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Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Fulham: Ivan Cavaleiro earns a point for Premier League strugglers


Fulham celebrate equaliser
Ivan Cavaleiro’s equaliser against Tottenham was just his second goal of the season

Ivan Cavaleiro scored a late header to earn Premier League strugglers Fulham a hard-fought draw against Tottenham in their hastily rearranged London derby.

The Portuguese forward’s finish cancelled out Harry Kane’s first-half diving header and came just minutes after Son Heung-min hit the post in search of Spurs’ second.

Cavaleiro sealed a remarkable turnaround for a side whose manager Scott Parker said it was “scandalous” to be given just two days’ notice to face Jose Mourinho’s men after Spurs’ game at Aston Villa was postponed because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the Villa camp.

Tottenham boss Mourinho had little sympathy for the visitors as the derby itself was a rearranged fixture, having been called off three hours before kick-off when originally scheduled on 30 December.

For all the complications surrounding the fixture, the intensity from two sides at opposite ends of the table was high at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Fulham’s fifth successive league draw a valuable point in their efforts to escape the relegation zone.

Fulham extend resolute run

Fulham made a bright start and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s fierce shot to test Hugo Lloris was a warning of what was to come from a side who remain 18th despite the draw.

The excellent Alphonse Areola twice denied Son in the first 45 minutes, first blocking a toe-poked effort before palming a header away.

Areola could do nothing, however, to deny Kane the opener in the 25th minute, with the striker beating the Frenchman with a thumping diving header from an excellently-placed Sergio Reguilon cross.

Kane was off target with another header and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kenny Tete threatened to respond for the visitors, who had the woodwork to thank for denying Son in the second half after the South Korean scuffed a shot past Areola.

Substitute Ademola Lookman was instrumental following his introduction, creating the equaliser for Cavaleiro seven minutes after coming off the bench.

The powerful finish extended Fulham’s unbeaten run to five league matches, which is their longest such sequence in the top flight in three Premier League campaigns since 2012-13.

This latest draw highlights just how resolute Parker’s men have become after a slow start to the campaign, in which they collected just one point from their first six matches.

Spurs punished for reliance on Kane and Son

While the Cottagers may be in the relegation places and had lost a record 13 successive top-flight matches to London rivals, they presented a significantly sterner test of Mourinho’s men than non-league side Marine – a team made up of NHS workers, teachers and a refuse collector – which Spurs cruised past in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

The prolific pair of Kane and Son, a duo that has now scored 23 of Tottenham’s 30 league goals this term, were among 10 to return to Spurs’ starting line-up.

Son was an unused substitute on their trip to Crosby but Kane, along with Lloris, Eric Dier, Serge Aurier and Harry Winks came back from being rested.

While Kane was clinical with the nodded finish, he reacted in frustration as he flicked another header off target.

That miss, as well as the wastefulness of Reguilon – who sent an early effort over – and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s tame strike, ensured Fulham were still in it at half-time.

Moussa Sissoko also dithered in the box when an early second-half chance presented itself, allowing Tosin Adarabioyo to superbly block.

Son’s effort off the post, and their reliance on him and Kane for goals, ultimately proved costly as Cavaleiro ended the hosts’ run of three clean sheets in January.

And while Reguilon did have the ball in the back of the net again for Tottenham in the final minute, it was immediately disallowed for offside as Spurs missed the chance to move up to third in the table.

‘Some players had one day’s training’ – what the managers said

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho, speaking to BBC Sport: “In the first half Alphonse Areola made some impossible saves, a couple of others in the second, too.

“We have to kill a game and we didn’t – but you have to keep a clean sheet, not make mistakes, so it was a very avoidable goal. The markers are there, there wasn’t even an advantage in terms of numbers.

“Fulham were intelligent enough to understand the way they play, they change, they become more defensive and they are getting results. I thought they were a bit lucky but they were good.

“We have bad results and we should – and we could have – avoided these results.”

Fulham boss Scott Parker, speaking to BBC Sport: “I’m very proud of this team for what we’ve been through. There’s a lot of talk around – everyone assumes about what happened. I know what we’ve been through the last two weeks.

“We had players out there today who had one day’s training. What pleased me most was a desire and a passion and a real quality at times tonight.

“There’s a real determination and hard work from this group of players. They’ve never shied away from anything.”

On Monday’s announcement of the game with Tottenham: “We were told, in the end, at 9:30. It was put to me on Saturday, if there was a possibility, but I just batted it off thinking ‘no chance’.

“This game was supposed to be scheduled 16 days ago – for 10 days some of these boys were locked up in their houses. I was surprised but it wasn’t in terms of preparing for this game, we’ve prepared in two days for a game before, it was more just getting told of the consequences that you face.”

Best of the stats

  • Tottenham and Fulham played out their first draw in the Premier League since December 2009, with Spurs winning 10 of the last 11 encounters (L1).
  • Tottenham are unbeaten in their last eight London derbies in the Premier League (W3 D5), they’ve never gone longer without defeat against sides from the capital in the competition.
  • Fulham have drawn five consecutive Premier League games, their longest such run since January 2007 (six games).
  • Fulham have gained five points in their last four Premier League away games (W1 D2 L1), more than they collected in their previous 13 on the road in the competition (W1 D1 L11).
  • Only Brighton (12) and Sheffield United (11) have dropped more points from winning positions than Spurs (10) in the Premier League this season.
  • Tottenham’s Harry Kane has become just the third player to score 25 Premier League goals with his head (25), his right foot (94) and his left foot (34) – after Robbie Fowler and Andy Cole.
  • Ademola Lookman has been directly involved in five goals (two goals, three assists) in the Premier League this season, more than any other Fulham player.

What’s next?

Tottenham travel to Bramall Lane on Sunday (14:05 GMT) to face the Premier League’s bottom side Sheffield United, who on Tuesday earned their first top-flight win of the season.

Fulham face Chelsea in another derby, hosting their west London rivals on Saturday (17:30 GMT).

Player of the match

AreolaAlphonse Areola

Line-ups

Tottenham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 24Aurier
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 15Dier
  • 3Reguilón
  • 5HøjbjergBooked at 64mins
  • 8WinksSubstituted forLamelaat 75′minutes
  • 17Sissoko
  • 28NdombeleSubstituted forAlves Moraisat 81′minutes
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 10Kane

Substitutes

  • 2Doherty
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 9Bale
  • 11Lamela
  • 12Hart
  • 20Alli
  • 27Lucas Moura
  • 33Davies
  • 45Alves Morais

Fulham

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Areola
  • 34Aina
  • 5AndersenBooked at 90mins
  • 16Adarabioyo
  • 2TeteSubstituted forLookmanat 67′minutes
  • 21Reed
  • 29Zambo AnguissaBooked at 18mins
  • 33Robinson
  • 14De Cordova-Reid
  • 15Loftus-CheekSubstituted forOnomahat 90+1′minutes
  • 17CavaleiroSubstituted forKamaraat 86′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Hector
  • 7Kebano
  • 12Rodák
  • 13Ream
  • 19Lookman
  • 23Bryan
  • 25Onomah
  • 30Kongolo
  • 47Kamara

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