Tottenham made up one of their COVID-delayed matches on Wednesday after the Premier League decided on Monday to reschedule the home match against Fulham that was delayed on December 30. However, although they were hosting a club in the relegation zone, they could not get full points. Harry Kane headed home a gorgeous cross from Sergio Reguilon to put Spurs up 1-0 in the first half, but Tottenham conceded to an equally good cross and header from Ivan Cavaleiro. Spurs couldn’t find a winner and could only manage a 1-1 disappointing draw.
Before the match, Spurs journalist Alasdair Gold suggested we could see a “plethora of midfielders” in Tottenham’s starting XI. That bore out — Spurs started with Pierre Hojbjerg, Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko, and Tanguy Ndombele in the midfield, behind Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane. Davinson Sanchez started alongside Eric Dier, with Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon at the fullback positions. Hugo Lloris captained the side from goal.
10’ — First half has been pretty much as we expected. Fulham are defending with a back five and are hitting on the counter whenever possible. Spurs having little luck picking that lock thus far.
15’ — Eric Dier comes up limping heavily after a challenge by the endline. Fulham have had the bulk of the shots already in this match.
18’ — Great chance Tottenham! Good combination between Sissoko and Aurier, Sonny gets a one-touch at goal that’s well saved. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa picks up a yellow for Fulham in the ensuing play.
24’ — UGH SO CLOSE. Another great ball into the box from Tanguy and Sonny tries to head it in, but Areola is there to get a hand to it
25’ — GOAL! HARRY KANE! Pierre Hojbjerg put a long ball waaaaay out on the left flank to Reguilon, and Reggie puts a cross right to Harry Kane’s head, who hammers it past the keeper! 1-0 Spurs!
30’ — Oooh, nearly a second for Kane, but his free header goes over the bar. That’s their fourth big chance this half and they’re still playing football despite having a lead! Is our Mourinho learning?
35’ — Nearly an equalizer for Fulham. Loftus-Cheek gets on the end of a cross and volleys a ball that goes inches wide of the post. Hugo looked like he had it covered, but that was a near thing.
40’ — Spurs had another chance on a counter, but Hojbjerg’s shot is low and easily collected by Areola.
HALFTIME! Spurs have been on the front foot and had several good chances, but Fulham are still a threat and have a few of their own.
46’ — LMAO Sissoko dribbles into the box and somehow wasn’t able to get a shot away from close range.
55’ — Close from Harry Winks, who lofts a looping shot from 20 yards out to the top corner and forces a diving save from Areola.
59’ — Free kick to Fulham just outside the box after a Hojbjerg foul, but the kick goes right into the wall, danger averted.
64’ — Hojbjerg picks up a yellow card for a robust challenge.
68’ — First sub of the match, and it’s for Fulham: Ademola Lookman is on for Kenny Tete.
72’ — ARGH Son plonks a ball off the post on a Spurs counterattack! So close to putting this match away.
73’ — Goal to Fulham. Ivanm Cavaleiro equalizers for the Cottagers, heading home a cross from Ademola Lookman. Unreal. Immediate sub for Spurs as Jose Mourinho brings on Erik Lamela for Harry Winks.
78’ — Gaah Fulham nearly take the lead from Loftus-Cheek but Lloris slides in to deny the shot.
80’ — Mourinho rolls the dice, opts to bring in Carlos Vinicius for Tanguy Ndombele.
86’ — Third sub for Fulham, goal-scorer Cavaleiro is off for Aboubakar Kamara.
89’ — IT’S IN THE NET! SERGIO REGUILON... but the flag is up. It’s not going to count. He’s offside.
90’ — Sub for Fulham, and it’s our old friend Josh Onomah, who’s on for Loftus Cheek. Hi, Joshy!
FULL TIME. This one is going to haunt Spurs for a while. They had tons of chances, none better than Son’s shot off the post but couldn’t get the job done. Disappointing.
- These aren’t going to be super detailed because I could only sneak glances from the office every so often. I’ll rewatch the match later tonight, but consider these broad overview observations.
- Spurs’ concession in the second half came not because Mourinho was trying to sit deep and protect a lead — they were pushing forward, but just weren’t playing well. Even so, Spurs dominated the xG in this match. It’s a completely new and novel way to drop points. At least you can’t blame it on parking the bus.
- Tanguy Ndombele is very good at football.
- The first half goal was so good — from PEH’s long pass from deep to Reguilon’s run into space and perfect cross to Kane’s head. Just wonderful stuff.
- Sissoko surprised me not only by playing wide right but also by making several late runs into the box throughout his shift.
- Spurs had chances in this game, they just couldn’t convert them. It’s no fun to watch when that happens.