Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham: Final score 3-1, Eriksen guides Spurs past Cottagers

Clive Rose

Tottenham Hotspur gained a deserved victory against a battling Fulham side at White Hart Lane. Younes Kaboul and Paulinho scored from Christian Eriksen free-kicks and Harry Kane bagged a goal, while Steve Sidwell missed what could have been an important penalty for the visitors.

Tottenham gained a much-needed win over Fulham at White Hart Lane to gain some ground in the fight for the Europa League places and make the visitors' task of escaping relegation looking even more difficult.

Paulinho had put the hosts ahead from Christian Eriksen's free-kick before Steve Sidwell equalised just 90 seconds later, but goals from Harry Kane and Younes Kaboul put them 3-1 up in the second half before Sidwell then missed a potentially costly late penalty after Eriksen handballed.

Fulham got off to a relatively good start in the wake of their recent good form, and Sidwell showed a glimpse of things to come when he had the first chance of the game, just failing to connect with Alexander Kacaniklic's cross.

The game then continued its lively start as Younes Kaboul headed narrowly over the bar before Lloris charged out to deny Hugo Rodallega after the ball fell kindly to the former Wigan man, but the scores remained level.

Aaron Lennon could have put Spurs ahead after good work from Eriksen afterwards, striking the post after getting on the end of the Dane's cross, as both sides desperately looked to get the first goal for a much-needed win.

In the end, it was Spurs who drew first blood, predictably thanks to Eriksen, who whipped in a fine delivery for Paulinho to attack the ball and divert it into the net thanks to some slack marking from the visitors. Yet Tottenham's lead would not last two minutes - just ninety seconds later, the visitors struck an equaliser with Sidwell's eighth goal of the season. The former Villa man's runs from deep had been causing problems already and he took advantage of a mistake from Zeki Fryers to finish smartly and give his side yet more hope for survival.

After half-time, however, Spurs seemed to improve. After just a couple of minutes, a fine delivery from Aaron Lennon on his left foot helped give Kane his third goal in as many games, as the youngster glanced a fine header into the corner of the net to put Spurs in the lead again.

Fulham were continuing to battle, but their task became much harder after John Heitinga gave away a needless free-kick and yet more poor marking allowed Kaboul to turn the ball home after yet another fine delivery from Eriksen, giving Spurs hope they would get the result they needed.

Yet this, of course, is Tim Sherwood's Tottenham, and the visitors were given a huge opportunity to get back into the game later on when the excellent Eriksen came close to undoing much of his good work with a silly handball in the area. Up stepped Sidwell to take the penalty, but Lloris made a simple save after the midfielder thumped a poor effort right down the middle.

That was Fulham's big chance to put themselves back in it, but Spurs were able to carry on comfortably for the rest of the game, giving Tim Sherwood a small boost and making Felix Magath's job of engineering another 'Great Escape' all the more difficult.

Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Fryers, Rose, Lennon, Paulinho, Chadli (Dembele 67'), Eriksen (Townsend 85'), Adebayor, Kane (Soldado 79').

Goals: Paulinho (35'), Kane (48'), Kaboul (62')

Fulham: Stockdale, Heitinga (Zverotic 66'), Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riise, Dejagah, Kvist, Sidwell, Parker (Karagounis 56'), Kacaniklic, Rodallega.

Goals: Sidwell (37')

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