Fulham vs Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham hold onto all three points in a game largely dominated by Scott Parker’s Fulham at Craven Cottage.

A first half own goal by Cottagers defender Tosin separates the sides, as the travelling squad earn their third win in a week.

Following a goalless draw at the weekend against Spurs’ next opponents Crystal Palace, Parker made three changes to his starting XI, as they continued their fight to get out of the relegation zone.

Decordova-Reid, Anguissa and Kenny Tete were replaced for Cavaleiro, Lemina and Antonee Robinson.

Jose Mourinho also made three changes to his team, with both full backs being swapped, as Doherty and Davies came in for Reguilon and Aurier.

Most notably – especially for Tottenham fans – a first Premier League start for Dele Alli since the opening day defeat to Everton in September.

The home side kicked off and were explosive from the start.

Despite not threatening Hugo Lloris, they dominated possession and passed the ball fluently around their opponents.

By the 10th minute, the away side began to find their feet.

Heung-Min Son found Gareth Bale in a similar fashion to the opening goal in their last fixture against Burnley.

Unfortunately, the Welshman could not make sufficient contact with the ball and it was comfortably collected by Alphonse Areola in the Fulham goal.

They continued to create chances after this, with the next being a free-kick from Bale which flew over the bar.

Moments later, Kane and Son linked-up, with the Korean crossing to his teammate who was wide open in the centre of the area.

But he could only head into the hands of Areola from close range.

This missed chance was amended in quick succession, however.

Gareth Bale played a splitting ball through to Dele Alli – with Fulham only having their central defenders back.

The opportunity looked to have gone momentarily, as the ball clipped the heels of Dele, but he recovered quickly playing it out to Son on the left flank.

Cutting onto his left foot, Son returned the ball to Alli – who continued his run – and the midfielder tapped the ball towards the far corner.

Desperately trying to prevent a goal, Tosin diverted the ball even further into the goal, and Spurs had the lead.

Fulham held the majority of possession with their defenders for the rest of the half, with Mourinho’s side pressing high to win the ball in dangerous areas.

Heung-Min Son came close with two opportunities missing both posts in the latter stages of the half.

And VAR denied Harry Kane a penalty after he went down in the box from an Ola Aina challenge.

The last chance of the first half came two minutes into stoppage time.

Antonee Robinson wriggled his way past several Spurs players and played the ball into the six-yard area to Josh Maja.

With his back turned to goal, he played the ball to Mario Lemina, who leant back as he shot, resulting in the ball flying over the crossbar.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with Tottenham sitting back, allowing Fulham to play.

Two early headers from both centre-backs forced saves out of Hugo Lloris – who had just earned his 100th Premier League clean sheet.

This did not stop the home side as they continued their hard work and quick passing.

Just past the hour mark, a failed clearance by Davinson Sanchez, hit off Mario Lemina, before being fired into the bottom corner by Josh Maja with his weaker left foot.

However, following an extensive VAR check, referee David Coote disallowed the goal.

The ball struck the hand of Lemina in the build-up to the goal, although it was by his side, and Tottenham were lucky to survive.

Following this, Jose Mourinho made two changes, bringing on Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura for Dele Alli and Gareth Bale, as he liked to sure up his defence.

This proved to work for the Portuguese manager, and the game became scrappy.

Matt Doherty almost converted the ball into his own net from a dangerous cross by Ivan Cavaleiro, but other than that, Fulham were unable to threaten anymore than they had.

Tottenham’s final chance came five minutes from time.

Substitute Erik Lamela played a splitting ball to Harry Kane, who held his run to perfection.

Stretching for the ball he clipped it towards goal, but PSG-loanee Areola opened up his body and blocked the ball from getting past him, keeping the score at 1-0 to the away side.

For Fulham, they still sit 18th in the league, three points behind Newcastle United.

They face two more tough games in the Premier League next, as the travel away to Anfield to play Liverpool, before hosting top of the league Man City at Craven Cottage.

Tottenham on the other hand, host Crystal Palace at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as they look to push back into the Champions League places.

Match Report by Nathan Salmon

Twitter: @SalmonSport

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