Fulham made a scintillating start to Wednesday night’s FA Cup Quarter-Final and produced a rampant first half performance that earned Roy Hodgson’s side a well-earned lead through Bobby Zamora after 17 minutes.
From the first whistle it was end-to-end action at the Lane but it was the Team from SW6 that produced the most effective attacking football during the first half.
Danny Murphy fired in the first shot of the game after four minutes of play. After good work in possession between Davies and Etuhu down the left flank, Konchesky skipped inside his marker before delivering a cross into Zamora. The striker’s knock down fell to Murphy, whose deflected drive from 25 yards forced Gomes to make the save.
Fulham really found their rhythm following Murphy’s effort, penetrating deep into the Tottenham half with some high tempo attacking play. Defensively, the Whites pressed hard and allowed Spurs no time whatsoever on the ball.
Well aware of Tottenham’s attacking threat from out wide, having faced Harry Redknapp’s side three times already this season prior to Wednesday night’s game, Kelly and Konchesky managed the threat of Bale and Kranjcar superbly.
After seven minutes play Palacios almost handed Spurs an early advantage when he fired a scintillating 25-yard left-footed drive across goal from the left flank. Fortunately the ball fizzed just wide of Schwarzer’s far post.
Three minutes later, at the other end, Gomes produced an outstanding save to deny Simon Davies’ 25-yard effort. However Fulham were not to be denied after 17 minutes, when the Whites took the lead through Bobby Zamora.
On the counter attack Damien Duff’s pass from midway inside Tottenham’s half cut through the home side’s defence, and without hesitation, Zamora passed the ball wide of Gomes’s save and into the far corner of the net.
It took the home side almost 25 minutes to fashion their next attempt on goal following Palacios’ effort early on. Gudjohnsen’s back-heel from six yards forced Schwarzer into an impressive close range save. Tottenham looked to move their game up a gear but Fulham’s well-organised defence swiftly nullified any attacking momentum.
As half-time approached Fulham looked to deliver a telling blow and Hangeland and Zamora both went close with headed efforts from six yards out. Fulham had the advantage at the break and more than deserved their lead.
Harry Redknapp produced a more attack-minded line-up for the second half with Huddlestone and Bentley replacing Assou-Ekotto and Kranjcar respectively.
Spurs immediately went on the offensive and Kelly was booked within the first minute for a foul on Bale down the left flank. From the resulting set piece Bentley raced in and the deftest of touches from close range took the ball past Schwarzer to bring Spurs level.
Tottenham were back in the game with barely a minute gone and in the 48th minute Bale delivered a vicious volley from 30 yards which flew just over Schwarzer’s cross bar.
The home side's bright start to the second half was almost brought to a shuddering halt when Davies produced a fine turn and strike that forced Gomes into a near post save.
After 52 minutes Bentley's right-footed free-kick from the left flank forced Schwarzer into a low dive. Seconds later Corluka was forced to retire from the contest through injury and Harry Redknapp brought on Pavlyuchenko, with Gudjohnsen slipping into midfield.
Just before the hour mark substitute Pavlyuchenko earned Spurs the lead with a far post volley. The opportunity came courtesy of Bentley’s cross from the right flank and the striker’s drive from close range gave Schwarzer no chance.
Tottenham’s substitutes had delivered a heavy blow to Fulham’s FA Cup hopes and the home side's lead was increased to 3-1 after 65 minutes when Gudjohnsen stabbed the ball home from close range.
With a two-goal deficit to recover and 21 minutes remaining of Wednesday’s FA Cup tie, Roy Hodgson introduced Clint Dempsey to the fray. Simon Davies moved to right back with Dempsey taking up position on the left flank.
Sixty seconds after Dempsey’s introduction Gomes produced the save of the match to deny Duff, whose shot from 18 yards looked destined for the back of the net.
With fourteen minutes remaining Hodgson introduced striker Stefano Okaka for Bobby Zamora. The Whites continued to probe down the flanks and fired in shots from distance but Tottenham’s lead was looking secure during the final stages of the game.
Ten minutes remained on the clock when Duff fired agonisingly wide of Gomes’ near post from the right hand side of the area. Seconds later Gera ghosted his marker and fired across goal. Yet again Gomes was positioned well to produce a comfortable save.
Tottenham closed ranks and protected their 3-1 lead to the final whistle. After a stunning first half display Fulham were beaten by some clinical finishing in the second half.
Fulham return to Barclays Premier League action on Saturday when they take on Hull City before entertaining Wolfsburg at the Cottage in the UEFA Europa League next week.
Read more: http://web.archive.org/web/20100327083007/http://www.fulhamfc.com/MatchAndTeam/MatchCentre/Matches/0910/FACup/TottenhamAwayReplay.aspx#ixzz2Xu4cWLzi