Report: Spurs 0-3 Fulham
English Barclays Premiership
Fulham produced a classic away performance to leave us crestfallen at the Lane on Saturday.
Hopes were so high after the results against Leeds and Liverpool but it wasn't to be as Fulham, driven by the outstanding Steed Malbranque and Lee Clark in midfield and Zat Knight at the back, grabbed the lead in the first half and hit us twice on the break to put the game beyond our reach midway through the second half.
It just wasn't our day. Chances turned into near misses, Moritz Volz hit the inside of his own post and keeper Edwin Van der Sar was at his best, denying Fredi Kanoute and Rohan Ricketts one-on-one.
The first half ebbed and flowed but ended in frustration as Fulham edged ahead and defendly solidly.
Van der Sar was out quickly to divert the first chance wide as Kanoute latched onto Ricketts' clever pass.
Fulham, always ready to break, gave a warning after 16 minutes as Malbranque's shot was deflected straight at Keller but after Mauricio Taricco shot just wide, the visitors grabbed the lead.
Barry Hayles and Dean Richards chased a long ball over the top, Richards slipped and Hayles composed himself on the right edge of the area before shooting low into the opposite corner.
Chances followed for both sides. Steve Carr curled just wide, Ricketts did well to lunge in as Clark prepared to shoot and Ledley King's volley from Carr's corner went straight at Van der Sar - anywhere else and it would have nestled in the back of the net.
Kasey Keller had to be at his best to flick Hayles' clever chip over at full stretch and at the other end, Simon Davies fed Kanoute but the ball stuck under his feet before he dragged his shot wide.
With Zamora on for King at half-time and Glenn Hoddle switching to three up front, the script was written for a storming comeback - Fulham didn't read it.
Early pressure saw a towering header under the crossbar from Knight to deny Zamora and Postiga after Kanoute's chip and a combination of Volz and Postiga diverted the ball onto the foot of the post with Van der Sar stranded.
Postiga and Anderton had efforts but then the sucker punch. With 66 minutes on the clock, Hayles broke onto a ball over the top, got the better of Richards, raced into the box and lashed the ball past a helpless Keller.
And if that was the sucker punch, the knockout blow followed four minutes later.
It was another goal on the counter attack as the outstanding Malbranque found Hayles and his low cross was diverted home by Boa Morte.
The the lads credit, they kept plugging away.
Volz did well to block a goalbound effort from Ricketts and the young midfielder was denied by Van der Sar one-on-one. Zamora giot his foot to Carr's cross but couldn't get a decent connection and Kanoute climbed well only to head Anderton's free-kick over.
MINUTE BY MINUTE
9mins: Wicked curling Carr free-kick a whisker away from King and Richards.
13mins: SAVE. Ricketts skipped away from Inamoto, fed Kanoute, left side, Van der Sar out like lightning to block.
16mins: Quick Fulham break, Hayles into Malbranque, early shot deflected but Keller right behind it.
19mins: Davies laid ball square for Taricco to hammer shot a yard wide.
23mins: GOAL. Hayles took advantage of Richards' slip, controlled, drilled left-foot shot into bottom corner. 0-1.
29mins: YELLOW. Inamoto for tugging back Taricco.
29mins: Carr curler from free-kick a yard wide.
33mins: Decent Fulham move ended with Legwinski's pull back to Clark, key tackle from Ricketts deflected it over.
34mins: YELLOW. Volz for foul on Taricco.
36mins: King volley from Carr's corner straight at Van der Sar - anywhere else and it was a goal.
37mins: SAVE. Volz break down the right, squared to Hayles on edge of box, dinky chip fingertipped over the bar by Keller.
39mins: CHANCE. Davies fed Kanoute into the box, ball slightly under his feet, dragged shot wide under pressure from Knight.
Half-time: Spurs 0-1 Fulham
Half-time: Zamora for King.
48mins: Clark shot low across goal, always going wide.
50mins: CLOSE. Kanoute flicked ball over Van der Sar, Knight giant leap above Zamora and Postiga to head away under crossbar.
58mins: SUB. Anderton for Davies.
60mins: WOODWORK. Richards won Anderton's free-kick, Volz and Postiga met second ball together - hit inside of post and bounced to safety.
62mins: Postiga blazed over after good work from Zamora.
65mins: Anderton drilled left-foot shot wide from 22 yards.
66mins: GOAL. Richards should have done better 50-50 with Hayles, striker broke away into the box and lashed home from 15 yards. 0-2.
70mins: GOAL. Malbranque fed Hayles down right flank, low cross converted by Boa Morte rushing in from opposite side. 0-3.
75mins: Saha cross to Clark who scuffed shot wide from eight yards.
77mins: Zamora and Richards won high ball, fell to Ricketts, quick feet worked a yard of space but Volz over to block.
80mins: SAVE. Van der Sar great save as Ricketts broke through one-on-one.
84mins: Zamora did well to get beyond Volz and onto Carr's cross but couldn't get strong enough connection.
86mins: Kanoute towering header to meet Anderton's free-kick but couldn't keep it on target.
Line-ups: Spurs: Keller, Carr, Taricco, Gardner, King (Zamora, 45), Richards, Redknapp, Ricketts, Davies (Anderton, 58), Postiga, Kanoute. Subs: Burch, Bunjevcevic, Marney.
Fulham: Van der Sar, Volz, Legwinski, Inamoto, Clark, Boa More, Malbranque, Hayles (Saha, 71), Knight, Bonnissel, Goma. Subs: Crossley, Sava, Leacock, Buari.