This London derby has always generated considerable interest. Tottenham Hotspur have not lightened the world so far this season. Fans were probably expecting more after a disappointing draw at West Ham.
Fulham, on the other hand, were well ahead of expectations with quality wins against Brighton and Brentford. They were also able to secure a point against Liverpool, with Mitrovic having a strong scoring streak.
Add a #story about the signing of Spurs-connected Dan James and Tottenham alumni Carlos Vinicius to Fulham. Has anyone seen Carl Weathers hanging out at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium?
Conte promised a rotation in his pre-match press conference, and with a tricky Champions League draw with Marseille looming mid-week, opponents were quickly closing in. He has five changes from West Ham. Ryan Sessegnon made the rotation at left-back, while Rodrigo his Bentancur and Cutt Romero returned from injury.
The Spurs tried to dominate the game early on. An early penalty shout that Parinha collected Sessegnon in the box did nothing, followed by Harry Kane with a rifle effort from range. Richarrison then headed over the crossbar from a set piece at close range before Son curled the ball into the net. Unfortunately, it was ruled out because Kane was in an offside position on the pass of the shot.
The pressure did not abate from there. Langre played a pass that split the defense to Richarlison, who beat the defender and played to Son in the middle of the box. Unfortunately, Sonny’s attempt was thwarted. Hojbjerg then tipped a nice pass over the top to Richarlison in the box. Before Fulham could clear the line, the goalkeeper came and a goal box scramble ensued. Kuti then completely clattered when a Fulham player tried to come forward, scoring the yellow.
The Spurs’ closest of this early chance was a gorgeous Dinkball from Kane to Son in the box. Son’s touch to the chest was a little heavy and he could only hit the crossbar, continuing his search for goals this season. Cuti flicked his on header wide out of the corner.
Fulham seemed to know early on that they were outmatched and tried to cut time by wasting time at every opportunity. Referee Stuart Atwell tried to counter this by giving Kenny Tete a yellow card midway through the first half.
The Spurs made a breakthrough around the 40th minute. After Emerson his royal excellent press put the ball back high, an interaction inside the box saw Richarlison send the ball to Pierre his Emile his Hoibyau. He triumphantly slid home and Tottenham led 1-0 in the first half.
The second half proceeded in much the same fashion as the first half. An early break from the front three for Spurs created opportunities for Kane and Eric Dyer for his brilliant chance over the bar from Richarlison’s cross. Kane then played on Richarison, but his sore shot was easily held by Leno.
Fulham tried to fight back, but Mitrović’s shot went wide and Hugo Lloris made a fine save, but normal service soon resumed. A very cynical foul on de Cordoba for his lead to stop a big Tottenham break gave Fulham another yellow before Sessegnon had a great chance to score against the old club. Again with Leno’s intervention. Leno quickly moved forward again and made yet another save when Son stepped forward and shot on goal.
The Spurs finally doubled their lead three-quarters of the way through Harry Kane. Eric Dier found Ryan Sessegnon in the bottom left space. Ryan Sessegnon ran forward and tried to feed an attack in the box before getting back to him after a shot that deflected the ball. Seth controlled the ball and gave Harry Kane an easy tap-in. Harry waited nervously for VAR to clear onside, but Harry managed to stay behind the ball.
Tottenham tried to keep the pressure on with Son moving forward before Richarlison’s acrobatic volley hit the post. However, Fulham tried to use Tottenham’s attacking intentions to their advantage. They quickly moved to the front to feed Mitrovic who stepped into a tired Romero challenge and curled to the far post to cut the lead back to one. Spurs then had a further scare when a looping Mitrovic deflection into the top corner of Tottenham’s goal came in, but Loris was there again and widened it wide.
From there Richarlison appeared to make the result safe, running to Hojbjerg’s through ball before slamming it into the net. He was booked for an extravagant celebration (Richy going Richy), but the goal was hilariously chalked off by VAR for offside. The Spurs rounded up the rest of the game with plenty of time to spare, ending the game 2-1.
- Although not reflected in the scoreline, this was probably the Spurs’ best performance of the season. It was over 20 shots (!) and really shouldn’t have been seen. Unfortunately Bernd Leno came to play and was able to keep Fulham.
- Hojbjerg created a lot of chances today and scored so it’s really good. That said, Fulham have given us acres of space in midfield, which was an odd choice given how much the pressure had broken us down the middle of the pitch in the last few games.
- It doesn’t work for Sony, does it? He improved his performance significantly today, handling the ball well and connecting well with his fellow forwards. Unfortunately the ball did not enter the net. I expected him to be totally Happy Gilmore at some point and start yelling at the ball.
- Langre looked solid in the first start and the pass from behind was a breath of fresh air. He threw long passes directly onto the front line many times, which often resulted in good chances.
- It was perhaps one of Sessegnon’s best performances for Spurs, with solid defense and big commitments ahead. Ivan Perisic’s guidance and competition have really paid off.
- The end of the match was much more nerve-wracking than it should have been. Romero should have done better with Mitrovic’s goal and Deere was slow to react as well. please.
- Thankfully no narrative came to play today. Dunn his James and Carlos Vinicius both saw the pitch but failed to make an impact.
- 3 points! Marseille and THE CHAMPIOOOOOOOONNNNNNSSSSS