Younes Kaboul made a rare appearance on the scoresheet and Harry Kane was again on target as we enjoyed a convincing 3-1 London derby win over Fulham at the Lane on Saturday.
We went ahead through Brazilian Paulinho 10 minutes before half-time, only for the Cottagers to hit back almost immediately through Steve Sidwell. But an early second half striker from Kane – his third goal in three games – and a first goal since August, 2011, from captain Kaboul wrapped up the points, while Hugo Lloris’ penalty save from Sidwell on 77 minutes kept our two-goal advantage intact.
We made just a solitary change to the side which drew 3-3 at West Bromwich Albion last weekend, young defender Zeki Fryers taking his place in the centre of defence with Vlad Chiriches dropping to the bench.
It was the visitors with a couple of early chances, Alex Kacaniklic and Hugo Rodallega both missing the target with their efforts, while Harry Kane hit a speculative 20-yard shot which deflected up off Brede Hangeland and was easy for Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale to deal with.
We had a great opportunity to break the deadlock on 18 minutes when Christian Erisken’s corner was headed up by Hangeland, Kane rose highest to nod the ball back into the danger zone but Kaboul could only head over from six yards.
And play quickly switched to the other end, with former Spur Scott Parker’s pass nicking off a defender into the path of Rodallega, but Hugo Lloris was off his line quickly to prevent the striker flicking it over him.
Aaron Lennon hit a volley well over on 25 minutes, but he was so much closer a minute later when only a magnificent save from Stockdale denied him. Eriksen’s cross was too high for Emmanuel Adebayor and was headed away by Fernando Amorebiata, but fell invitingly to Lennon who smashed a left-foot volley which was heading in until Stockdale made a fine stop to tip it onto the post and away to safety.
The opening goal came on 35 minutes and again it was Eriksen with the assist. Lennon was fouled by Ashkan Dejagah down the right, our Danish playmaker took the set-piece and whipped in a delicious cross which Paulinho poked home from close range for his seventh of the season, his first at White Hart Lane.
However within two minutes Fulham were level when Steve Sidwell attempted a one-two with Kacaniklic, Fryers intercepted but sent the ball straight into Sidwell’s path and he advanced into the area and clipped it over Lloris.
That ensured the teams went in all square at the break but it took just three minutes of the second half for us to restore our advantage and it was Kane again on target. Lennon cut in from the right past Dejagah and delivered a left-foot centre which the young striker nodded home past Stockdale, his third goal in three games.
Fulham were immediately on the front foot again though and could have equalised had it not been for Lloris. John Arne Riise sent over a cross from the left which Rodallega met with a powerful header, only for Lloris to tip over the bar with a flying save – and received a good humoured hug from the Fulham striker as a reward!
But it was us who grabbed the crucial next goal, in very similar circumstances to the opener. With 62 minutes on the clock, John Heitinga crudely upended Rose close to the byline on the left flank, Eriksen sent over another teasing cross and this time it was skipper Kaboul who stuck out a leg and the ball crashed in off his knee.
Fulham had claims for a penalty after Rose tanged with Kacaniklic inside the area, but referee Lee Probert waved away their appeals, however he did point to the spot on 77 minutes when Eriksen handled as Rodallega looked to flick the ball past him in the box. Sidwell stepped up and hit a good right-footed penalty but Lloris dived to his right and kept it out with a superb save.
Adebayor almost found substitute Roberto Soldado inside the area late on, while the Spaniard also saw an effort out wide deflect onto the top of the net and a 25-yard free-kick sail well wide, but it didn’t impact on the final result as we made it 11 goals in our last three games and another three points on the board.
Spurs: Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Fryers, Rose, Lennon, Paulinho, Chadli (Dembele 67), Eriksen (Townsend 85), Adebayor, Kane (Soldado 79). Substitutes (not used): Friedel, Chiriches, Bentaleb, Sigurdsson.
Fulham: Stockdale, Heitinga (Zverotic 66), Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riise, Kacaniklic, Kvist, Sidwell, Parker (Karagounis 56), Dejagah, Rodallega. Substitutes (not used): Stekelenburg, Kasami, Woodrow, Roberts, Bent.
Goals: Spurs – Paulinho 35, Kane 48, Kaboul 62; Fulham – Sidwell 37.
Yellows: Fulham – Heitinga.
Referee: Lee Probert