at Spurs now.
Last year it was Spurs couldn’t win at Wembley, when that was put to bed all was left was Harry Kane being unable to score in August. He did so at Wembley in the victory over Fulham.
Of course it didn’t look like Harry would actually get off his August schneid early in the game. While Spurs dominated early, he was stumbling about a bit and not played in with a decent ball, as if he was playing for England.
He should have had the chance from the penalty spot when he went down after having his foot trod on in the area and earlier he had the ball in the back of the net but Moura had been penalised earlier for a challenge on the Fulham keeper, lunging in after a heavy touch when through on goal, the chance was all his own after intercepting the ball, not his only fluffed moment of the first half.
The Brazilian should have opened the scoring earlier, when he sent a free header, from Davies’ cross from the byline, wide of the open net. A poor miss but he was playing better than the first game of the season, without the hindrance of Sissoko in the team everyone was better. Everything was better. Moura made up for that miss just before the break when he curled in an excellent goal. The ball had been chipped into the area by Trippier for Eriksen, after his cross was blocked the ball was heading out of the are when Moura ran in and curled it in off the far post.
Fulham had some moments during the half, Hugo’s speed off the line coming in useful. The second half started the other way round, with Fulham on top. They were getting behind the back three, in that gap between the wide centre-back and the wingback. It was the best defence that Poch could send out, with Alderweireld back in the fold alongside Sanchez and Vertonghen. Trippier back on the right, with Davies on the left.
It wasn’t long after the start of the second half that Fulham equalised, they’d already hit the woodwork, a cross from the right went right across the face of the Spurs’ goal, met by Sessegnon, his scuffed attempt went back across the face of goal, where Mitrovic was on the flor, he lifted himself to nod in their first goal of the season.
Things really were equal. Spurs had lost their dominance but it returned with a change of personnel and formation. Off came Sanchez, on came Dembele, back to a back four with more control in the middle of the park. Dier was then withdrawn for Lamela.
The lead was then retaken. Moura again instrumental winning the ball in the middle of the park, a charge by Harry and then Dele was fouled. Eriksen thought it was his, Trippier had other ideas and after scoring Spurs’ first goal direct from a free-kick since 2015 it could be the end of Eriksen being first and only choice. It was a hell of a free-kick, up there with his one in the World Cup semi-final.
It wasn’t long until the victory was sealed with Harry’s first league goal in August. He could have had it earlier with a shot off the bar, from Dier’s cross. He looked sharper getting on the end of that. It started with Demeble fighting near his own area, ball was lost but regained, then Lamela set off on a charge through a group of Fulham players before playing it to Kane, inside the box he cut back onto his right and curled it inside the far post.
What will they use to try and demean Harry now that record has gone?
For once the changes by Pochettino weren’t head scratchers, the right players were removed and the right ones introduced, they looked good on paper and on the field, changing the course of the game with the formation change. Excellent work by the manager. The players looked harper than a week ago, this of course is helped by the lack of Sissoko. With Dembele, Lamela and Winks – who also came off the bench – available now and then Son to return, there’s no need for the hindrance to return.
And now Harry’s off…