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Report: Fulham 0-2 Spurs

Posted on 24 March 2002  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

The general consensus after Monday's defeat against Charlton - our fourth without a goal - was that any goal would do to end this difficult spell. One off the thigh, one off the backside, one off the opposition, it wouldn't matter.

Well, lady luck finally arrived at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

With 26 minutes on the clock of a keenly-contested encounter, Christian Ziege's free-kick, aiming at the far post, deflected off Fulham's defensive wall straight onto Teddy Sheringham's forehead and past the motionless Edwin Van der Sar.

With so many injuries around it would apt to say it was just what the doctor ordered.

The confidence zapped in recent weeks soon returned, the ball zipped around and one soon became two as, just three minutes later, Gus Poyet slid home his 13th of the season after Van der Sar parried away Ziege's piledriver.

Until then, play in our latest London derby had generally been confined to the middle of the park.

The chances created were far from clear-cut. Iversen headed over Poyet's fifth-minute cross, Steed Malbranque and Louis Saha fired wide and it wasn't until the 26th minute that either keeper was tested as Van der Sar clawed out Iversen's volley.

The goals certainly upped the ante but Fulham failed to break us down until the injury time when Malbranque released Marlet who stood up a delightful cross from the byline only for Hayles to head wide at the far post.

The second half was only a minute old when we carved out the best chance of the match. Iversen timed his run to perfection to meet King's pass but, in acres of space, opted to shoot early - and wide.

Fulham hit back straight away as Marlet controlled Finnan's long pass and lobbed a lovely ball into the danger area, Hayles was tackled only for Malbranque to fire the loose ball over from close range.

The home side's best spell followed but everything was repelled by a defensive unit throwing itself at everything. Marlet's header in the 66th minute hit Sheringham and the same player somehow managed to hit the post with the goal gaping five minutes later.

Fulham heads appeared to drop after that and we finished the stronger.

Iversen shrugged off Goma and crossed for Davies but the subtitute headed wide from eight yards with what was his first touch. Goma's knee then denied Sheringham a tap in from a trademark Ziege cross.

Sullivan had to be at his best to palm away a late Saha volley but apart from that, the game tailed off quietly.