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Fulham 1-1 (5-3) Tottenham: Cottagers bounce Spurs from Carabao Cup in penalty shootout

Not great!

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup Second Round Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur took a headful of steam and a rotated side across London to Craven Cottage to face a similarly rotated Fulham team that was coming off a big loss to Brentford. Unfortunately, Spurs laid an egg and bowed out of the first of only three opportunities to win silverware this season, falling in a penalty shootout to Fulham in the 2nd round.

What’s worse is that both goals in regular time were scored by Tottenham players. Micky Van de Ven had an unfortunate first half own goal to put the hosts ahead. Richarlison scored his first goal of the campaign off of a beautiful cross to the back post by Ivan Perisic. But despite Spurs subbing on their big stars (and Dane Scarlett), they weren’t able to snatch a winner. Fulham put five easy penalties past a hapless Fraser Forster to win the match in the shootout and progress to the next round.

Spurs go home. And then to Burnley. Blah.

I only kind of half-watched this due to the day job, but here are some reactions I had from the match.

Match Reactions

First Half

  • Really unfortunate own goal for Micky, but it came after some pretty blah defending overall on that right side of the defense. Think if you’re going to blame anyone for that goal it’s gotta be Davinson Sanchez.
  • For much of that first half, Tottenham looked like a team that had never played together before. It wasn’t great!
  • The absence of Bissouma in midfield was noticeable. Oliver Skipp is whatever (if by “whatever” you mean “not great”), but the combination of him and Hojbjerg just doesn’t have the juice to actually progress the ball through the middle.
  • Just a poor first half from Davinson Sanchez, who didn’t really reinforce his case to stick around as Tottenham’s primary CB backup.
  • There was just NOTHING going forward from either Ivan Perisic or Manor Solomon in that first half. Maybe signing Brennan Johnson is a good idea after all? (Or better, Ansu Fati?)
  • Halftime xG: FUL 0.33 - 0.13 TOT. Can Ange make five halftime rage-subs? Asking for a friend.

Second Half

  • Tottenham made one halftime sub - Scarlett for Lo Celso - and ran the dang 4-4-2. You could see a difference in the intensity and energy immediately.
  • So happy for Richarlison. Pombo made a great run to the back post and was in perfect position to head home Perisic’s excellent cross. That was much better.
  • I continue to be perplexed by Oliver Skipp in midfield and am unsure what he offers to Ange-Ball. If he’s really our main reserve midfielder, Spurs need another one in the window.
  • I’m not sure what the yellow on Big Ange was for, but I assume him protesting why the official didn’t call a blatant foul on Pape Sarr in midfield.
  • Dane Scarlett didn’t have a lot of touches of the ball, but he had some very nice movement towards the end of the half, enough that you can dream on him a bit.
  • Fraser Forster is just absolutely immobile in a penalty shootout situation. It was incredible. He coudn’t even dive! If you were a neutral, you might have thought Forster was throwing the match. I really really wanted Ange to sub in Vicario right before the end of the 2nd half, because I bet Elmo makes at least one stop there.
  • It’s never nice to get bounced out of a cup in the early rounds, especially on penalties. And there’s not a ton of positive stuff to take from this. We did learn a few things about our backups (they’re not great!) and this should be a wake-up call to Spurs fans after the first three Premier League games — this is still a new project, and projects will have hiccups and take time.
  • The new kits suck and I don’t want to see them again.

Onward to better things, and by “better things” I mean a trip to Burnley this weekend. (That’s not much better.)