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  • By Ben Pearce at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Dominant Spurs see off Fulham despite late scare


Tottenham Hotspur 2

Fulham 1


After the disappointment of Wednesday’s draw at West Ham, Tottenham bounced back by winning another London derby, beating Fulham 2-1 at home.


Antonio Conte’s side were dominant, registering 23 shots with 10 on target, and it took heroics from visiting goalkeeper Bernd Leno to keep the Cottagers in the game.


Goals from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Harry Kane in the 40th and 75th minutes put the Lilywhites in a deservedly commanding position.


But Aleksandar Mitrovic’s sixth goal of the season set up a tense finish, and it took a flying save from Hugo Lloris to deny Fulham’s talisman a late equaliser.


Spurs started strongly, with Kane forcing a low save from Leno after just seven minutes.


Three minutes later, Heung-Min Son had the ball in the net as his inswinging cross evaded everyone - but Kane’s attempt to get his head on the ball from an offside position, just in front of the goalkeeper, meant the goal was rightly chalked off.


The misfortune continued for Son as last season’s Golden Boot-winner sought his first strike of the 2022/23 campaign.


When the lively Richarlison beat Tosin Adarabioyo and pulled the ball back, Son’s goalbound shot was brilliantly deflected over the bar by Tim Ream.


And when the South Korean made a well-timed run in behind Fulham’s defence to reach Kane’s clever chipped pass, he struck the underside of the crossbar.

Instead, the opener came from a less-likely Spurs player - Hojbjerg.


When Spurs won the ball high up in the 40th minute, the Danish midfielder fed the ball through to Richarlison and then made his way into the box to gather a return pass and finish into the bottom left corner.


There was no let-up from the hosts after the break. Richarlison nearly earned another assist in the 50th minute as he won the ball outside Fulham’s box and delivered a low cross to Eric Dier, who shot over first-time 10 yards out.


Spurs suddenly got a scare as Mitrovic finally got a shot off, hitting Clement Lenglet and watching as his effort looped over Lloris towards the top corner - but Spurs’ captain managed to react and pull off a stunning fingertip save.


It sparked a ‘Save of the Match’ competition over the following 10 minutes, with Leno quickly adding two entries.


The German tipped Ryan Sessegnon’s low strike round the far post - denying the full-back a goal against his former club - and then stuck up a hand to stop Son’s deflected effort from beating him.


However, Leno’s resistance was finally broken in the 75th minute. Sessegnon’s low cross was blocked by Ream but fell to Son, whose shot struck Adarabioyo - and Sessegnon’s subsequent strike hit Leno and fell to Kane, who finished at close range.


It seemed to be all over and Conte immediately withdrew Kane, with a view to Wednesday’s Champions League home match against Marseille.


But in the 83rd minute, Mitrovic brought down Kenny Tete’s crossfield pass on the left side of Spurs’ box, cut inside and whipped a sublime finish into the top right corner.

Against all the odds, the Cottagers were now pushing for an equaliser - and they very nearly got it.


For the second time in the match, a deflected shot from Mitrovic looped towards the top corner - and for the second time Lloris showed his athleticism to claw the ball away.


There was more late drama as Sessegnon squared for Richarlison, who finished at point-blank range, but the Brazilian was denied his first Spurs goal after a VAR check showed Sessegnon was offside.


Tottenham continued to sweat, but the final whistle left them with three wins from their last four Premier League matches.


Tottenham: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Sessegnon; Richarlison, Kane, Son

Fulham: Leno; Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; Reed, Palhinha; De Cordova-Reid, Pereira, Kebano; Mitrovic


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