Tottenham Hotspur are up to third place, and only trail Chelsea on goal differential after their 3-0 win at Craven Cottage. Fulham's defense held strong and frustrated Spurs in the first half, but fell apart in the second half. The combination of a powerful shot by Sandro and some poor goalkeeping by Mark Schwarzer produced the first goal of the game, and it appeared to undo Fulham's gameplan.
The first half was a bit dour for both sides, almost to the point where it isn't worth discussion. Michael Dawson's injury was the biggest event, and Tottenham will be hoping that his exit was only precautionary. He exited for William Gallas in the 17th minute. Spurs and Fulham both looked like they were a bit tired from mid-week and afraid to concede the first goal. After halftime, things got a bit more lively, but it still took a minor gift for Spurs to go in front.
Sandro's goal, a long shot to the near post, came in the 55th minute. Schwarzer looked completely unprepared to deal with a shot from Spurs' defensive midfielder, and won't be happy that he was given so much time and space in midfield. Sandro's shot bounced in front of the late-reacting Schwarzer, giving him little chance to recover and make a save, and Spurs looked like a different side once they went in front and the pressure was off.
In the 62nd minute, Gareth Bale pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and was subbed out for Gylfi Sigurdsson. While the injury is going to be a tough one for Spurs to deal with if it causes Bale to miss an extended period of time, Sigurdsson put in an excellent shift. Not long after coming in, he set up Jermain Defoe for a tap-in with a great cut-back ball from the left side of the penalty area.
Clint Dempsey set up Tottenham's final goal, playing a great through ball to Defoe in the 77th minute. Defoe beat the Fulham offside trap and put in a composed finish to complete a brace and net his ninth Premier League goal of the season.