Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Fulham - as it happened
Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Tottenham's 3-1 win at home to Fulham in the Premier League.
By Jack Prescott, Rugby Editor Filed: Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 11:44 UK
Last Updated: Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 15:22 UK
Tottenham Hotspur kept alive their slim hopes of Champions League qualification on Saturday with a 3-1 win at home to Fulham.
Paulinho tapped in to give the hosts the lead on 34 minutes, but Steve Sidwell equalised for the visitors just two minutes later to see the teams go in level at the break.
Harry Kane then restored Spurs' advantage early in the second half before Younes Kaboul sealed the points on the hour.
Fulham had the chance to score a second goal with 15 minutes left to play, only for Sidwell to see his penalty saved by Hugo Lloris following Christian Eriksen's handball.
Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how all of the action unfolded at White Hart Lane.
11.45amHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of this afternoon's Premier League encounter between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham at White Hart Lane. We should have some team news through shortly.
11.48amToday's game holds plenty of significance at both ends of the table. Spurs are still battling away for Champions League qualification, while Fulham are fighting for Premier League survival. The hosts start the day in sixth place, seven points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal. Fulham are two points from safety.
11.53amSpurs boss Tim Sherwood has made just the one change following last weekend's incredible 3-3 draw with West Bromwich Albion as Zeki Fryers replaces Vlad Chiriches in defence. Harry Kane keeps his place up front alongside Emmanuel Adebayor.
11.56amFULHAM SUBS: Stekelenburg, Karagounis, Kasami, Zverotic, Roberts, Woodrow, Bent
11.59amFulham manager Felix Magath opts to make a total of five changes after seeing his side earn an important 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Norwich City last Saturday. John Arne Riise, William Kvist, Scott Parker, Ashkan Dejagah and Alexander Kacaniklic are all brought into the starting XI. Lewis Holtby misses out due to being ineligible to play against his parent club.
12.05pmVictory for Spurs today would see them move four points behind Arsenal having played a game more. It looks like they could struggle to secure that final Champions League spot, but Tim Sherwood insists that they will give it a good go. Their chances were damaged last weekend with that 3-3 draw at West Brom, though a point seemed like a decent outcome in the end considering that they were 3-0 down.
12.08pmAs for Fulham, they start the day knowing that a win would lift them out of the drop zone for the first time in three months. It's been a hard season for the Cottagers, but they've given themselves a great opportunity to avoid relegation heading into the final few weeks of the campaign.
12.11pmFulham manager Felix Magath, speaking to reporters in midweek: "We can see in this game that everybody has a chance so we can go to Tottenham and try to win.
"I have spoken with (club owner) Mr Khan, we speak every week. We were all very happy about the win against Norwich City, but he knows that it was only the first step and not the end. We must take care in the next games and the next opponent, which is Tottenham."
12.14pmSpurs midfielder Nacer Chadli, speaking to the club's official website: "It doesn't matter who we are playing, we have to have the right attitude and focus and it will be no different against Fulham this weekend. We're at home and we want to win every game here.
"Hopefully we can make a sharp start to the game and not concede early like we have done in our last few matches. We've played very well at times in recent games, have created chances and scored quite a few goals as well, so if we can continue that on Saturday then I'm confident we can pick up three points."
12.19pmHEAD TO HEAD: As you might imagine, it's Spurs who have the superior record when it comes to past meetings between these teams. The North-London club has won 38 times compared to Fulham's 13. There have also been 25 draws.
12.22pmSpurs have also had the upper hand in the last six games that these sides have played, winning four and losing two. This season's reverse fixture at Craven Cottage saw Spurs earn a narrow 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Vlad Chiriches and Lewis Holtby, who, remember, is ineligible to play against his parent club this afternoon.
12.25pmFor the record, it will be the first time this season that Fulham have won three consecutive matches if they leave White Hart Lane with the spoils today. It could also be the biggest victory of their campaign so far if that were to happen.
12.31pmPREDICTION TIME: Today's contest could be a lot closer than many people might care to imagine due to Fulham's resurgence in recent weeks. Combine that with Spurs' tendency to shoot themselves in the foot and we could have a close match. However, we here at Sports Mole can see the hosts coming out on top with a 2-1 win.
12.34pmSpeaking of Fulham's resurgence, Hugo Rodallega has been integral to their survival bid during the past fortnight. The striker scored the winner at Aston Villa two weeks ago before netting the decisive goal again against Norwich City last weekend. Can the Colombian make it three games in a row today?
