It was what fans have been crying out for from Jose Mourinho and he finally gave them their wish as the Premier League tie saw Tottenham Hotspur’s fabulous four start for the first time. However, they flattered to deceive despite beating Fulham 1-0 thanks to a Tosin Adarabioyo own goal.
Handball Call Helps Tottenham Hotspur’s Fabulous Four to Victory at Fulham
Own Goal and VAR Halt Impressive Fulham
Fulham had the chance to move out of the bottom three with a win over Spurs but, despite their best efforts, could not pick up any points against the North London club.
Ademola Lookman was impressive on the ball and gave Matt Doherty a torrid time on the Fulham left whilst goalkeeper Alphonse Areola produced one great save from Harry Kane late in the second half which was as much as the away team mustered in a lacklustre second-half performance.
Hugo Lloris was called into action to make saves from Andersen and from Tosin who looked to even things up but luck was not with Fulham in this match.
Spurs, as so often this season, were poor in possession at the back and Josh Maja thought he had got the deserved equaliser, only for VAR to adjudge that Mario Lemina had handled in the box. The ball was struck at Lemina from close range with his arm close to his body but the call was correct even if the rule itself looks likely to be changed again in the summer. Scott Parker looked stony-faced in the technical area as Mourinho looked relieved.
Fabulous Four Looked Strangers
Dele Alli, Kane, Gareth Bale and Son Heung-Min started and it was Son who played the ball in for Alli to get the touch that led to Spurs’ winner. That aside, the four looked almost strangers on the pitch as Son struggled to get on the ball, Kane and Bale seemed unsure who should be the striker and who should sit deep and despite some good touches and skill, Alli wasn’t at the level Mourinho would have wanted.
It was little surprise that Bale and Alli were hooked off on 67 minutes, although both Son and Kane could equally have been taken off as they laboured and looked far from their best form.
Spurs looked more attacking when Erik Lamela entered the fray as he was positive and looked to get on the front foot. He contributed to Spurs hanging on for three points and kept the ball away from Fulham more successfully than his teammates had managed to do for much of the second period.
Top Four Back in Reach
Spurs are now just four points from fourth place and suddenly, a season that was starting to look in turmoil is once again looking bright.
If Mourinho is to get Spurs back into the Champions League through the Premier League, his team will need to display the attacking intent they showed against Burnley rather than the negative and all too familiar defensive performance on display against Fulham, particularly in the second half.
As for Tottenham Hotspur’s fabulous four, they were more like the drab four against Fulham, leaving Mourinho with a decision to make over how best to utilise the undoubted talent at his disposal.