A week after a defensive blunder cost Tottenham a 1-0 loss to Manchester United, the Spurs were once again heading for disaster, this time against nineteenth placed Fulham.
With only three wins in their 23 league matches this season, Fulham has not posed much of a threat against the majority of their opponents. Sunday’s match brought out an intensity largely unseen from the club as of recent.
Within the first 15 minutes, Fulham had already earned multiple shots on target, pressing in quick counter attacks due to Tottenham’s early control of possession.
A corner from Fulham gave them their first goal when Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente met the ball with his calf at the top of the six-yard-box, sending it straight into his own goal.
The Spurs could not find their stride throughout the remainder of the first half, as Fulham continued to press numbers up, forcing Tottenham to scramble back time and time again.
Going into the second, the Spurs looked for a way to penetrate Fulham’s final third without star forward Harry Kane, who is out with an ankle injury until March.
The Spurs soon found their way in. Five minutes into the second half, Fulham defender Tim Ream missed an intended clearance at the top of the 18-yard-box, allowing the ball to bounce directly in front of Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen. The skilled Dane needed just one touch to control the ball before sending a lobbing cross to the far post where Dele Alli leapt to smash a header into the net.
Despite a continued domination of possession, Tottenham was unable to execute again, despite earning 14 shots on the day. That is, until the final 15 seconds of stoppage time.
Tottenham, fighting to remain a contender for the league title, desperately attempted to put one in during the final ten minutes of regulation time. With only 15 matches to play, every missed opportunity could be the deciding factor in the final outcome of the Spurs’ season. Still, they seemed unable to deliver the final blow.
Hope would not be lost for Tottenham. In the final attacking play of the match for the Spurs, Danny Rose sent a cross from wide out left, the curved ball spinning in front of the 6-yard-box, where Harry Winks came dashing in with his head to earn his second goal for the Spurs ever.
While a certain Harry may have had to sit the match out, another one managed to come in and equal the excitement. Tottenham take on Crystal Palace in a fourth round F.A. game on Sunday, January 27.