forward a chance to shoot, but Ream stretched to block it for a corner.  That was cleared and when Hojbjerg tried to dink it over the Fulham back-line for Richi and Royal, it was too strong and Rodak took it high above his head.  Sanchez looked for a pass inside the full back for Manor to run onto, but the slick pitch, made quicker by pre-match rain, took it through to the keeper.  Right on 45 minutes, Traore got down the right wing and stood up a cross for Muniz to head down to Fraser Forster’s right, but it was close to him and he got down well to get a hand to it and knock it away with a good save.

At the break, Postecoglou brought on Dane Scarlett for Lo Celso, with their not being a lot of space for the midfielder to work in.  Scarlett was playing on the left with Perisic, changing things from the first half when the set-up was 4-4-1-1 to more of a 4-4-2.  An early run by Traore was matched pace for pace by van de Ven and six minutes into the second half, a ball was played in to Richarlison in the box and his quick turn and shot ballooned off a defender, forcing Rodak to push the ball over as he thought it was going to drop under the bar.   Scarlett then nearly got onto a ball in the box, but Tete got there first, putting the ball right in front of Hojbjerg, but with the defender on the floor, he guided the ball wide when he should have hit the target.  

A long ball went straight through to Forster and we played out from the back through the Fulham side, who were without right back Tete, as his bench did not have a spare boot for him when it got split, so he had to run off to the dressing room.  As Spurs went down the missing defender’s side, Perisic made a yard and crossed to the far post, where Richarlison headed down and back across the keeper, as Ream could only help it into the roof of the net trying to clear it off the line.  It was good to see Richi get a goal and although Tottenham were a man to the good, it was well-worked through the team to make the goal.

In the 65th minute, Fulham should have regained their lead.  Skipp and Davies both went for the ball on our left and the ball ran free, being played to their forward Bobby Decordova-Reid, who was just left of centre, moving inside the box.  He was free and with only Forster to beat, he sliced across the ball and sent it wide of the Spurs keeper’s right hand post.  It was a glorious chance that should have been made to count.  Skipp had gone into the book for three fouls, but when Reed clattered Richarlison over, the referee didn’t see that as a yellow card.  Fulham had another outstanding chance when they played some first-time passes around the right side of the box and freed Wilson to be in on goal, but Sanchez arrived with a perfect sliding block as the Fulham sub decided to square the ball rather than shoot.

Matt Wells got booked for something he must have said to the fourth official and van de Ven got one too when he slid across Wilson, but Palhinha got away with four fouls without getting booked.  With ten minutes to go, a move worked from right to left ended with Son slipping in Solomon and he came inside to curl a shot towards the far post, but Rodak was equal to it and pushed it out.  Unfortunately for Spurs, it was straight at Scarlett, who had no time to adjust and the ball bounced off him for a goal-kick.

Maddison was on as a sub and he jinked around a couple of players close to the line on the left of the box and pulled a pass back across the box, but it was too far ahead of Kulusevski, but was collected by Royal who blasted a shot way over the bar.  Wilson had another chance in the last few seconds of the 90 minutes and he jabbed a left footed poke that Forster saved with his legs.  Kulusevski then took on players in the opposition box and pulled it back for Scarlett, whose shot was blocked for a corner by Tete and when it came it, the ball travelled out of the box where Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg struck a half-volley that was always on the up.  With a couple of minutes of added time left, Maddison was brought down just outside the D, but he hit the wall with the free-kick and Fulham tried to break, but it only lead to Jiminez dragging down van de Ven when he beat him to the ball.

Maddison’s late, late corner was flicked on by Perisic at the near post, but cleared and that was it.  Penalties are always a lottery and with Forster going the same way for each of Fulham’s, he didn’t really get too close to any of them and for Spurs, Sanchez took the third, but it lacked power and was at the right height for Rodak to save.  So, out we went at the first attempt again.  While Ange made comments after the match about players needing playing time, before he was saying he wasn’t just playing some of them just for the sake of it.  Yes, players need competitive football, but one route for that has been ruled out now and there will only be the FA Cup left to try players out and that doesn’t start until January.

Reducing the big squad is definitely an issue, as not all the players are going to get game time, but even more so now, having lost this match without really having any complaints about it.  Changing nine players is a big ask and we have seen before that this happens in cup competitions we have thrown away, some a lot deeper into the cup run, but at some stage, we have to go for trophies and play the core of our strongest side to try and see us through.  This season, of all seasons, surely that should have been the case, as there is no European football for us.

On the night eight of the seventeen ties went to penalties, so while a draw can be exciting, how much effort were teams putting in to win these matches ?

To be honest it was a bit of a wretched game.  Neither side really got it together and Fulham should probably won in the 90 minutes, as they created the best chances.  But one thing it did show is how important those players who didn’t start are to the functioning of the way Postecoglou wants to play.

Barry Levington




Bolton Wanderers 1 Middlesbrough 3
Plymouth Argyle 2 Crystal Palace 4
Port Vale (won 2-0 on pens) 0 Crewe Alexandra 0
Stoke City 6 Rotherham United 1
Salford City  (won 9-8 on pens) 1 Leeds United 1
Wrexham 1 Bradford City  (won 4-3 on pens) 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers 5 Blackpool 0
Luton Town 3 Gillingham
Newport County 1 Brentford  (won 0-3 on pens) 1
Bristol City 0 Norwich City 1
Tranmere Rovers 0 Leicester City 2
Portsmouth 1 Peterborough United  (won 5-4 on pens) 1
Swansea City 2 AFC Bournemouth 3
Exeter City  (won 5-3 on pens) 1 Stevenage 1
Sheffield Wednesday 1 Mansfield Town  (won 5-4 on pens) 1
Wycombe Wanderers 0 Sutton United
Reading 2 Ipswich Town  (won 3-1 on pens) 2
Chelsea 2 AFC Wimbledon 1
Doncaster Rovers 1 Everton 2
Harrogate Town 0 Blackburn Rovers 8
Sheffield United 0 Lincoln City  (won 3-2 on pens) 0
Nottingham Forest 0 Burnley 1