Woeful Spurs well beaten at Fulham in blow to CL hopes

Tottenham were outclassed at Craven Cottage on Saturday as Fulham beat them 3-0 to deal a blow to their pursuit of Champions League football.

Spurs had won on their last seven visits to Craven Cottage in the league but were punished on Saturday for a poor performance as two strikes from Rodrigo Muniz and a first Fulham goal for Sasa Lukic saw them well beaten.

Postecoglou’s side missed the chance to move above fourth-placed Villa and remain two points adrift, while Man Utd are six behind. Spurs had not failed to score in a league game under the Australian before this game.

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Jamie Redknapp shares his thoughts on Tottenham’s defeat to Fulham and its impact on their Champions League hopes

Muniz, who scored either side of half-time, now has seven goals in seven games. Marco Silva’s side have beaten Arsenal, Man Utd and Spurs in the last four months. They move up to 12th.

Player ratings

Fulham: Leno (7), Castagne (8), Tosin (7), Bassey (8), Robinson (8), Palhinha (8), Lukic (8), Pereira (7), Willian (8), Muniz (9), Iwobi (8).

Subs: Tete (6), Reed (5), Jimenez (6), Wilson (6),Cordova Reid (5).

Tottenham: Vicario (6), Porro (5), Romero (5), Dragusin (5), Udogie (5), Sarr (5), Bissouma (5), Kulusevski (5), Maddison (5), Johnson (5), Son (5).

Subs: Hojbjerg (6), Richarlison (5), Royal, Werner (5), Lo Celso (n/a), Bentancur (5).

Player of the Match: Rodrigo Muniz

All the goals from Fulham

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Rodrigo Muniz bundles home third as Fulham pull clear against Tottenham

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Sasa Lukic steers home second for Fulham to leave Tottenham floundering

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Rodrigo Muniz fires Fulham in front against run of play to make Tottenham pay for missed opportunities

How Fulham outclassed Spurs

Heung-Min Son rues a missed chance against Fulham
Spurs never got going at Fulham

Spurs came into the game favourites to finish in the top four after last weekend’s thrashing of Aston Villa, according to Opta’s predictor. But once again Postecoglou saw his side make a sloppy start with Fulham looking dangerous early on.

Fulham were rewarded for being aggressive in their press as Muniz and then Andreas Pereira saw efforts blocked inside the first five minutes. Spurs continued to take chances in possession, James Maddison in particular, but Fulham failed to punish them.

Team news

  • Joao Palhinha and Willian were brought in to Fulham’s starting line-up as Raul Jimenez returned to the squad after recovering from injury.
  • Radu Dragusin made his first Spurs start, replacing the injured Micky van de Ven in defence while Richarlison was welcomed back to the squad after a short spell out.

Spurs were not allowed to settle and rode their luck as Muniz failed to turn Antonee Robinson’s cross goal-bound after 23 minutes. They had their own chances too with the game stretched, but Son’s shooting was wayward minutes later on the break.

An actioned-packed first half appeared set to end without a goal as Willian and Brennan Johnson fired straight at Guglielmo Vicario and Bernd Leno respectively. Maddison then nearly squeezed a shot in with a clever effort that was just wide.

Andreas Pereira fires in an early shot against Spurs
Andreas Pereira had a big chance very early on for Fulham

The breakthrough came through Robinson, who impressed throughout the first half, as he whipped in a glorious cross to Muniz to finish off. There was a VAR check for offside but the goal was allowed.

Spurs almost looked as if they were waiting for the second half to find their form but Fulham came flying out after the break and punished the visitors. Lukic had a shade of fortune as he guided in Timothy Castagne’s driven cross with his thigh after 48 minutes.

Sasa Lukic celebrates after giving Fulham a 2-0 lead against Spurs
Sasa Lukic celebrates after giving Fulham a 2-0 lead against Spurs

England’s Maddison suffered a potential injury blow ahead of the international break after being caught by a nasty challenge from Joao Palhinha. The Spurs midfielder never really recovered before being taken off with 25 minutes to go.

