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December 1, 2012
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 25426
J. Defoe 72', 77'
Thanks for joining me at Craven Cottage today for our LIVE match commentary. I've been Michael McFarlane and it has been a pleasure doing business with you all. Have a great weekend everyone.
Spurs have Everton away next week and they will have to produce a better performance if they want to get something from that game. Fulham gifted Tottenham the victory today with poor defending but Everton will surely be more resolute. Martin Jol will be concerned at his side's fragility at the back and Fulham have some real work to do if they are to halt their slide down the table.
FULL TIME at Craven Cottage and it's Fulham 0-3 Tottneham. The scoreline doesn't tell the full story as the away side were far from fluent. However, the defending from Fulham - especially for the second and third goals - left a lot to be desired and, for that reason, they cannot complain at the result.
90' + 3'
Fulham have earned a freekick in a dangerous area... But the delivery is poor and Spurs clear. Berbatov tries a neat flick at the edge of the area but cannot fashion a chance. The Bulgarian has been impressive today but the home side haven't utilised him enough in and around the box.
There will be 4 minutes added time at the end of this Derby. Spurs are knocking the ball about at leisure and Fulham have resigned themselves to defeat.
Fulham will be looking forward to the return of Brede Hangeland. Sloppy defending in the central areas - mainly from Senderos - has cost the home side today.
Spurs are keeping hold of the ball as they looked to see the game out without suffering any other costly injuries. Their fans are in fine voice, but in the cold light of day they will be looking for better performances in the future. The scoreline is extremely flattering.
Thomas Carrol comes on for Spurs as they try to close the game up. Fulham are valiantly trying to get on the scoresheet but the venom has drifted out of their play since the third goal.
Rodallega is on for Fulham as they search for a goal. He immediately gets on the end of a Kelly cross, but his header is tame and lands safely in the hands of Lloris - who has looked very comfortable today.
Fulham are really struggling now. They seem shocked to find themselves 3-0 down. The scoreline is harsh - and Spurs have been far from impressive - but Senderos and Kelly defender very poorly for the second and third goals. If you don't keep it tight at the back against players like Defoe, you are going to be punished.
Assist Clint Dempsey
Goal Jermain Defoe
GOAL!! Defoe has a second and Spurs are 3-0 up! The result is all but settled now. Dempsey find the English striker with a brilliant, crispy through ball as the Fulham defence try - and fail miserably - to play an offside trap. Defoe races through and passes the ball into the net with the composure he is famous for.
Fulham will be disappointed with the defending for the goal. Both Kelly and Senderos should have done more to keep Sigurdsson out of the box. AVB will be delighted that his side have the two goal advantage, but he won't be pleased with the performance and the injury to Bale is sure to be a worry.
Assist Gylfi Sigurdsson
Goal Jermain Defoe
GOAL!! A second goal for Spurs and the victory is clearly in sight. Sigurdsson does brilliantly down the left flank - breaking at pace and turning Senderos inside out with some fantastic skill. He squares the ball to Defoe and the striker tucks it away with typical aplomb. Harsh on the home side, but the scoreboard doesn't lie.
Spurs are pegged right back as Fulham continue to press. This is a dangerous game from the away side - they need to get further up the pitch if they want to limit Fulham's chances.
AVB will be delighted if his side get the three points today. They have been well off the pace and they now look even more tepid, as they have naturally retreated since Bale went off injured. Nevertheless, they have that all important goal and they have something to protect for the last 20 minutes.
Duff has made a great impact. The winger finds space down the right flank after another wonderful Berbatov touch. He gets a cross in but Dejagah can only loop his header over the bar. Half chance.
Damien Duff is on for Fulham as they go in search of the equaliser. The home side have responded well to going a goal down and they currently have Spurs pegged back.
Sigurdsson replaces the injured Bale. The Icelandic attacking midfielder assumes a central position, with Dempsey moving out to the left flank.
Big chance for Spurs! Bale races through and drives the ball with power at the goal but Schwarzer does well to palm it away. Bale seems to have injured his hamstring striking the ball and he'll have to go off. It really hasn't been his day today.
Gallas is booked for arguing with the fourth official, seemingly because the Frenchman wasn't allowed to come back on the field immediately after going off for treatment.
Fulham will be annoyed that they conceded when they did. They had started the second half very brightly but now they really have their work cut out if they're going to get anything from this game.
Yellow Card William Gallas
Assist Mousa Dembele
GOAL!! Spurs break the deadlock out of nothing. Sandro hits a speculative low drive from 30 yards out and the ball sneaks into the bottom corner. Schwarzer will be very disappointed that he didn't save that. First blood to the away side.
Berbatov demonstrates wonderful close control by plucking a high ball out of the air with his toe, like it's the easiest thing in the world. Unfortunately his cross into the box has no takers. Spurs break with Defoe and tries to tee up Dempsey, but the home side clear.
Fulham are making an effort to play through the centre of the park, with Sidwell asserting more influence since the half time break.
Fulham fashion the first chance of the second half. Petric robs the sloppy Sandro and tees up Sidwell on the edge of the area, but the midfielder runs onto the ball too quickly and drags his shot wide. Straight afterwards, Dejagah races through on goal after good work from the Fulham midfield, but the winger is ruled offside. Better from the home side.
Fulham get us underway again. The home side need to get on the ball more but they will be encouraged by the lack of potency Spurs have shown so far in this game.
The teams are on their way back onto the pitch as The Clash's London Calling booms out over the tannoy. Hopefully the second half harnesses some of the energy of that wonderful song. Here's hoping...
