Tottenham by no means be taught. Top of the league not so way back, they’ve drifted out of the title race due to José Mourinho’s conservatism. It has turn out to be a recurring theme, but Spurs appear unable to search out the treatment.
More factors have been frittered away regardless of Harry Kane giving Mourinho’s facet an early lead, leaving Spurs six factors off Manchester United in first place. They have been careless once more, letting Fulham off the hook, and have gained solely two of their final eight league video games. Scott Parker’s facet, who had requested for this fixture to be postponed on 30 December on account of a Covid-19 outbreak, deserved a draw that leaves them two factors behind 17th-placed Brighton.
Although Fulham had arrived in a funk, grumbling at being given solely two days to organize after a Covid outbreak compelled Aston Villa to postpone their recreation towards Spurs, they’d no alternative however to get on with it. In reality Parker was pushing it by calling the scheduling scandalous. This is a sport taking part in by the pandemic’s guidelines and though Fulham have been entitled to really feel that they deserved extra discover, there is no such thing as a such factor as perfection nowadays.
Mourinho actually had little sympathy with Fulham’s complaints and though he shared a good-natured trade with Parker simply earlier than kick-off, he was in no temper to indicate mercy. Spurs have been decided to make their reluctant company endure, looking for indicators of rustiness, threatening to overwhelm Fulham with a collection of slicing raids down the flanks throughout the first half.
Although Fulham have been arrange in a cautious 3-5-2 system, they appeared weak at any time when Spurs raised the tempo. Mourinho needed his full-backs excessive and broad, attacking the house behind Parker’s wing-backs, and whipping in crosses for Kane and Son Heung-min. The tactic was efficient all through the opening interval and it ought to have led to a aim within the sixth minute, Serge Aurier’s cutback reaching Sergio Reguilón, who fired over from shut vary.
Spurs ought to have been out of sight on the interval. Alphonse Areola was in impressed type within the Fulham aim, making two excellent saves to disclaim Son. Tosin Adarabioyo was compelled into last-ditch motion too, sliding in to disclaim Kane simply because the striker threatened to interrupt clear. Fulham have been residing dangerously and it got here as little shock after they cracked, their organisation evaporating when Reguilón broke down the left, bursting past Kenny Tete and delivering a peach of a cross for Kane to go previous Areola.
The fear for Spurs was that they might find yourself regretting their profligacy. Although Fulham have been outplayed for lengthy spells, the guests flickered in assault at occasions. Fulham had not performed a league recreation since Boxing Day, however they’ve developed a stable work ethic below Parker and have been diligent of their strategy, battling in midfield and making an attempt to catch Spurs out with exact counter-attacks.
Harrison Reed was a scrappy presence in midfield. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa provided a languid high quality on the ball, exhibiting fast toes to create space for a shot that Hugo Lloris pushed to security when the sport was goalless. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, nonetheless to find his greatest type since arriving on mortgage from Chelsea, nearly equalised with a volley that crept simply broad.
There have been occasions, nevertheless, when the sport handed Loftus-Cheek by on the tip of Fulham’s midfield. With Aleksandar Mitrovic absent from the squad, Fulham have been being held again a well-recognized failing, their lack of chew within the remaining third. Ivan Cavaleiro and Bobby Decordova-Reid have been being contained by Eric Dier and Davinson Sánchez, the Spurs centre-backs, and Tete was wasteful with a uncommon alternative initially of the second half, blazing broad when a cross would have been a wiser alternative.
But the longer it stayed 1-0, the bolder Fulham grew to become. Spurs had fallen into unhealthy habits, inviting strain. Fulham have been controlling possession and Parker, sensing that the temper had modified, strengthened his assault by introducing Ademola Lookman, who instantly brought about issues on the left.
Spurs retreated, limiting themselves to counterattacks. Their nerviness elevated when a swift break ended with Son scuffing towards the woodwork.
The narrative was forming. Son appeared aghast and Fulham finally punished Spurs when Lookman turned Aurier inside out earlier than crossing for Cavaleiro to go house. Fulham ended up having fun with their last-minute invitation to north London.