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Tottenham Hotspur win leaves Fulham in bottom three
Tottenham Hotspur prevented Fulham climbing out of the bottom three with a 3-1 win over The Cottagers at White Hart Lane.
Spurs took the lead on 34 minutes through Paulinho’s tap-in but the visitors levelled just two minutes later through Steve Sidwell’s close-range chip.
Harry Kane put Spurs 2-1 up with his third goal in as many games just after half-time before Younes Kaboul quashed any hope of a Fulham revival when he turned in Eriksen’s whipped free-kick on 61 minutes.
Steve Sidwell missed a penalty for Fulham 15 minutes from time after Eriksen’s handball, and Spurs saw out a comfortable win that sends Felix Magath’s side edging closer to relegation.
The result takes Spurs back to within three points of fifth placed Everton, who have a game in hand, while Fulham remain third from bottom and two points from safety.
The visitors came to White Hart Lane hoping to continue a run of two wins that has given them hope of Premier League survival, whilst Tottenham were keen to maintain the gap between themselves and Manchester United in seventh place.
The game got off to a turgid start, with neither side really threatening in the opening stages.
Hugo Rodallega wasted a one-on-one with Hugo Lloris when he skewed his first-time shot from 30-yards and Younes Kaboul went near with a close-range header for the home side.
Rodallega forced Lloris out of his goal to block on 18 minutes when he wriggled through the Spurs back four, much to the frustration of an increasingly agitated Tottenham bench.
Lennon’s volley on the turn inside the box was then brilliantly tipped onto the post by David Stockdale on the half hour mark as Spurs gained momentum.
And they took the lead on 34 minutes when Paulinho tapped in at the far post from Eriksen’s brilliantly whipped free-kick from the right.
The lead lasted less than two minutes though as Fulham levelled through Sidwell, who took advantage of some sloppy Spurs defending to nip through and play a deft chip over the on-rushing Lloris.
Zeki Fryers was largely to blame, failing to clear on the edge of a congested box and instead poking the ball into the path of Sidwell, who showed great composure to ghost through the defence and coolly finish under pressure from the Spurs keeper.
Harry Kane put Spurs back in front on 47 minutes when he nodded home Aaron Lennon’s well weighted cross from the right after the winger cut inside onto his left foot.
Lloris produced a magnificent reaction save when he tipped over Rodallega’s firm header minutes later as the forward met John Arne Riise’s whipped first-time cross.
The lead gave Spurs the lift they needed to press on and get a third goal through Younes Kaboul, who turned in another devilishly whipped free-kick from Eriksen, this time from the left.
Fulham had a penalty shout turned down at 3-1 when Kacaniklic tumbled under a challenge from Danny Rose before they were awarded a spot kick as Eriksen inexplicably stuck an elbow out to block Rodallega’s lofted touch.
But Sidwell drilled the ball straight at Lloris who blocked to kill off Fulham’s hopes of a late comeback.
Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Fryers, Rose, Lennon, Paulinho, Chadli, Eriksen (Townsend, 84), Adebayor, Kane (Soldado, 78). Subs: Chiriches, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Friedel, Bentaleb.
Fulham: Stockdale, Heitinga (Zverotic, 65), Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riise, Dejagah, Kvist Jorgensen, Sidwell, Parker (Karagounis, 56), Kacaniklic, Rodallega. Subs: Stekelenburg, Kasami, Woodrow, Roberts, Bent.
Referee: Lee Probert (England)
Bookings: Heitinga, 60.
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