Five things we learned from Fulham 1-1 (5-3p) Tottenham

Fulham were victorious on penalties as Spurs slumped to a defeat at Craven Cottage and dumped out of the Carabao Cup. Here are five things we learned from the game.

Spurs’ trophy hunt narrows down

Given Spurs aren’t in a European competition this season, the domestic cups were one to take seriously for Ange Postecoglou. Despite making nine changes, the starting eleven looked strong enough to compete, but arguably it took Fulham briefly going down to ten men for Spurs to score. Tottenham started to threaten more when they brought on the likes of Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski and James Maddison.

Now that an early exit for Tottenham has been confirmed, they now only rely on the FA Cup and the Premier League for silverware this season. Not an ideal situation to be in a month into a new season.

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Penalty woes for Spurs

Tottenham’s 5-3 penalty shoot-out loss was down to just one error. A weak penalty from centre-back Davidson Sanchez ended up costing Spurs’ place in the Carabao Cup. His tame effort was a comfortable save for Fulham keeper Marek Rodak. Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski and James Maddison all successfully converted from the spot, but Fulham scored all five to prove Sanchez’s miss a costly one. An entertaining game which was decided by a narrow penalty shoot-out defeat for Tottenham, a disappointing evening in West London for Ange Postecoglou.

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Spurs’ shaky start

Fulham flew out the blocks and it was apparent Spurs weren’t adjusting to the host’s high press. Fulham were beating Spurs to every second ball, turning the ball over and using the flanks to their advantage. The pace of Antonee Robinson and Adama Traore was too much for Ben Davies and Emerson Royal. The first 25 minutes were dominated by Fulham. Midfield duo Harrsion Reed and Joao Palhinha in particular were snapping at Spurs’ heels, and made this an uncomfortable evening for Ange Postecoglou’s men from the off. Spurs’ first shot of the game came in the 36th minute.

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Tete’s boot malfunction

A bizarre situation. Fulham right-back Kenny Tete appeared to have one of his boots rip, making it impossible to play on and causing him to leave the field, sprint down the tunnel and get it quickly replaced. This led Fulham to be momentarily down to ten men. Tottenham took full advantage of the situation. From their first attack a man stronger, Richarlison headed in the equaliser from an Ivan Perisic cross, despite the best efforts of Tim Ream.

Not something you see everyday, a stroke of fortune for Tottenham, who at that moment needed a moment on inspiration and in an unique way, they got it. Not much Fulham could do about it, a freak moment.

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Joao Palhinha is making Fulham tick

In the absence of Joao Palhinha in Fulham’s first two Premier League games, Fulham looked under par. The Portuguese returned to the starting 11 against Arsenal and bagged a goal and earned the man of the match award. It is clear he makes a huge difference to Marco Silva’s team. He was everywhere against Spurs. Sitting at the base of midfield, he hassled, harried and tracked Tottenham’s midfield all evening.

At the age of 28, and a £90M valuation placed on him, interest in his services has subsided. This bodes well for Fulham, a player who always catches the eye, and is still proving to be a steal after signing for only £20M from Sporting Lisbon.

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