Tottenham came back from the draw at the Hawthorns to beat Fulham 3-1 at White Hart Lane, with goals from Paulinho, Kane and Kaboul.
The atmosphere inside White Hart Lane was nothing short of dead at the beginning of affairs. Neither side started with any really tenacity or real desire to score and get a goal. Fulham had the first real chance however as Fryers struggled to cope as Kačaniklić came bursting through the Spurs backline and struck an effort wide.
The bizarre atmosphere continued. Scott Parker (who received rapturous applause when his name was read out), came down with an injury and former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor was quick to see if the midfielder was okay. Spurs had a chance moments later as Harry Kane’s deflected shot was saved by Stockdale however it failed to make a distinct impact on the keeper.
As the clock ticked on, it was evident that the atmosphere was not improving. Many empty seats were visible and it was only the hard-work of Emmanuel Adebayor’s hunting down of the ball that encouraged any cheering from the White Hart Lane faithful. Danny Rose produced some encouraging play as he wrestled his marker off in order to set up Harry Kane inside the area, only for the forward’s effort to be comfortably saved.
Younes Kaboul had the chance to score after 18 minutes when his header dipped over the bar after some good battling from Kane to set him up. It was evident that Kane’s work fighting for the ball was the key to most of Tottenham’s limited encouraging play in the first half. Hugo Lloris was forced into action as Rodellega came crashing into the box, the Frenchman saving marvellously to put the ball wide.
Tottenham’s best chances of the game then came in quick succession. Aaron Lennon volleyed over inside the area after Kane battled again to win the ball. The best chance of the half then fell to Lennon as his volley was pushed onto the post and cleared by the Fulham defence.
The opening goal was to follow shortly. Christian Eriksen fired in a freekick from the wing, only for Paulinho to smash home the ball from close range. But in typical Tottenham fashion, they conceded not long after. Steve Sidwell came crashing through the middle after a mistake from Zeki Fryers and thumped home the ball into the top corner of the goal. The sides entered the interval level.
Just minutes after the second half began, Spurs were ahead. Harry Kane made it three goals in three games as he leapt like a salmon to head home the Aaron Lennon cross. This then began a period of unrivalled dominance from Tottenham. As is particularly consistent under Sherwood, Spurs had a better second half than the first. Whether it’s his half time screaming match that gives them a boost or simply their own doing, Tottenham come back stronger after the break. Younes Kaboul made it 3-1 around the hour mark with an emphatic knee into the goal, from yet another Christian Eriksen cross. Eriksen was in marvellous form and Kaboul was there to power home his first goal of the season.
Fulham then came into a spell of power. After Danny Rose was lucky not to give away a penalty, Christian Eriksen found himself giving away one of his own. His handball allowed Sidwell to step up and take the effort, only for Tottenham’s French goalkeeper to save the shot. Lloris was in emphatic form and this save only added to his earlier achievement against Rodellega. The game then teetered out and Tottenham took the points. Fulham put up a good fight in their relegation battle but came up short at White Hart Lane.
Lloris – MOTM. Outstanding performance (Excellent)
Naughton – Not too bad all-round in all fairness. (Good)
Kaboul – Great goal, solid at the back. (Very good)
Fryers – Few mistakes but he’s still young. (Poor)
Rose – Getting slowly worse. (Poor)
Paulinho – Poor performance. His goal changes nothing (Poor)
Chadli – I dislike his role centrally. Not entirely his fault. (Average)
Lennon – Improved hugely recently. (Very good)
Eriksen – Excellent performance. Top class. (Excellent)
Kane – Another goal, another step closer to Brazil. (Very good)
Adebayor – Didn’t turn up today. Didn’t want it. (Poor)