Fulham’s appetite for goals was not satisfied by a two-goal lead as Castagne and Alex Iwobi, a thorn in the side of Spurs all afternoon, combined to put the full-back through at an angle. Vicario though was able to keep him out.

Yves Bissouma and Sasa Lukic battle for the ball
Spurs were always second best at Fulham

This chance preceded a chaotic four minutes that saw Fulham twice put the ball in the back of the net.

First, Muniz scrambled the ball in from close range to make it 2-0 on the hour from the resulting corner, becoming the youngest Fulham player to score two goals in a London derby. No player in the league has scored more than the 22-year-old since February.

There was delirium at Craven Cottage very soon after when the fans thought Palhinha had made it 4-0.

The officials spoiled the party, however, ruling his strike out for offside as it came off substitute Raul Jimenez, returning to the team after a spell out with a hamstring injury.

Spurs should have scored through substitute Timo Werner less than five minutes later, as he missed from no more than four yards out after Johnson’s cross. Their performance however did not deserve a goal.

All the hard work of last Sunday’s win at Villa undone by a performance no one saw coming.

Postecoglou criticises ‘careless’ display from Spurs

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Ange Postecoglou was disappointed with Spurs’ performance against Fulham but said they must learn from it and move on

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou told Sky Sports: “It was disappointing obviously. First half was a tight game, we had some chances, they had some chances. Once they got the second goal, they got on top of us and we couldn’t get a grip of the game like we needed to.

“It’s something we need to analyse. I thought we were careless on the ball. We were too keen to get forward. We lacked some conviction in our last third play. It’s part of our growth.

“Feel that pain and learn from it. It does go down as a bad day at the office but we don’t accept it. First half was even enough. It wasn’t our normal levels. We didn’t have the same intensity in our play. It’s a big part of who we are.

Asked about the race for Champions League, he joked: “It’s all over so we’ll just go for sixth. What am I meant to say to that? We’re two points behind Villa. It’s 10 games to go, there’s so much football to play.

“I don’t worry about that stuff. It’s not about just falling into a place in the ladder. We could finish fourth, great, it’s nothing this football club haven’t done. It’s about how we play.”

Silva: Fulham’s best performance but I want more

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Marco Silva says Fulham played the best football he’s seen all season in their 3-0 win over Tottenham

Fulham boss Marco Silva told Sky Sports: “One hundred per cent [our best performance of the season], definitely. I said to the players if this is not our best it is very nearly.

“The first half was one of our best this season, we were so complete. We matched them.

“Some really good moments, and good goals as well. Throughout the first half we were clearly the best team on the pitch.

“It was crucial as well the way we started the second half, two quick goals that gave us control in the end.

“Almost a year with them always scoring. It speaks about our organisation this evening, the way we stopped them. We were brave enough to stop them. It really speaks about ourselves and how we have been solid this season.

“It’s been really good this season. I will not stop wanting more every single week. The reality is now we have away games, they are going to be crucial for us if we want to keep climbing the table.

“We are going to work really hard to improve on last season.”

Opta stats: Fulham shine against Spurs

  • This was Fulham’s joint-biggest margin of victory over Spurs in league football, beating them by three goals for just the third time (also 3-0 in August 2003 and 4-1 in February 1965).
  • Spurs failed to score and were beaten by 3+ goals in the Premier League for the first time since October 2021, when they lost 3-0 against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United.
  • Spurs have only kept two clean sheets across their last 19 games in the Premier League – since the first match in this run (October 27th), only Sheffield United (1) have kept fewer in the competition in this period.
  • Fulham’s Antonee Robinson has made the joint-most assists from open play by a defender in the Premier League this season (6), equalling Kieran Trippier and Vladimir Coufal following today’s opener.

What’s next?

Fulham head to Sheffield United in the Premier League after the international break on Saturday March 30. Kick-off 3pm.

Tottenham continue their Champions League push at home to Luton on the same day. Kick-off 3pm.

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