Spurs enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half but, like Fulham, they only managed one shot on target. However, Lennon looked more inventive after he switched to the left flank. That's the key for Spurs - they need to be cuter on the ball, looking to thread balls through the centre, because they are finding no joy down the sides. Fulham need to get Berbatov on the ball more. Whenever the Bulgarian has found space, by dropping deep into the hole, he has worried Tottenham's defenders..
Half time here at Craven Cottage. Fairly tepid first period here, with both sides having their game plans ruptured by early injuries. Fulham had the best chance, with Petric forcing Lloris into a superb point-blank save but the home side managed little else. Spurs will be disappointed with their performance and they truly look devoid of ideas. Bale, especially, has been very off-colour. Work to do for the managers at the break.
45' + 2'
Spurs look to end the first half on a good note and Lennon - who has looked more dangerous since switching to the left flank - picks out Bale in the box, but the Welshman fires wide. Better from the away side.
The ball breaks to Petric at the edge of the area after some scrappy Spurs defending but the Croatian striker - who hasn't earned national recognition for two years - scoops his shot over the bar. Half chance.
Bale and Lennon have swapped flanks to try and add some venom to the Spurs attack. The pair were having little luck getting down the flanks and will now look to cut inside and attack the heart of the Fulham back line.
The Fulham corner is poor and Spurs look to break with Bale. Again, though, the away side look short of invention and the move ends with a harmless Bale strike drifting 15 yards wide of goal.
Dejagah - who has been a bright spark for Fulham - gets in down the right flank and sends in a dangerous cross. The Spurs defence manage to cut it out and Fulham earn a corner.
Spurs look a little short of ideas and there isn't much punch to this game all of a sudden. AVB will be keen to get his side in at half time and promote a more incisive approach. Vertonghen whips a cross miles into the air and out for a goal kick - summing up the away side's performance thus far.
Spurs are keeping hold of the ball, but most of their play is fairly tame - just passing it around in front of Fulham. The home side are looking dangerous on the counter but I'm sure they'd like to see more of the play.
Spurs are getting a hold on the game again. Dembele - facing his former club - is starting to dictate the play in the middle of the park.
Riether seems to have injured his knee and he's going to come off. That's a blow for the home side because he's played very well. Stephen Kelly will be his replacement.
Berbatov is finding a lot of space now, in between the Spurs midfield and defence, and he's causing real problems for the away side. Gallas looks constantly caught in two minds - not knowing whether to come out and meet the Bulgarian or hold his place in the back line.
Chance for Fulham! The game has really sprung into life now. Frei drives the ball across goal and Petric pokes the ball at goal but Lloris makes a great point-blank save! Fulham really growing into this contest now...
Bale goes down in the Fulham half and is booked for diving. The Welshman may have been clipped but he went down too easily. The winger sarcastically applauds the referee.... Dangerous move! But he gets away with it.
Berbatov find Petric with a great pass! Flicking the ball quickly with the outside of his foot and sending him through on goal! ...But the big striker is offside. Close one that...
Yellow Card Gareth Bale
Dempsey tries to find Sandro in the box with a clever chip, but the Brazilian is unable to pluck the ball out of the air and clumsily barges into Hughes. Free kick to Fulham.
Fulham are starting to cause Spurs problems down the flanks - the injury to Dawson seems to have upset the away side's tempo. Bale is looking to come deep and get on the ball the get his side going again.
William Gallas replaces the injured Michael Dawson, with the Frenchman also taking over the captaincy.
Spurs captain Michael Dawson has sat down on the turf - he seems to have picked up a hamstring injury and he'll probably have to come off. Shame for the big defender who has just managed to get back into the side.
Chance for Fulham! Against the run of play - Berbatov slides Dejagah in down the flank with a gorgeous flick and the latter fires a cross in. The ball breaks to Frei on the edge of the area but he rockets his shot into the stand. Fulham are starting to get into the game now.
Fulham are utilizing an inventive and attacking formation - as they have all season - with Berbatov sitting behind Petric, looking to pull the strings. However, Spurs have limited his involvement thus far...
Spurs continue to press and earn a freekick in a dangerous position. Bale lines it up for a shot... And skies it miles over the bar! That one might end up in the Thames...
Great chance for Spurs as Dempsey spins on the edge of the box with a lovely piece of skill, but drives his shot wide of the goal. The away side are starting to assert some dominance here...
Scrappy start to the game with Dempsey having his every touch loudly boo'd. Both teams are feeling each other out for now...
And we're off! Tottenham start us off and pass the ball around the back line. The fans are in fine voice here in the capital today.
Berbatov faces his old side and Martin Jol pits his wits against the club that sacked him 5 years ago. Dempsey returns to Craven Cottage after leaving in the summer. Tasty stuff...
The teams are out and shaking hands. Cracking atmosphere here for this London derby. The scene is set in West London and we're raring to go.
Tottenham line up: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen, Lennon, Dembele, Sandro, Bale, Defoe, Dempsey. Subs: Friedel, Gallas, Sigurdsson, Falque, Walker, Livermore, Carroll.
Fulham line up: Schwarzer, Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise, Frei, Diarra, Sidwell, Dejagah, Berbatov, Petric. Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Baird, Karagounis, Richardson, Duff, Rodallega
Good afternoon and welcome to our match updates of the clash between Fulham and Tottenham, live from Craven Cottage. I'm Michael McFarlane and I shall be your host today!
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