Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham Match Review
Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs return to the summit of the Premier League table after a comfortable win against Fulham.
Tottenham maintained their unbeaten start to the 2023/24 Premier League season with a comfortable 2 – 0 victory against London rivals Fulham on Monday. It was a seventh win of the campaign for the Lilywhites, who have 23 points from their 9 matches, which sees Head Coach Ange Postecoglou make history.
Postecoglou has had the best start to the season as a manager in Premier League history, with 7 wins and 2 draws from their opening 9 matches, which earned them 23 points. The previous record was 22, which had been set by both Mike Walker and Guus Hiddink. This latest win against Marco Silva’s Cottagers saw them return to the summit of the Premier League table.
Spurs started the season with a 2 – 2 draw against Thomas Frank’s Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium back in August before following this result up with a statement 2 – 0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against a Manchester United led by Erik Ten Hag. An own goal from Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez (83’) and Pape Matar Sarr (49’) found the back of the net for the home team that day.
This first win of the campaign was immediately followed up by another 2 – 0 win, this time against Andoni Iraola’s AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Tottenham’s most emphatic win of the season so far at Turf Moor against Burnley, beating Vincent Kompany’s Clarets 5 – 2 thanks to goals from Son Heung-Min (16’, 63’, 66’), summer signing James Maddison (54’) and Cristian Romero (45+2’).
A 2 – 1 comeback win away from home against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane followed before the first North London Derby of the 2023/24 Premier League season saw Tottenham and Arsenal draw 2 – 2 at the Emirates. Son Heung-Min scored Spurs’ goals that day (42’, 55’).
Another statement victory came at the end of September when they were 2 – 1 winners against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Son Heung-Min (36’) and an own goal in the last seconds of the game from Reds central defender Joel Matip (90+6’) sealed victory for Postecoglou’s side.
The final game ahead of the encounter with Fulham was played against Rob Edwards’ newly promoted Luton Town side at Kenilworth Road in early October. In the end, Tottenham were 1 – 0 winners thanks to a goal from Micky van de Ven, a summer signing from Wolfsburg (52’).
Now we move on to the Fulham game. Bobby De Cordova-Reid had the first chance of the match, but he could not give the Cottagers an early advantage when his shot on goal flew wide to the left from distance (1’).
Micky van de Ven then had a chance to score his second goal in as many matches, but his effort on goal from close range flew over the crossbar. Dejan Kulusevski then had a shot of his own blocked. Still 0 – 0 (9’).
Fulham did have an excellent opportunity to score through a Joao Palhinha header a few moments later, only for Lilywhites Goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario to make a sensational save to deny the Portuguese midfielder (12’).
Tottenham began to dominate proceedings just before the half-hour mark. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg forced a great save from Bernd Leno (27’), which came just before Richarlison saw an effort of his own miss the target (30’).
Son Heung-Min forced a save from Leno from close range (31’), as did James Maddison a few minutes later (34’). The away side was piling on the pressure, and they were looking the more likely team to find that opening goal.
And they did just that when Son Heung-Min found the top right corner with a fabulous finish in the dying embers of the first half to give Spurs what was a deserved lead (36’). Destiny Udogie and Dejan Kulusevski then had shots of their own blocked well by the Cottagers’ backline (40’).
Once the half time break was over and the second half had got underway, it would not take long for Tottenham to double their advantage on the night. James Maddison was the goal scorer this time, with the former Leicester and Norwich midfielder finding the bottom right corner after a pass into his feet from Son (54’).
Tottenham’s next significant chance to add to the scoreline came with just 20 minutes of the contest remaining when Son Heung-Min’s header flew wide at the left post after getting on the end of a James Maddison cross from a free-kick (70’).
Fulham’s last opportunity to get on the scoresheet came through club favourite Tom Cairney, who forced a great save from Vicario, who managed to maintain his side’s 2 – 0 lead and his clean sheet (87’).
The full-time whistle saw Tottenham seal a deserved 2 – 0 win at Craven Cottage.
Following the match, Spurs Head Coach Ange Postecoglou said (via Tottenham Hotspur’s Official Website): “It was a good win, the boys worked hard, our work without the ball was again outstanding, as it has been all year, and that’s what won us the game.
“In the first half we were good, we had to be patient, Fulham were well organised so we had to bide our time a bit, probably could have scored a couple more goals with the chances we created and put the game to bed.
“Vic was outstanding in a couple of moments to keep a clean sheet for us. We’ll take the win, it’s another good win for us, but plenty to learn.”
Tottenham did dominate possession with 55.6% of the ball compared to Fulham’s 44.4%. Ange Postecoglou’s Lilywhites also had more shots on target, with 5 as opposed to 3 for the away side.
The next game in the Premier League for Tottenham will see them make the short trip to Selhurst Park to face Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on Friday, 27th October, where they can seal yet another win and maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Spurs’ next home game comes after the Eagles, will be against Chelsea, led by ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. They will be the visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Monday, 6th November 2023.
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