Redknapp draws on full resourcesfor Tottenham's fight on two fronts

Fulham 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

The controversial nature of their victory at Craven Cottage on Saturday obscured the impressive manner in which Tottenham achieved it. Tom Huddlestone's winning goal may have been doubtful because team-mate William Gallas was in an offside position but they were the better side and, once Danny Murphy left with a groin injury early in the second period, largely controlled the match.

"It's the third time this season we've come from behind to win. I've had teams who, when you go behind, you think you may as well go home but this team has players who can open teams up," said manager Harry Redknapp.

Rafael van der Vaart was the classiest of those on show, and proved a hard worker too. He will be missed [through suspension] on Wednesday when Spurs take on the European champions, Internazionale, in Milan. Also absent will be Ledley King after he again broke down, this time with a groin injury. "He doesn't train because of his knees," lamented Redknapp, "so he picks up injuries." Not that King would have played in Milan anyway. He needs a week's recuperation at the best of times.

"I wanted him to play here and against Everton next week," Redknapp added. "There's no point in us having a decent run in Europe and then finishing bottom-half of the League, then at the end of the year we have nothing to show for it. This is what Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United do every year. They go well in the Champions League and the League."

King, admitted Redknapp, was so prone to injury he would probably never have started a game when the Spurs manager began playing and there were no substitutes allowed, and he would have been a risky choice when only one was permitted. His problems are another reason why Redknapp agreed to take Gallas, the former Arsenal captain, on a free transfer.

Gallas was at fault for Fulham's opener, ball-watching instead of marking Diomansy Kamara which enabled the latter to profit from Clint Dempsey's cross. Redknapp dismissed that error, preferring to focus on the positives. "You don't play at Chelsea all those years if you are not a good player. He understands the game, he pushed people up, he talked to them. He's a good player. I had no doubts about bringing him in." Gallas is also carrying a knock, but will have to play in Milan as Redknapp, for all the strength of his bench at the weekend, does not really have any alternative.

Mark Hughes had fewer options, but the Fulham manager still felt able to leave Zoltan Gera on his bench. The Hungarian later replaced Moussa Dembélé who, just back from injury, tired after an impressive first half. The same might be said for Fulham, who barely lasted a minute before Roman Pavlyuchenko tapped in after Van der Vaart had dropped a clever chip onto the bar.

It is 20 years since Redknapp survived a car crash in Italy (his friend and then-colleague at Bournemouth Brian Tiler died) and Redknapp was asked if the memory of that helped him keep a sense of perspective. He indicated there were more recent examples. In midweek Tottenham's training ground was visited by a toddler with leukaemia. "She was a pretty girl but there she was with her head shaved. Her mum and dad were there, she is their life. I still get the needle when we lose, and don't sleep. This is important, but there's so much more going on outside." It certainly puts a debateable goal in perspective.

Was Gallas offside for the winner?

In Fifa's 37-page online guide to the offside law there are 13 diagrams. Two specifically refer to the situation referee Mike Dean encountered 63 minutes into this London derby. Enough detail, one might think, to rule out the enemy of consistency – interpretation.

Sadly not. The passage, in relation to the Tom Huddlestone strike which settled the match, lays the responsibility on the referee's opinion. The guide states a player is causing an offence if, while in an offside position, he interferes with an opponent. It defines "interfering with an opponent" as "clearly obstructing the goalkeeper's line of vision or movement; making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent (the opponent must be reasonably close to the play so that the blocking, deceiving or distracting makes a difference)." Huddlestone's shot passed so close to William Gallas the Tottenham defender attempted to divert it into goal. But he was not standing directly in Mark Schwarzer's eyeline to Huddlestone. Presumably, in Dean's opinion, he was thus not offside. Mark Hughes disagreed. Schwarzer, he said, had to wait to see if Gallas touched the ball before diving.

Harry Redknapp said he preferred the old rule, when anyone in an offside position was deemed interfering. That throws up anomalies. If Gareth Bale, whose corner picked out Huddlestone, had not moved he would have been offside when the shot was taken but, being 20 yards wide of goal, he could not have been interfering with play. The current rule is an improvement, but needs correct application.

Match facts

Possession Fulham 51% Tottenham 49%. Shots on target Fulham 6 Tottenham 6. Referee M Dean (Wirral). Att 25,615. Man of the match Van der Vaart. Match rating 7/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain