We are reaching the end of this season and, inevitably, teams around Europe and worldwide are preparing themselves for the summer transfer window. The focus for many will be on exciting prospects and young talents from around the globe. Here is a list of 13 talented African footballers who are going to be high on […]
After a Saturday of shocks in the FA Cup fifth round, Fulham were bidding to join Lincoln City and Millwall by upsetting Premier League opposition. The side facing them at Craven Cottage, Tottenham Hotspur, were just hoping to avoid the ignominious fate of Burnley and Leicester City.
Spurs suffered a blip in the Europa League against Gent in midweek, so needed to get back into the groove. Mauricio Pochettino, famed for playing weakened sides in the cup throughout his career, picked a relatively strong one for this game, including talisman Harry Kane. Fulham, likely to end the Championship season with mid-table respectability, had every reason to try for a win.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) February 19, 2017
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 19, 2017
Spurs – the favourites – started on the front foot. Christian Eriksen forced a save out of Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli with a low drive in the fourth minute. Sixty seconds later and they had another chance, this time Dele Alli fired a shot which shaved the post after the Cottagers failed to properly clear a corner.
The Premier League side were applying all the pressure, as might have been expected. After a quarter of an hour, they got their reward. A quick throw in from Kieran Trippier released Eriksen, and Harry Kane applied a predatory finish to the Dane’s low cross. That said, he was aided immeasurably by sleepy defending from the Fulham backline.
Fulham’s high defensive line was costing them time and again, with Alli (twice) and Eriksen having opportunities to increase Spurs’ lead as the half wore on. Chances for the home side were at a premium, although they were almost gifted a goal by Michel Vorm, when he misplaced a pace to the feet of Tom Cairney. He was able to breathe a sigh of relief when the midfielder could only hit a tame effort. Just before half time, Bettinelli got in on the act, gifting the ball to Harry Kane. Luckily for the Fulham keeper, Stefan Johansen was able to intervene and put out the fire.
The sides went in at half time with Spurs narrowly ahead, 1-0. But the scoreline had not told the full story of the away side’s dominance.
If the home side had plans to regroup and get a foothold in the match, those plans were ripped to shreds after just five minutes of the second half. A deep cross from Eriksen found an unmarked Harry Kane, and he finished with aplomb to make it 2-0. The England striker had a chance for a hat-trick soon after, but although his lolloping run took him past Tamas Kalas, he mis-controlled the ball and allowed Bettinelli to gather. Alli was the next to threaten, scooping over from a(nother) pinpoint Eriksen cross.
The game settled into an easy rhythm mostly consisting of Fulham giving the ball away and Spurs having easy – albeit mostly non-threatening – possession. Even the introduction of wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon couldn’t wake Fulham up. Spurs were still the most alert side, effectively creating chances at will. A jinking counter-attacking run from Eriksson should have resulted in more than an easy gather for the Fulham keeper, while soon after Harry Kane dinked an attempted chip over the bar.
Fulham did carve out a chance with twenty minutes to go. Kevin McDonald was presented with virtually a free header from a corner, but although he got enough power on it, he didn’t get the direction and it flow over Vorm’s crossbar. If he regretted his miss then, it looked even worth just a few minutes later. Dele Alli slipped Kane through, past Fulham’s absurdely high line, and the striker finished coolly for his hat-trick.
If it wasn’t game over before, it was once the ball hit the back of the net. To come back from three goals down was simply too big of an ask for a Fulham side who could be neat and tidy in midfield but rarely threatened to score. Tottenham took their foot off the gas but were still able to attack whenever they wanted. Heung-min Son headed over the bar in stoppage time, but Spurs couldn’t get a fourth.
So it ended Fulham 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur in a comfortable victory for the Premier League team. Here’s the Game in 10 Tweets:
Game in 10 Tweets
Rumour has it Berbatov will make you an offer you can't refuse… pic.twitter.com/lbGZYqU4Vl
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) February 19, 2017
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 19, 2017
Commentator expressing surprise that there was a different mood at The New Den yesterday than at Craven Cottage. Which really is something.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) February 19, 2017
Fulham 0-1 Spurs HT:
Harry Kane's goal the difference at the break as Spurs dominate the first half at Craven Cottage. pic.twitter.com/o4KpvdYYdY
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) February 19, 2017
"Something needs to change or Spurs are going to run away with it."
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) February 19, 2017
Harry Kane, he scores goals. ⚽⚽ pic.twitter.com/PJFrrxaQYu
— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) February 19, 2017
4 – Four of Christian Eriksen's last six assists for Spurs (in all competitions) have been for Harry Kane. Combination.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 19, 2017
Some strikers you know will score when they're one-on-one with the keeper. Others you know will miss. @HKane is most certainly the former.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 19, 2017
FT: Fulham 0 – Harry Kane 3 pic.twitter.com/gdLhpobOcD
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) February 19, 2017
Tottenham have now reached the quarter final of the FA Cup for the first time since 2011/12.
Back in it. pic.twitter.com/K7nIgQRt4u
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 19, 2017