Fulham felled by trio
Spurs 3-1 Fulham
Sat 18 August 2018, 17:01|Tottenham Hotspur
Stunning strikes from Lucas Moura and Kieran Trippier coupled with an August goal in the Premier League for Harry Kane helped us to victory against Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
As we returned to Wembley Stadium for home games at the start of the 2018/19 campaign, we continued our perfect start to the season but were made to work hard for the points by the newly-promoted Cottagers.
Lucas fired us ahead just before the interval with a curling effort from the edge of the area, but Fulham levelled through Aleksandar Mitrovic on 52 minutes.
However, Trippier reproduced his free-kick exploits for England at the World Cup with another magnificent effort to put us back in front in the 74th minute, while Kane scored his first top-flight goal during the month of August on his 15th attempt just three minutes later to wrap up the points.
We certainly made an enterprising start to the contest, Lucas heading wide on six minutes, Kane having penalty claims waved away after a coming together with Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the box before Christian Eriksen hit a 20-yard drive wide.
But the first real save of the game was made by Hugo Lloris following a rare Fulham attack, the World Cup winner getting down low to push away Tom Cairney’s 25 yard drive.
At the other end, Eriksen drove a low free-kick which Fabri saved well to his left on 34 minutes, although again it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock five minutes later. Jean Michael Seri clipped a ball over the top, Ryan Sessegnon controlled inside the area, but as he turned to shoot, Lloris was already on top of him and smothered the shot.
The opening goal came on 43 minutes and it was a beauty. It was no surprise that it was created down our right flank as we’d had plenty of joy down there all half, Trippier’s clever pass finding Eriksen on the byline. The Dane’s cut-back was cleared by Calum Chambers, but only as far as Lucas who strode onto the ball and magnificently curled it past Fabri.
The second half opened with Fulham on the front foot and they so nearly drew level on 47 minutes when Mitrovic hit a low shot which stuck the foot of the far post with Lloris beaten. Fabri then kept out Dele Alli’s volley before the visitors did equalise. Joe Bryan’s deep cross was missed by Mitrovic inside the six yard box but found Sessegnon at the back post, his miscued shot somehow finding Mitrovic – still on the ground – who lifted his head and nodded home.
It meant we had to start again in search of maximum points and we immediately had Fulham on the defensive again, with the introduction of Mousa Dembele for Davinson Sanchez giving us a lift in midfield.
Dele had a shot cleared off the line and Kane side-footed a volley against the crossbar from Eric Dier’s superb cross before we regained the lead on 74 minutes with a majestic free-kick from Trippier, curling his 30-yard effort past the despairing dive of Fabri.
And within three minutes, we’d added another. Substitute Erik Lamela drove right through the heart of the Fulham defence before laying the ball off to Kane, who turned inside Chambers and tucked a shot into the far corner.
We were able to play with more freedom at this stage and Fabri was called upon to deny Lamela and Kane, while Dele almost added a fourth in stoppage time.
Without doubt, Trippier’s stunning free-kick stood out in the match and it came just at the right time.
Having been pegged back by Mitrovic’s second-half goal, we were starting to run out of time despite dominating after the setback of the equaliser. But when Dele was fouled 30 yards from goal and Trippier stepped up, thoughts turned back to the World Cup semi-final and his strike against Croatia.
Sure enough, the full-back produced a sumptuous effort to restore our advantage and give us the platform to go on and win the game, Kane adding our third just minutes later against a deflated Fulham.
"I'm absolutely delighted!" smiled 'Trips' afterwards. "Me and Chris (Eriksen) were speaking before the free-kick and I felt confident.
"It was an important time to score because Fulham are a very good side, but that goal just killed them off a little bit.
"It was a great three points for us."
Mauricio Pochettino concurred with those last sentiments, adding: "It was an important victory. Winning games at home is so important and six points out of six this season is also important.
"I congratulate the players for an amazing performance. I'm very happy."
Spurs 3-1 Fulham
Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Alderweireld, Sanchez (Dembele 63), Vertonghen, Trippier, Dier (Lamela 73), Eriksen, Davies, Dele, Kane (Winks 88), Lucas. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Aurier, Rose, Sissoko.
Fulham (4-3-3): Fabri, Fosu-Mensah, Chambers, Le Marchand, Bryan (Christie 85), Anguissa, Cairney (c, Johansen 73), Seri, Kamara (Schurrle 88), Mitrovic, Sessegnon. Substitutes (not used): Rico, McDonald, Kebano, Vietto.
Reaction on Spurs TV
Goals: Spurs – Lucas 43, Trippier 74, Kane 77; Fulham – Mitrovic 52.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Venue: Wembley Stadium.
Weather: Cloudy but mild, 18 degrees.