Match: Wednesday 4th December 2013.
Fulham 1-2 Tottenham.
Goal for Fulham: Dejagah 56′
Goals for Tottenham: Vlad Chriches 73′, Lewis. Holtby 82′
Yes! What a vital win! The performance wasn’t good enough, yet again, but this time we got three points on the board and moved up to sixth place from ninth. Fulham were always going to be up for it, a London derby at Home, with a new manager in place, a new era beginning, it was a big occasion and they turned up, putting in a brilliant performance, full credit to them, they were fantastic. We, on the other hand, weren’t good, sloppy in possession, defensively shaky and wasteful up top; yes we were unlucky on a few opportunities but it certainly wasn’t what we wanted to see after an inspiring performance on Sunday against Manchester United. First half was a right off, not good at all and had Lloris to thank we weren’t 1-0 down sooner. In the second half, we did improve, but a Michael Dawson mistake led to the opening of our defence and Dejagah finished really well and Fulham were flying. More frustration, more sloppiness followed, but we got back in the game after Vlad Chiriches’ wonder strike, his first goal for Spurs, made it 1-1, then the game was ours to win. And in the 82nd minute we did exactly that, Lewis Holtby with a screamer, and his first ever Premier League goal, what a time to get it! All the worries of the performance out the window with that one. Flashes of Bale in the strike.
The pick of the bunch for me out of all the players, was Hugo Lloris. He is something else. The best ‘keeper in the Premier League by a mile, and our saviour like Bale was last season, his saves get better every week, his speed, agility and quick thinking make him one of the best in the world, and he’s showed it again at Fulham, stopping the Cottagers from running away with it. Vlad Chiriches has been the surprise package of our 7 summer signings this season, he’s been a breath of fresh air at the back and delighted for him that he got his goal, what a goal it was! Lewis Holtby out in a top performance once coming on, he brought fluidity and creativity to the midfield, bringing the wingers into play more, and got the goal he deserved. So much passion and desire to win from him, it was great that he was the one to get the goal to seal the three points, a belter of a goal and his first for Spurs in the Premier League. Disappointed with our first half display, but we improved in the second half and getting those two goals could be the most important so far this season. As for Defoe up front, I want Soldado back up top on Saturday in Sunderland.
Great to get the win that was crucial, hopefully this can spark us into some form starting on Saturday, we’re back in action very quickly at the Stadium of Light on Saturday 7th December, kick off at 5:30pm. COYS!!
My player ratings for the team that faced Fulham at Craven Cottage:
Lloris – 9 – Man of the match.
Walker – 8 – Very impressive, he’s improved massively this season.
Dawson – 5 – Love him, but when Rose is back, he should be the first to drop out.
Chiriches – 9 – Can I award two man of the match awards? Course I can, I’m writing the damn thing. Man of the match 2.
Vertonghen – 7 – Didn’t look up for this one, get him back at centre back.
Capoue – 6 – His first PL start in a while, sloppy, but I’m sure he’ll improve.
Sandro – 6 – Sloppy too, but gave 100%, looked tired really.
Lennon – 8/9 – Very impressive, been brilliant since back from injury.
Paulinho – 6 – Missed a sitter! Needs to move the ball quicker.
Lamela – 7 – Very bright in the first half, and unlucky not to score, but tailed off in the second half.
Defoe – 5/6 – Quiet most of the game, could argue he didn’t do worse than Soldado, but may as well sit on the bench if so. Soldado better at linking the play.
Highlights from our 2-1 win over Fulham:
Andre’s post match reaction: