Tottenham 1 Fulham 1 – Spurs held by brave Fulham

Alphonse Areola: Fulham sign France goalkeeper on loan from Paris St-Germain

2020-21 EPL match report: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham – Wednesday, 13th January 2021

Tottenham 1 Fulham 1 – Tottenham Hotspur stadium

Fired up by the manner in which Wednesday night’s fixture at the Tottenham stadium was thrust on them, Fulham produced a determined display to hold Spurs to a 1-1 draw and deny them a place in the Top four Premier League table.

Given just two days’ notice to face Tottenham after Spurs’ game at Aston Villa was postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak in the Villa camp, Scott Parker’s men looked sprightly in the opening stages but gradually relented to their rival’s dominating play.

Sergio Reguilon fired over finding himself well-placed to score from 12 yards out before Heung-Min Son saw a shot saved by the legs of Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. The chances kept coming the hosts’ way as Son forced a flying save out of the Fulham custodian as he attempted to finish from close range.

The goal for Spurs ultimately came in the 25th minute when a pass from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg set Reguilon free to deliver a very inviting cross to an onrushing Harry Kane who dove in to direct a header into the bottom corner.

The English striker could have easily doubled his tally but spooned a header from Serge Aurier’s pass from just eight yards. Fulham were restricted to shots from a distance in the period before the break, but in one of the few times the Cottagers attacked, Ruben Loftus-Cheek attempted an acrobatic effort from the edge of the box but his effort flew inches wide.

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As the visitors to the Tottenham stadium pushed for an equaliser post the interval, Spurs chose to sit back and hit on the counter-attack. Jose Mourinho’s men could have made it 2-0 in the 70th minute when Son was put through on goal by Tanguy Ndombele but the South Korean who normally buries in such chances made a meal out of his attempt as his shot hit the post.

Ademola Lookman who was introduced just after the hour-mark by Parker, produced just the move the Cottagers were waiting for all along when he weaved past Spurs back Davinson Sanchez before lofting a cross to Ivan Cavaleiro who climbed above Eric Dier to head in the equaliser with 16 minutes of play to go.

The Cottagers without a win against Spurs for almost eight years, almost went on to snatch a victory when keeper Hugo Lloris denied an impressive Loftus-Cheek effort after the latter was played in by the Lookman again. This was before Antonee Robinson also had an effort blocked from the edge of the area.

It was an important point for Parker’s men who are fighting to stay off relegation territory and are on the 18th spot with 12 points from their 16 outings. Fulham have two difficult matches coming up as they host Chelsea and Manchester United at Craven Cottage.

Jose Mourinho’s men played out their fifth draw of the season as they lost valuable points, sliding out of the Top four to the sixth spot and 2 points behind 4th and 5th placed Leicester City and Everton.

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Tottenham starting XI: Lloris (goal), Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon, Winks, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Sissoko, Kane, Son

Subs: Lamela, Vinicius

Fulham starting XI: Areola (goal), Tete, Aina, Robinson, Anderson, Adarabioyo, Anguissa, Reed, Loftus-Cheek, Cavaleiro, Decordova-Reid

Subs: Lookman, Kamara

Man of the match: Alphonse Areola

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