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Premier League

  • 1 January 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 35603

Tottenham 1-0 Fulham: Bale scores again as unbeaten run sends Spurs fourth

Tottenham 1-0 Fulham: Bale scores again as unbeaten run sends Spurs fourth

Harry Redknapp's men move above Chelsea with third consecutive win

Tottenham Hotspur moved back into fourth place in the Premier League with a narrow 1-0 victory over Fulham at White Hart Lane.

A Gareth Bale header was enough to see Spurs record their third win over the festive period as they extended their unbeaten run to leapfrog Chelsea.

It was the Welsh winger’s 11th goal of the season as he nodded a Rafael van der Vaart free-kick beyond Mark Schwarzer.

Spurs started the brighter and strung together several passes in the opening 10 minutes and had a chance to open the scoring when Gareth Bale crossed for Roman Pavlyuchenko, but the Russian could not get a shot away.

Fulham responded though as Johnson and Dempsey combined to play a pass through to Dickson Etuhu, but the midfielder, like Pavlyuchenko before him, failed to test Heurelho Gomes.

The visitors finally got the first shot at goal through after 20 minutes, courtesy of Clint Dempsey, but the midfielder’s effort fizzed harmlessly wide.

Tottenham were forced into a change after 26 minutes as Alan Hutton limped off to be replaced by Vedran Corluka.

Five minutes after coming on the Croatian found Lennon on the right-hand side, but his cross failed to reach Modric as Spurs players filled the Fulham box.

Tottenham had two speculative efforts before half-time as Benoit Assou-Ekotto saw a drilled effort from all of 35 yards saved by Schwarzer, who nearly parried into his own net, before Pavlyuchenko’s left-footed drive bounced safely into the Australian’s arms.

But there was nothing Schwarzer could do about Bale’s opening goal, as the Welshman rose highest to flick Van der Vaart’s curling free-kick into the net as the game approached half-time.

Bale came close to adding a second just a minute later after he raced onto a through ball, but this time Schwarzer kept his low drive out as Spurs took the lead into the interval.

Tottenham were back in the ascendancy after the break as Bale and Van der Vaart both sent low crosses across Schwarzer’s goal but did not see them converted.

Fulham nearly punished Spurs shortly after as Etuhu found Damien Duff unmarked on the right-hand side with a cross-field pass, but the winger fired the chance high and wide of Gomes' top left-hand corner.

On the up | Lennon holds off Baird as Spurs win again

Duff saw another of his shots skewed wide, this time on his left foot, but Fulham were presented with another opportunity to level when Simon Davies found Andrew Johnson and his shot was palmed across goal by Gomes, only for Dawson to get to the ball just before Dempsey and scramble it off the line.

Spurs were forced into more desperate defending as a combination of Gallas and Dawson managed to clear again as Johnson looked to shoot, with the momentum shifting in the visiting side’s favour.

Tottenham weathered the storm though, and went close to going further ahead as Corluka crossed for Bale, but the Welshman could only volley over the bar with his right foot.

Shortly after Michael Dawson met a knockdown from Peter Crouch, who had replaced Roman Pavlyuchenko, but like Bale before him could only blast over from close range.

Both sides made changes with 10 minutes remaining as Van der Vaart was replaced by Jermaine Jenas, while Zoltan Gera came on in place of Duff.

Fulham pressed for an equaliser and several times the Spurs back four blocked out chances before Lennon was presented with a golden opportunity to score a second, but his effort was deflected over when he could have squared for Crouch or Jenas.

Crouch had one more chance to get the second for Spurs, but his side footed shot was saved by Schwarzer as Tottenham recorded a rare win by a solitary goal and their second clean sheet in a row.

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