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Premier League

  • May 13, 2012
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 36256

Tottenham 2-0 Fulham: Spurs miss out on third despite comfortable final day win

Tottenham 2-0 Fulham: Spurs miss out on third despite comfortable final day win

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Goals from Adebayor and Defoe give Spurs an easy 3 points, but with Arsenal picking up victory at the Hawthorns, Redknapp will be sweating on the result in Munich next Saturday

Tottenham finished the season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham, but results elsewhere meant it had to settle for fourth place in the Premier League.

Emmanuel Adebayor finished low after just 94 seconds as Spurs dominated possession, and Jermain Defoe struck in the second half to put the result beyond doubt.

But Arsenal’s win at West Brom means Spurs will have an anxious wait to see if they will make next year’s Champions League, as victory for Chelsea in next Saturday’s final means fourth place would not be enough.

Looking to keep the pressure on Arsenal, the home side made the perfect start, taking the lead after 88 seconds. Luka Modric worked inside from the left to find Rafael Van der Vaart, who played a delightful through ball into the path of Adebayor, and the Togo international coolly slotted home confidently.

After the frantic opening moments, the game settled down as Spurs enjoyed the majority of the possession.  Modric looked lively on the left, making a darting run inside, and his deflected effort nearly fell to the oncoming Bale, but Mark Schwarzer did well to block the danger.

Spurs continued to push forward in the opening quarter of an hour, with Livermore striking an effort high and wide after Brede Hangeland stopped Aaron Lennon with a well-timed challenge.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium though; a tame Kyle Walker free-kick trickled wide, but there was little to speak of in the opening 25 minutes, with Fulham content to let Spurs have the ball.

There was a distinct lull as the game moved past the half hour mark, but then Spurs finally fashioned another decent chance. Lennon burst down the right and pulled back to Adebayor, who laid back for Van der Vaart to volley wide from the edge of the box.

Fulham finally tested Brad Friedel eight minutes before halftime. Jon Arne Riise drilled an effort from range which the American parried away superbly, before Moussa Dembele forced another fine save moments later with a left-footed effort which looked bound for the bottom corner.

Danny Murphy picked up a yellow card after bringing down Lennon in the first minute of the second half, conceding a free kick on the right-hand edge of the box. Modric whipped a dangerous ball in, but Aaron Hughes did well to steer the ball away.

The game reached the hour mark with little incident, until Dembele showed quick feet to work some space on the edge of the area, and drove a low effort from 20-yards which rattled the far post.

Defoe came on as a substitute for Van de Vaart as the hosts continued to enjoy possession, and he immediately made an impact. Fulham failed to clear their lines and Lennon’s deflected strike fell to Defoe, who managed to scramble the ball home from six yards and double Tottenham’s advantage.

Mahamadou Diarra hit well wide with a speculative long-range effort which summed up Fulham’s afternoon as it started to show it had nothing to play for in the match. Younes Kaboul then limped off for Spurs with fifteen minutes to go, with youngster Adam Smith replacing him as the game entered another lull.

The visitors then enjoyed a rare foray into the Spurs area, as Damien Duff drove a low ball across the box, but no one was in the danger area and Gallas was able to clear. Duff then saw an effort of his own strike the post as he blasted low from the right-hand side of the area.

Fulham were finally taking charge with just five minutes to go. Dembele struck another long-range effort which swerved late and tested Friedel, but the veteran shot-stopper was able to tip over.

Spurs saw out the remaining minutes, but Arsenal’s 3-2 win at the Hawthorns means the Lilywhites will be hoping Chelsea don’t lift the Champions League trophy next weekend.