Winks pops up with last-gasp winner at Fulham
Fulham 1-2 Spurs
Sun 20 January 2019, 18:03|Tottenham Hotspur
Homegrown Harry was the hero with a sensational winner 10 SECONDS from time at Craven Cottage on Sunday - but not the one you'd think!
All square in the dying seconds as we probed and probed in search of a decisive second goal, substitute Georges-Kevin Nkoudou's in-swinger from the left flank was met by Harry Winks with a stooping header from five yards out to break Fulham hearts and complete our turnaround after Dele Alli had cancelled out Fernando Llorente's own goal.
We had to dig so deep against a Cottagers side fighting for their Premier League survival and Dele appeared to have secured at least a point with a sweeping header seven minutes into the second period before worryingly being forced off in the latter stages feeling his hamstring - potentially joining the likes of Harry Kane and Lucas Moura in a busy treatment room.
But as we mounted one last-gasp attack, his replacement Nkoudou curled the ball into the danger zone and Winks popped up with only his second-ever senior goal to make it 2-1 before wheeling away in delight in front of the away end. It was quite an ending to the first in a sequence of three away London derbies in as many competitions this week - and an important return to winning ways after last Sunday's setback against Manchester United. As a result, we've also broken the Club record for our highest numbers of away wins in a single Premier League season with 11.
Our biggest threat in the first half came down the left side with wing-back Danny Rose constantly scurrying forward and Jan Vertonghen - on the left of our back three - contributing with some raking deliveries in search of Llorente, one of which would have led to an equaliser mid-way through the half, only for Sergio Rico to save the big striker's header.
Christian Eriksen was also clearly trying to make up for our missing firepower with the top-scoring trio of Kane, Heung-Min Son and Lucas all absent, taking on a few shots in the early exchanges, but in truth we had Hugo Lloris to thank for ensuring we weren't more than the unfortunate one goal down at the interval. The Frenchman denied Premier League veteran Ryan Babel one-on-one on his Fulham debut five minutes before Llorente - in for his first league start of the season - accidentally turned a corner into his own net to gift the Cottagers a 17th-minute lead. Lloris later made a superb save from Andre Schurrle's fierce volley, with Aleksandar Mitrovic off-side as he turned in the rebound, while only a last-gasp intervention from Vertonghen prevented Babel from getting a shot away from six yards out. Babel also steered a header just over the bar.
It was a different story after the break as we seemed to apply more pressure on the Fulham back line. The equaliser arrived soon afterwards as Toby Alderweireld's diagonal ball was repelled to the edge of the box, Tim Ream missed his kick and Eriksen delivered the perfect cross to the back post for the arriving Dele to head home.
Rose later hit the bar with a deflected shot from the edge of the area on his right foot while Llorente guided a downward header from the England man's free-kick wide in a chance that might have proved costly until Winks' heroics. Dele went tumbling off seven minutes from time, replaced by Nkoudou for his first Premier League appearance in our colours since October, 2017, but as the clock ticked down and with the returning Eric Dier and Alderweireld up in the penalty area, the young Frenchman sent in a cross which found Winks to thump his header past the despairing Rico in the third of three added minutes.
The game was decided right at the very end, with central midfielder Winks scoring the crucial goal.
Working hard in front of our back three all afternoon, the Academy product gambled along with Alderweireld and Dier with a run into the box as we pushed forward one last time and after an inch-perfect cross from Nkoudou, he was able to plant his header past Rico from close range to completely change the complexion of the scoreline and help us secure three important Premier League points.
Mauricio Pochettino was ecstatic with the final outcome after we'd seemed set to share the spoils.
"It shows the character and the personality of the team," he told Spurs TV in the aftermath of the celebrations. "We have a lot of quality but in a stadium like Fulham's - (they're) playing for survival, always difficult - it’s an amazing thing to keep the identity with different names playing in a different formation.
"I think it’s amazing, the fight until the end. The belief was amazing and I’m so pleased - three very important points for us. To score in the final 15 seconds, the adrenaline was amazing. We enjoyed that a lot!"
Reaction on Spurs TV
Fulham 1-2 Spurs
Fulham (4-3-3): Rico, Odoi, Le Marchand, Ream, Christie, Chambers, Seri (Cisse 80), Bryan, Schurrle (Kebano 72), Mitrovic (c), Babel (R Sessegnon 55). Substitutes (not used): Bettinelli, Cairney, Ayite, Vietto.
Spurs (3-4-2-1): Lloris (c), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Trippier, Winks, Eriksen, Rose, Dele (Nkoudou 86), Lamela (Dier 78), Llorente. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Foyth, Davies, Skipp, Sterling.
Goals: Fulham - Llorente (OG) 17; Spurs - Dele 52, Winks 90+3.
Yellow cards: Fulham - Mitrovic 74, Seri 75; Spurs - Sanchez 74, Rose 79, Alderweireld 90+4.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Venue: Craven Cottage, London.
Weather: Sunny, light winds, four degrees.