Tottenham 3 Fulham 1: Three talking points
Tottenham 3 Fulham 1: Three talking points as Spurs return to winning ways
Spurs should end the season strongly
Before Saturday’s match, Tottenham Hotspur only had two wins from their last six matches. Really not the sort of form many would have expected for such a strong squad. But with their 3-1 victory over struggling Fulham, the north London club seem to have redeemed themselves to a certain extent. And with a trio of winnable matches to come against Stoke and West Ham before the end of season clash with Aston Villa, they might just finish the season with a flourish. Of course, fans will be wary that their good end to the campaign will only serve to cover up the blemishes that need fixing. After all, they know there are quite a few areas they need to sort out, with a particular emphasis on their forward line. Goals from Paulinho and Younes Kaboul as well as a third goal in as many matches for prodigious Harry Kane means that, for now, their deficit of goals will not worry them, but the summer should be targeted as the perfect chance to bring in some proven goal-scorers. Saturday afternoon underlined that Tim Sherwood’s men can beat the likes of Fulham, but his credentials are sure to be thoroughly examined in the coming weeks. For now, they are still in the mix for Europa League football, and will be keeping a close eye on the result of the Everton-Manchester United match on Sunday.
Fulham’s relegation battle continues
In the early stages of their afternoon kick-off at White Hart Lane, Fulham really looked as though they were good enough to weather the Spurs storm. Looking secure at the back, dealing with the patient, slow build-up and repelling the attacks, they had the measure of a mediocre Tottenham performance. And after Steve Sidwell had equalised, they even loked like, with a couple of smart substitutions or a bit of luck, they could snatch an important victory. However, they really shot themselves in the foot with a couple of poorly conceded goals. And as the tie wore on, they began to wane in confidence and ability. Poor marking for Kaboul and Kane’s strikes meant that Tottenham were fighting an uphill battle, and when Sidwell’s penalty was saved well by Hugo Lloris, their heads dropped even further. In matches like this, the true character of a side can really emerge. Yet, aside from a few individually positive dispalys form the likes of John Arne Riise and Alexander Kacaniklic, they really lacked the necessary bite and battle to claw their way back into contention. All that remains now to find a Houdini-esque way out of the bottom three is to get something out of their final three fixtures against Hull, Stoke City and Crystal Palace. Fulham fans are in for a nervy ride.
Eriksen rules the roost
There can be no doubt about the identity of Saturday’s man of the match as it was a certain Danish playmaker who rose to the occasion. Sculpting a host of chances for his side, Christian Eriksen was a constant threat from both set-pieces and open play. He assisted two goals as well as providing a nice dollop of trickery and skill to create time and space for his team-mates on more than one occasion. Many a football fan will be lapping up his final few displays of the season, in the knowledge that Denmark will not be at this summer’s World Cup p and it’s a real shame as well. Watching him at White Hart Lane was a veritable treat as he was directly involved in much of their offensive threat. Providing he stays in the white of Spurs for another season, he should become even more of a headline-grabber – provided he has the forward line to take more advantage of the chances he fashions.