Tottenham 3 Fulham 1 match report: Felix Magath targets home games for safety after Spurs expose frailties

Cottagers unable to deal with Eriksen's set-piece prowess as he laid on two goals for Spurs to give them an outside chance of fourth but Magath says all hope is not lost

White Hart Lane

Fulham’s progress or Vorsprung durch Technik under their German manager Felix Magath was halted in this London derby, although their fight against relegation is still alive. It was not so much lack of technique as poor marking that undid them, taking the number of goals conceded to a shocking 77. Magath seemed early on yesterday to have organised the defence a little better but Fulham, for all the height of Brede Hangeland, still found themselves giving up all three from crosses, two of which were free-kicks by the outstanding Christian Eriksen.

Yet Tottenham, too, have weaknesses in defence, with Kyle Walker, Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen all missing, and even at 3-1 it took a penalty save by Hugo Lloris to ensure they could see out the last quarter of an hour in comfort and sustain their challenge for a Europa League place.

Fulham did enjoy some good spells, with Steve Sidwell and Scott Parker (until injury slowed him down) predictably combative and Hugo Rodallega chasing willingly onto the longish balls aimed behind Tottenham’s defence. The other encouraging thing for them is having remaining fixtures against three sides who all look to be safe  – in the FA Cup finalists Hull City, Stoke and Crystal Palace – with two of them at home.

“We made quite a good game,” Magath said. “What was not so good was two goals from free-kicks and that’s the thing that disturbs me. I told the boys we have to work on it. We were not expecting to win at Tottenham. We have to win our home games and that might be enough.” The first defensive howler came in the 17th minute, when Younes Kaboul was allowed a free header from a few yards out that he planted wide. David Stockdale, a hero in the important home win over Norwich last week, then turned Aaron Lennon’s shot onto a post before in the 34th minute, Lennon was fouled out on the right.


Eriksen took the free-kick and Fernando Amorebieta bizarrely moved out of defence instead of guarding Paulinho, who was able to convert from barely a yard.

The home defence proved equally fallible within a couple of minutes as Sidwell rode a foul by Paulinho, and with the FA Cup final referee Lee Probert playing advantage, got the run of the ball before dinking it over Lloris for an equaliser. But within two minutes of the restart Spurs were back in front when Lennon’s cross was headed in by Harry Kane, the young striker’s third goal in as many games.

Lloris, who had earlier denied Rodallega from close in, did brilliantly to turn his header over the bar, earning the accolade “genuine world class” from Tim Sherwood.

Just after the hour, John Heitinga conceded a free-kick that Eriksen drove to the far side of goal, where Kaboul, unmarked again, met it low on his thigh to score. That means Eriksen has scored four goals and provided five assists in his last five Premier League appearances. Stuck out on the left in the first half, he was given greater freedom after the interval to wander inside and get on the ball, which proved one of the keys to victory.

Spurs escaped a penalty when Danny Rose seemed to push Alex Kacaniklic, then conceded one for Eriksen’s handball. Lloris was the saviour again, diving to keep out Sidwell’s kick and drain Fulham of their previous hope. Sherwood, who admires spirit as much as anything, said he was “all for” the spat between Rose and goalkeeping coach Tony Parks at the final whistle and quite relaxed about midfielder Sandro tweeting that he had been dropped. As for the continued speculation about losing his job – Massimiliano Allegri, formerly of Milan, is the latest name in the frame – the Spurs manager added: “It’s not ideal but I have to prepare the team to win football matches and I think I’m good at it.”

Tottenham (4-4-2): Lloris; Naughton, Kaboul, Fryers, Rose; Lennon, Paulinho, Chadli (Dembélé, 66), Eriksen (Townsend, 84); Adebayor, Kane (Soldado, 78).

Fulham (4-1-4-1): Stockdale; Heitinga (Zverotic,65), Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riise; Kvist; Kacaniklic, Dejagah, Parker (Karagounis, 55), Sidwell,; Rodallega.

Referee: Lee Probert.

Man of the match: Eriksen (Tottenham)

Match rating: 6/10

Suggested Topics
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape