Win sees Spurs move into fifth in Premier League whilst Fulham drop to within one point of relegation zone as spirited Cottagers' fall short in coming back from deficit
Spurs wasted no time in getting their noses in front as a speedy run on the right from full-back Kyle Walker stretched the Fulham defence. The 21-year-old’s pass to Aaron Lennon was smashed to the far post until Mark Schwarzer deflected the ball wide to his right. The danger was still present as Bale put the ball back into the area only for Baird to slide the ball into his own net.
With the visitors in the lead, Fulham had to make the play, and an unexpected figure in the form of Emmanuel Adebayor came to the rescue for Tottenham. From a free-kick on the right, the striker made a couple of headers to help out his defenders and maintain the advantage.
Bobby Zamora had an opportunity to get his side back into the game shortly before half-time, but his free-kick from the left of the Tottenham box sailed high over the bar.
A marvellous moment of teamwork between the trio of Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Bale and Lennon produced the second goal for Tottenham in the stoppage time of the first half. The three moved the ball with ease with quick passing and crisp running, which sprung the winger to slide in the second goal of the game.
Whatever Martin Jol told his side in the dressing at half time certainly did the trick as the home side came flying out of the blocks and showed real purpose and energy, which Tottenham struggled to cope with. Shots were flying in for Fulham, with Duff and Zamora both testing the defence.
This sustained pressure paid off from a corner, when a Ledley King header ricocheted off the back of Younes Kaboul and beyond Friedel, with the big defender knowing little about it.
The openings kept coming for the hosts and Baird nearly made amends for his involvement in the first goal with a smashed effort at goal which required Freidel to pull off another classy save.
Clint Dempsey would have been kicking himself after 74 minutes as he broke through the middle of the defence and bore down on goal only to see his shot knocked wide by King whose slide was a crucial intervention.
The final moments of the game summed up Fulham's afternoon perfectly. Two goal line scrambles in quick succesion kept everyone on the edge of their seats, but brilliant concentration for Friedel and a huge slice of luck kept the Cottagers out.
And, as to twist the knife, Tottenham's next attack killed the game with Defoe volleying in from a cross to give the visitors all three points.
Fulham would take great pride from their second half display but questions would be asked why it took until they were two goals down until the started to play.