Harry Kane moved level with Jimmy Greaves at the top of Tottenham’s scoring charts with a moment of magic to secure a 1-0 victory over Fulham on Monday.
Kick-off was delayed by a transport issue but was then pushed back a little further when the officials got out on the pitch and realised their headsets weren’t connected, but the game did finally get underway.
It nearly got off to a screamer of a start as well as Eric Dier leathered a clearance from the centre circle which gave Bernd Leno a real scare as the ball landed on the top of the Fulham goalkeeper’s net.
Joao Palhinha and Harrison Reed pressed excellently in midfield and consistently won the ball back high, causing Spurs all sorts of problems in the opening stages. Reed could have scored 20 minutes in as he sent a volley towards goal but his effort was straight at a very grateful Hugo Lloris.
The hosts dominated the opening half an hour but Spurs slowly grew into the game in the dying embers of the first half, and Kane dragged himself level with Greaves as the club’s all-time top scorer with a glorious finish from the edge of the box to give Spurs an unlikely lead at the interval.
Kane nearly doubled his tally early in the second half but could only direct his header straight at Leno when he really should have found the back of the net.
Fulham enjoyed a lot of possession in the second half but weren’t allowed to bring the ball into dangerous areas, with Spurs’ impressive defensive shape ensuring they never really looked like losing their lead.
A long-range strike from Manor Solomon, which looked to be going wide anyway, did cause Lloris a problem late in the game but that was about as good as it got for the hosts, who were kept at arms length by Antonio Conte’s side until the full-time whistle.
GK: Bernd Leno – 6/10 – Wasn’t massively busy but could do nothing to stop Kane’s glorious goal. Made an impressive save to stop the Spurs striker early in the second half.
RB: Kenny Tete – 6/10 – Great energy down the right side and stopped Son from finding his groove during the game.
CB: Issa Diop – 7/10 – Another impressive performance from Diop, who won the battle against Kane all the way until the striker’s glorious goal.
CB: Tim Ream – 6/10 – Generally solid but got his positioning wrong for Kane’s opener.
LB: Antonee Robinson – 6/10 – Flew up and down the left wing with real energy and provided a major threat in attack.
DM: Joao Palhinha – 6/10 – Really dominant early on but picked up a yellow card in the first half which seemed to leave him scared to keep tackling. His influence faded as a result and he was lucky not to get sent off after the break.
DM: Harrison Reed – 7/10 – Involved in nearly everything positive from Fulham. His energy in the high press defined his side’s performance in the first half. Not as involved after the break and sacrificed after the hour mark.
RM: Willian – 5/10 – Buzzed around with his typical energy without ever really offering much in the final third.
AM: Andreas Pereira – 5/10 – Perhaps took a little too long in possession when he could have found Mitrovic.
LM: Bobby De Cordova-Reid – 6/10 – A huge threat down the left side in the first half. Regularly turned his defender and was always looking for a dangerous cross into the box. Couldn’t maintain that level after the break.
ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic – 5/10 – Looked a little frustrated with limited service. Not as involved as he would have wanted to be.
Tom Cairney (65′ for Reed) – 6/10 – Saw a lot of the ball after he came on but didn’t get the chance to do much with it.
Manor Solomon (80′ for Tete) – 5/10 – Didn’t offer anything different really.
Carlos Vinicius (87′ for Willian) – N/A
Harry Wilson (87′ for De Cordova-Reid) – N/A
Marco Silva – 5/10 – Set things up perfectly in midfield but couldn’t find the way to link that to attack. Spurs made a shift at the break which Silva couldn’t counter.
GK: Hugo Lloris – 6/10 – Some solid saves but nothing you wouldn’t expect from him.
CB: Cristian Romero – 7/10 – Wasn’t stretched too far by Mitrovic but did well to get in front of most of Fulham’s crosses.
CB: Eric Dier – 6/10 – Struggled in the first half but enjoyed Fulham’s transition to crosses into the box. Impressed in the air.
CB: Ben Davies – 6/10 – Too negative in the early stages but addressed his positioning at half time to make more of an impact.
RM: Emerson Royal – 7/10 – One of his best performances in a Spurs shirt. A real presence at both ends of the field, constantly looking to cause problems for the Fulham defence.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 5/10 – Didn’t enjoy his battle with Palhinha and Reed. Needs to step up soon before Pape Matar Sarr makes a real claim for his place in the team.
CM: Rodrigo Bentancur – 6/10 – Some excellent moments and some really disappointing ones. Sums up Tottenham at the minute, really.
LM: Ivan Perisic – 5/10 – Really off it here. Seemingly gave all his talent to Emerson for this one.
AM: Dejan Kulusevski – 6/10 – Some disappointing moves in the first half but a tactical switch after the break saw the Swede get more involved. Nice link-up play with Emerson.
AM: Son Heung-min – 4/10 – A little fortunate to avoid a red card in the first half of what was another quiet performance from Son. Did get the assist for Kane’s opener but it was just a pretty basic pass.
ST: Harry Kane – 6/10 – Barely had a kick before his gorgeous goal, after which he went back to struggling to get involved.
Richarlison (76′ for Son) – 6/10 – Still dealing with limited minutes as he works on his fitness.
Yves Bissouma (90′ for Kulusevski) – N/A
Antonio Conte – 7/10 – Took a little while to figure out how to counter Fulham but figured it out eventually. A tactical tweak at half time, bringing Son and Kulusevski narrower, shifted things in Spurs’ favour.