12.37pmJust under 10 minutes to go until kickoff and White Hart Lane is filling up nicely. The Spurs fans haven't had a great deal to cheer about this season, but they will be expecting their side to pick up the three points this afternoon.
12.40pmThe players are starting to emerge in the tunnel. Not long to go now. Younes Kaboul is captaining Spurs today, while Brede Hangeland is skippering Fulham.
1 minKICKOFF! The teams are out, the pre-match handshakes have been done, and it will be Spurs to get us underway. Today's referee is Lee Probert, who will take charge of next month's FA Cup final. Here we go!
4 minIt's been a slow and steady start to this game, though it's Fulham who have been a bit more of a threat in front of goal. One chance saw Kacaniklic scuff his shot wide of goal before Rodallega did the same soon after having ran menacingly at the Spurs defence. The visitors certainly don't look like they're going to sit back and defend.
7 minSpurs are yet to get going in this match, but there's no sense of frustration or panic at the moment. The hosts are quite happy to pass and probe their way around the Fulham defence. Spurs' first proper opening comes from Kane, whose deflected shot is easily gathered by Stockdale.
10 minThe home side are beginning to find their rhythm a bit more now, attacking Fulham with increased intent. A wonderful cross from Chadli out on the right narrowly fails to find the head of Kane, who has looked lively so far.
13 minGood work again by Kane, who makes a good run down the left before punching a cross into the middle. However, Stockdale is there to collect the ball before a Spurs player can get to it. Felix Magath is muttering to himself in the dugout. The German can't be too unhappy with what he's seen so far. Spurs are on top right now, but Fulham are putting up a fight.
15 minGood opening for Fulham there as Kacaniklic's floated cross almost finds the head of Sidwell. The midfielder jumped as high as he could with Kaboul in attendance, only to miss the ball by a matter of inches.
17 minCHANCES! Big opportunity for Spurs! Fulham fail to clear Eriksen's corner, allowing Kaboul to direct his header towards goal from about six yards. However, the defender can only nod over. The visitors then go up the other end, but Rodallega's flick is pushed away by the onrushing Lloris.
20 minThe hosts have really been lifted by that Kaboul chance. They're playing with a lot more energy now, whereas before they looked sluggish at times. It's still not the kind of dazzling attacking football that we know they can play, but it's certainly their best phase of the match so far.
24 minWHOOSH! Not a pretty volley from Lennon there as the winger blazes his left-footed effort well over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
27 minSAVE! Close for Spurs! This time it's a better volley from Lennon on the angle, but Stockdale does well to get a hand to it before Hangeland clears. The Fulham goalkeeper had to be really alert there. You get the sense that the hosts are starting to build the pressure here.
30 minIt's still Spurs who are controlling the possession, though you have to say that they've struggled in the final third. Credit must go to Fulham for staying organised and hard to break down, but the hosts aren't exactly inspiring when it comes to their attacking play.
34 minWe have the opening goal at White Hart Lane as Paulinho converts from close range. However, this is all about Eriksen's delivery. The Dane whips a ferocious free kick from the right into the heart of the Fulham box, allowing Paulinho to tap in from close range. He couldn't miss.
36 minBoom! Spurs are ahead for all of two minutes as Sidwell levels things up for Fulham. The midfielder received the ball inside the penalty area before showing great strength to shrug off a couple of defenders and calmly slot past Lloris. Tim Sherwood is fuming down on the touchline.
39 minTo be fair, Fulham probably deserve to be level. They haven't been as active as Spurs in attack, but they've been very disciplined and have not been afraid to have a go. That passage of play sums up Tottenham's season in many respects. They did well got go ahead, but a lack of concentration has seen them pegged back.
1.35pmThere are one or two boos around White Hart Lane as Lee Probert blows the half-time whistle to end what has been a frustrating opening 45 minutes from a Spurs perspective. The hosts took the lead through Paulinho, but Steve Sidwell equalised almost instantly to get Fulham level.
1.38pmIt's hard to argue against Fulham being level in this match. They've been very organised so far, making it difficult for Spurs to dominate. The visitors have also been dangerous on the counter-attack, causing their opponents a few problems at the other end of the pitch. You get the feeling that either team could go on and win this in the second half.
1.41pmOne can only imagine the kind of rollicking that Tim Sherwood is giving his players at the moment. Spurs haven't been at their best up front, and they showed a lack of concentration in the build-up to Fulham's equaliser. He's promised the fans entertaining football for the rest of the season, but Tottenham have been anything but entertaining so far.
