Fulham have gotten their first win over Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League since November 2006, with Spurs falling behind Chelsea in the league table. Tottenham started the match strongly, and almost went up only two minutes into the match when Gareth Bale received the ball on the edge of the Fulham box and curled a shot just over the bar. Bale got an even better chance in the fifth minute off a Glyfi Sigurdsson corner. Sigurdsson whipped in the corner and Bale met the ball in the center of the box. Bale flicked his header to the far post and Sascha Riether just managed to head it off the line to deny Bale a goal. Fulham were playing poorly, and while Dimitar Berbatov had some fantastic touches on the ball, there were many misunderstandings between the Fulham players.
Towards the end of the half Fulham started applying some pressure on Tottenham, and The Cottagers managed their first shot of the match in the fortieth minute when Steve Sidwell blasted a shot just over the bar from twenty-five yards out. Seconds later Fulham got another chance, and when Berbatov’s low cross was spilled by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris the Frenchman was forced to react quickly to deny Bryan Ruiz of a goal. Despite Fulham’s pressure, Tottenham held on and after three minutes of added time the first half ended 0-0.
Tottenham started the second half brightly, but amazingly Fulham open the scoring in the fifty-second minute with their first shot on target in the match. Some good footwork from Ashkan Dejagah gave him space in the middle of the Tottenham half, and the German hit a through ball to Riether down the right flank. Riether’s first touch was a low cross to Berbatov, and the former Tottenham player coolly slotted it past Lloris to put Fulham 1-0 up. Five minutes later Fulham got another good chance when Giorgos Karagounis’s corner was flicked on by Ruiz, and it found Brede Hangeland at the back post, but Hangeland headed just wide when scoring seemed the only option.
Tottenham started to get back into the game and it looked like they would equalize, and Spurs’s almost did when Steven Caulker played a low cross to substitute Jermain Defoe. Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer reacted sharply to punch away Defoe’s low first time shot from the front post. In the last seconds of the match Tottenham got a golden chance to equilize when Bale hit a low cross for Defoe from the right, and Defoe just managed to poke it on goal. But again Schwarzer made the save, and he brilliantly dove to his left to save the shot. Fulham held on to their lead for the remainder of the four added minutes, and got their first League win over Tottenham since 2006.
Man of the Match: Mark Schwarzer