Considering Spurs’ really poor record at Craven Cottage, this is a great win! Spurs again played with one lone striker (Pavlyuchenko) with Van der Vaart given the free role in the “hole”. However, despite a competent start, Spurs fell behind due to yet another defensive lapse as Dempsey skinned King on the right and crossed over for Kamara to tap in from 5 yards.
Thankfully, it only took Spurs only a minute to respond as the excellent Van der Vaart brought the ball expertly under his control before chipping the ball delicately onto the crossbar. Fortunately, Pavlyuchenko was on hand to slot the ball home from very close range. Fulham had no time to consolidate their lead and that I believe was a critical factor in turning this game around.
In the second half, Lennon replaced the yellow carded debutant Sandro and Spurs looked the more likely team, although it took a moment of controversy to earn the three points. From Bale’s corner kick, Tom Huddlestone drilled in a shot from outside the box, which the referee initially disallowed as he’d ruled that Gallas was in an offside position. However, upon Huddlestone’s protests, the referee consulted his assistant and the goal was given. Apparently the ball had taken a deflection off a Fulham defender and that legalized the goal. Don’t ask me, this current offside rule is an arcane science at best.
And that made all the difference as Spurs controlled the game and saw it out comfortably. Again, I stress – a great win. After the Carling Cup home defeat to Arsenal and the league defeat at West Ham, the Spurs fans were really moaning and groaning but after 8 games, Spurs have the same points as the Arsenal and Man Utd. Not so bad a start to the season is it? Bring on Inter Milan!!