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Premier League 2018-19: 3 reasons why Tottenham beat Fulham

Scott Newman
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:07 IST

Harry Winks
Harry Winks' late winner gave Tottenham all 3 points at Craven Cottage

It was high Sunday afternoon drama at Craven Cottage today, as Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to defeat Fulham 2-1 to keep their slim hopes of a title challenge alive. Relegation-threatened Fulham lead through a surprising Fernando Llorente own goal in the 17th minute, before Spurs equalised through a Dele Alli header with 51 minutes gone.

The game looked set to become Spurs’ first draw of 2018/19 as they struggled to find a way through, but with seconds remaining on the clock, a beautiful cross from substitute Georges-Kevin N’Koudou found its way to Harry Winks, who headed home to allow his side to steal away all 3 points.

The victory leaves Tottenham just 5 points behind second-place Manchester City, while Fulham are looking in deep trouble in 19th – 7 points away from safety.

Here are 3 reasons why Tottenham beat Fulham.

#1 Fulham’s defence switched off for Alli’s equaliser

Fulham's defence switched off to allow Dele Alli's equaliser

Despite dominating possession from the off, Tottenham found it difficult to really carve out chances throughout the game, and when Fulham took their first-half lead, it was largely deserved. Missing the speed and penetration of Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son, it felt like Spurs simply couldn’t break through Fulham’s defence.

That’s why it was so disappointing for fans of the Cottagers that it was a series of suicidal defensive errors that allowed Dele Alli to head home the equaliser. Firstly, Tim Ream made a complete miskick when the ball fell to him, and that allowed Christian Eriksen a free cross into the box, where Alli was waiting, perfectly timed to score.

It’d be easy to lay all the blame at Ream’s door, but in hindsight while his error led directly to the cross, goalkeeper Sergio Rico could perhaps have come out to claim the cross rather than hanging back, and replays also showed that Cyrus Christie should’ve been tracking Alli and failed to do so.

Essentially, while Alli took the header excellently – reminiscent of his goal for England against Sweden in the World Cup – Fulham gifted him the chance with some seriously poor defending.

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Published 21 Jan 2019, 02:00 IST
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