1.46pmIt's hard to imagine Fulham settling for a point in the second half. The Cottagers would probably be happy with the draw, but they know that they are still capable of coming away from this match with the three points. If they earned the win it would be the first time this season that they have recorded three consecutive victories.
46 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! The players are back out, and it will be Fulham to kick us off for the second half. No changes for either side during the break.
47 minSpurs regain the lead just a couple of minutes into the second half as Harry Kane scores his third goal in three matches! Lennon did well down the right before floating a left-footed cross into the middle, and there was the youngster to leap above Heitinga and head past Stockdale.
50 minSAVE! What a goal that would have been for Fulham! Dejagah's cross from the left was met by the head of Rodallega, who was on the edge of the box. The Colombian's effort looked to be flying into the top corner, but Lloris was there to push the ball away. The visitors aren't giving this up easily.
53 minHis side might be leading, but Tim Sherwood continues to look agitated and unsatisfied down on the touchline. Nothing is certain with this Spurs team, and Sherwood's expression reflects that.
56 minSUBSTITUTION: Fulham make the first change of the match as Scott Parker is replaced by Giorgos Karagounis.
59 minSpurs are starting to take control of proceedings now, pushing Fulham back as they look for that all-important third goal. Fryer's glances a header towards goal following a cross from the left, but the youngster's effort drifts harmlessly wide of the post.
61 minSpurs get that all-important third goal as Younes Kaboul converts from yet another cracking delivery from Eriksen. The Dane whipped the ball in with pace from the left after Heitinga had been booked for a foul on Rose. Kaboul then guided the ball past Stockdale from close range. It's a long way back for Fulham now.
64 minThe visitors are going to need a goal very quickly indeed if they want to take anything from this match. They've given a good account of themselves this afternoon, but a couple of wonderful crosses from Eriksen have made the differenc. Still, there's time for Felix Magath's side to do something.
66 minSUBSTITUTION: A change for Spurs now as Moussa Dembele replaces Nacer Chadli. Fulham thought they should have had a few minutes ago when Kacaniklic was bundled over by Rose, but referee Lee Probert was having none of it. Could have gone either way, that one.
69 minJust over 20 minutes left to play at White Hart Lane, and there's very little to suggest that Fulham are capable of getting anything out of this match. It's all Spurs at the moment. The hosts have been far from convincing today, but that added bit of quality in the final third has seen them take control.
72 minSomething of a half-chance for Fulham as Dejagah leads a counter-attack. Despite having men in support, the midfielder decides to go for goal himself and drags his shot wide of the post by a good three or four yards.
76 minPENALTY SAVED! Fulham are given a tremendous lifeline after Eriksen's handball in the box, but Sidwell sees his penalty saved by Lloris! The midfielder's effort was fairly central, allowing the Frenchman to palm his shot away before Spurs cleared the danger. The visitors desperately needed that to go in.
78 minSUBSTITUTION: Another swap for Spurs now as goalscorer Harry Kane makes way for Robert Soldado.
81 minFulham are beginning to thrown everyone forward in search of a second goal, though that it likely to play into Spurs' hands. If anyone is going to get on the scoresheet again this afternoon then it's probably going to be the home side.
84 minSUBSTITUTION: Spurs' final change sees Andros Townsend replace Christian Eriksen. The Dane has been superb yet again for the hosts this afternoon, setting up two of his side's goal.
87 minWill Fulham look back on this match as a missed opportunity? They could well do considering their first-half display. The visitors had put themselves in a great position after the opening 45 minutes, but Harry Kane's goal early in the second half deflated them.
90 minSAVE! Nearly a second goal for Fulham as Amorebieta gets his head on a cross from the left, but his effort is expertly pushed away by Lloris. The Frenchman had to get down low to reach that. Meanwhile, there will be three minutes of added time.
2.37pmLee Probert blows the full-time whistle, bringing an end to a successful afternoon for Spurs. The hosts have beaten Fulham 3-1 to keep their slim hopes of Champions League qualification alive. Fulham are sure to be disappointed with the result considering that they went in 1-1 at the break, but they still have a good chance of avoiding the drop as we head into the final few weeks of the season.
2.40pmThat's all from our live text coverage of today's game, but don't forget that you can follow live updates from all of today's other Premier League fixtures right here. Thanks for your company, and we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye!