Wednesday 4 December 2013, 8:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Dejagah 56'
Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur
Chiriches 73'; Holtby 82'

56' Goal

Ashkan Dejagah
Assist by Dimitar Berbatov

32' Yellow Card

Pajtim Kasami Card was given for a foul

90'+1 Yellow Card

Philippe Senderos Card was given for a foul

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Steve Sidwell
Off:Giorgos Karagounis

85' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Damien Duff
Off:Alexander Kacaniklic

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bryan Ruiz
Off:Scott Parker

73' Goal

Vlad Chiriches

82' Goal

Lewis Holtby
Assist by Kyle Walker

13' Yellow Card

Etienne Capoue Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Lewis Holtby
Off:Etienne Capoue

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Nacer Chadli

78' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Andros Townsend
Off:Erik Lamela

A wonder strike from Lewis Holtby condemned Fulham to another defeat at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening.

A wonder strike from Lewis Holtby condemned Fulham to another defeat at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening.

The Whites had taken the lead when Ashkan Dejagah finished well to open his account after he’d been found by a delightful Dimitar Berbatov pass.

But Tottenham Hotspur fortuitously equalised when Vlad Chiriches’ speculative effort from long range fooled everyone, before Holtby’s scorcher from outside the box.

The result condemned Fulham to a sixth consecutive Barclays Premier League defeat, but the fact that Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris was surely man of the match is evidence that Rene Meulensteen’s men went down fighting in his debut match in charge.

Meulensteen made seven changes from the side that lost to West Ham United at the weekend, with Philippe Senderos, John Arne Riise, Dejagah, Giorgos Karagounis, Alexander Kačaniklić and Berbatov all coming in, while Sascha Riether returned having served his three-match ban.

Fulham’s desire to play a high intensity game of football was evident from the off with Dejagah and Karagounis allowing their opponents no time on the ball whatsoever. Indeed, Karagounis’ persistence paid off within two minutes when he won a free-kick down the right, but Kačaniklić was unable to find a man in white with his delivery.

Out of nothing, though, Spurs were presented with the game’s first opening when an over-hit Aaron Hughes pass was intercepted by Sandro who fed Jermain Defoe. The England striker worked a yard of space on Senderos before firing in a shot that Maarten Stekelenburg did well to beat away.

Kačaniklić then won a free-kick down the left flank on 11 minutes after being hassled too aggressively by Kyle Walker. Karagounis sent in a wicked in-swinging set-piece which was well watched by Lloris, but it’s likely that if Berbatov had made a better connection than he did, then it would have sailed beyond the Tottenham stopper and into the back of the net.

Lloris had to be alert again a minute later when Kačaniklić sent Berbatov through only for the striker’s touch to let him down, allowing the Frenchman to smother.

The momentum had definitely swung in the Whites’ favour and Karagounis drew a smart stop from Lloris at his near post having worked space for himself on the edge of the area.

It was all Fulham now and Berbatov was denied a wonderful goal against his former club midway through the first half. An inch perfect cross-field pass from Riise reached Kačaniklić down the right after the winger had stayed up having just taken a corner. He played a short pass to Pajtim Kasami whose delivery found its way to the Bulgarian who took the ball down exquisitely before acrobatically sending an effort into the far corner, but Lloris did remarkably well to tip it behind.

Paulinho then squandered a brilliant opportunity at the other end after Riether miscontrolled a long pass. The Brazil international rode two challenges to present himself with a clear sight on goal but he smashed his effort a good couple of yards over the crossbar.

Shortly after, Dejagah looked certain to score when he connected with Karagounis’ corner, only to see his header deflect just over as the game turned into a real end-to-end contest.

A route one punt up the pitch found Defoe just after the half hour mark and the striker did well to hold the ball up before playing in Erik Lamela whose low shot flew wide of Stekelenburg’s near post.

That was Lamela’s first noteworthy action of the tie but he was in the thick of it again in the 33rd minute when his vicious strike from distance took a deflection that Stekelenburg read well to palm away.

Spurs were now enjoying the better of the play and Aaron Lennon had a low strike deflect wide for a corner, from which the Whites struggled to clear their lines but were aided when Defoe was penalised for a handball.

Etienne Capoue – who had earlier been booked for a nasty challenge on Kačaniklić – stepped inside Kasami with 38 minutes on the clock, and unleashed a rising drive from 20 yards then was always missing the target.

In keeping with the topsy-turvy nature of the encounter, Fulham were next to try their luck and good play from Karagounis saw the ball worked out to Kačaniklić who had just enough space to shoot but his effort lacked precision and flew a yard over the bar.

The final chance of the half fell Paulinho’s way after good work from Walker had seen the Brazilian meet his cross with a stretching effort. Thankfully, the ball was slightly behind him and it didn’t trouble Stekelenburg who watched it bounce behind for a goal kick.

Andre Villas-Boas made a change at the interval, replacing Capoue with Holtby. Meulensteen, who will have been very satisfied with his side’s first half display, kept faith with the same XI who started the match.

Five minutes into the second period Fulham had Senderos to thank for a perfect interception in the area. Lennon’s low cross was on its way to Defoe who was shaping to shoot but the Switzerland international defender timed his tackle impeccably to avert the danger.

The visitors had come out confidently after the interval and a brave Hughes block was required to deflect Sandro’s powerful drive behind for a corner in the 53rd minute.

It didn’t take long for the Whites to fashion a chance of their own though and it was that man Berbatov again involved when he collected Riether’s low cross and smashed his shot into the side-netting.

But the opening goal arrived immediately afterwards to lift the roof off the Cottage. After Spurs gave the ball away on the halfway line, Berbatov spotted the run of Dejagah down the right and played a sumptuous pass over to him. The Iran winger took one touch before confidently finishing across Lloris, sparking mass celebration in the stands and on the pitch.

Shortly after the goal, Karagounis departed the action to a standing ovation and was replaced by Steve Sidwell in the Fulham engine room. The Greek warrior had put a real shift in against Spurs’ expensively assembled midfield. Tottenham then made their second change on 69 minutes and it was an attacking one, as Nacer Chadli came on for Sandro.

Tottenham were beginning to enjoy a lot of possession and Stekelenburg had to be on hand to turn Walker’s low cross behind for a corner. Frustratingly, an equaliser arrived in disbelieving style from the subsequent set-piece in the 73rd minute. Riise’s clearance fell to Chiriches a good 30 yards from goal and the centre-back hit a speculative effort that went through a crowd of players before nestling in the corner of the net.

The goal gave Spurs a boost and Defoe squandered a good chance three minutes later when he collected a long ball but poked over the bar. Credit, though, must go to Senderos whose attentions undoubtedly put Defoe off.

Villas-Boas then made his final change as England winger Andros Townsend entered the action in place of Lamela.

It looked for a moment as though Berbatov had restored Fulham’s lead with 10 minutes remaining when he delicately flicked Kačaniklić’s driven cross towards the near post but Lloris was there to tip behind for another corner.

But Craven Cottage was crestfallen two minutes later when a simply world class strike from Holtby left Stekelenburg with no chance. The midfielder cut inside from the right before rifling back across his body and into the far corner from 20 yards out.

It would have been three to Spurs shortly after when Paulinho flicked a header over Stekelenburg but the goalkeeper demonstrated excellent agility to get fingertips to the ball.

Damien Duff was thrown on with five minutes remaining, as Kačaniklić made way, before Scott Parker was replaced by Bryan Ruiz.

Ruiz almost netted with his first touch when he drilled in an effort from Berbatov’s knock down that Lloris did well to push behind for a corner. Replays showed just how good the save was from France’s number one.

With three minutes of time added on Fulham pushed for what would have been a deserved equaliser but it wasn’t arriving, although Kasami crashed a strike against the post in the final meaningful action of the game.

Again the Whites were left pointless, but Meulensteen will have seen many positives that he can take from his first match in charge as his side were applauded and cheered off the pitch.

Don't forget, you could win a money-can't-buy prize just by giving us your take on this match.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Wednesday 4 December 2013
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 24,128

Referee: Mark Clattenburg


Line-up: Stekelenburg; Riether, Senderos, Hughes, John Arne Riise; Dejagah, Karagounis (Sidwell 62'), Parker (Ruiz 87'), Kacaniklic (Duff 85'); Kasami; Berbatov

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Zverotic, Taarabt, Derek Boateng

Head Coach: Rene Meulensteen

Tottenham Hotspur

Line-up: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Vertonghen; Sandro (Chadli 69'), Capoue (Holtby 45'); Lamela (Townsend 78'), Paulinho, Lennon; Defoe

Unused substitutes: Friedel, Naughton, Sigurdsson, Soldado

Manager: Andre Villas-Boas

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 14 34
2 Chelsea 14 30
3 Manchester City 14 28
4 Liverpool 14 27
5 Everton 14 27
6 Tottenham Hotspur 14 24
7 Newcastle United 14 23
8 Southampton 14 22
9 Manchester United 14 22
10 Aston Villa 14 19
11 Swansea City 14 18
12 Hull City 14 17
13 West Bromwich Albion 14 15
14 Stoke City 14 14
15 Cardiff City 14 14
16 Norwich City 14 14
17 West Ham United 14 13
18 Fulham 14 10
19 Crystal Palace 14 10
20 Sunderland 14 8
Total Shots
Shots On Target
Passing Accuracy
Sending Offs
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Maarten Stekelenburg
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 4Philippe Senderos
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3John Arne Riise
  • 24Ashkan Dejagah
  • 14Giorgos Karagounis
  • 28Scott Parker
  • 11Alexander Kacaniklic
  • 8Pajtim Kasami
  • 9Dimitar Berbatov
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 22Elsad Zverotic
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 19Adel Taarabt
  • 23Derek Boateng
  • 10Bryan Ruiz
  • Rene Meulensteen
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1)
  • 25Hugo Lloris
  • 2Kyle Walker
  • 20Michael Dawson
  • 6Vlad Chiriches
  • 5Jan Vertonghen
  • 30Sandro
  • 15Etienne Capoue
  • 11Erik Lamela
  • 8Paulinho
  • 7Aaron Lennon
  • 18Jermain Defoe
  • 24Brad Friedel
  • 16Kyle Naughton
  • 14Lewis Holtby
  • 17Andros Townsend
  • 21Nacer Chadli
  • 22Gylfi Sigurdsson
  • 9Roberto Soldado
  • Andre Villas-Boas
Total shots
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
Minutes played by player
Assists from open play
Successful aerial duels
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
Pass forwards
Successful dribbles
Sum of all a players ball events
Accurate passes
Key passes
Player intercepts a pass
Goalkeeper saves
Goalkeeper catches a cross
  • Fulham 1-2 Tottenham. Dejagah's strike is overturned by Spurs with goals from Chiriches and Holtby as a much-improved Whites fall to defeat.
  • 90+3 Kasami wins the ball in a goal-mouth scramble but his strike is denied by Lloris at the death.
  • 90+1 Senderos goes in to the book after a late challenge.
  • 88 Ruiz almost makes an immediate impact with his first touch. His deflected volley is saved by Lloris full stretch dive.
  • 87 Parker leaves the pitch as the Whites final substitution with Ruiz his replacement.
  • 85 Kačaniklić is replaced by Duff as Meulensteen searches to salvage something from this game.
  • 84 Stekelenburg goes full stretch again to deny Paulinho's header and keep the Whites in the game.
  • 82 Fulham 1-2 Spurs. An excellent 25-yard drive from Holtby beats Stekelenburg high into the net.
  • 80 Kačaniklić reacts brilliantly to run free on the left and his cross finds Berbatov, who's flick skims just wide of Spurs'goal.
  • 78 Villas-Boas makes his final change as Townsend is brought on to replace Lamela.
  • 77 With Fulham's defence caught high up, Defoe is released through the centre and Senderos does just enough to put him off as the striker fires over.
  • 73 Fulham 1-1 Tottenham. The Whites clear from a corner but Chiriches hits a 35-yard volley straight into Stekelenburg's bottom corner.
  • 72 Spurs are piling on the pressure and good blocks from Riise and Hughes keep them at bay.
  • 68 Spurs switch Chadli for Sandro. Riether whips in a dangerous cross but Dawson deals with it well.
  • 67 It's been a period of consolidation for the Whites, though the chances to break are appearing and Dejagah is still causing problems.
  • 60 Karagounis leaves the pitch to a standing ovation and he will be replaced by Sidwell.
  • 57 Fulham 1-0 Spurs. Dejagah drills in his first goal for the Whites after an outstanding through ball from Berbatov puts him in on goal.
  • 56 Riether works hard to get a delivery in from the right and Berbatov swivels quickly but his shot hits the side-netting.
  • 53 Two more blocks save Fulham. First Senderos gets in the way of Defoe's back heel then Hughes throws himself at Sandro's effort as the Whites escape.
  • 51 A fantastic last-ditch tackle by Senderos denies Defoe a golden chance after good wing play from Lennon.
  • 48 Stekelenburg reacts quickly to keep the ball in play then kicks the length of the field to release Dejagah, who turns into the box but is dispossesed.
  • There is a Spurs change, Capoue is subbed for Holtby.
  • It's the same Fulham team to start the second half, with the Whites kicking at the Hammersmith End.
  • Fulham 0-0 Spurs. Karagounis, Berbatov and Dejagah have all kept visiting keeper Lloris busy while Paulinho blazed Spurs' best chance over in an end-to-end first half.
  • 43 The Whites are ending the half on top, putting Spurs under pressure, as Riise smashes a shot wide from Karagounis' corner.
  • 38 Karagounis sweeps the ball left to Kačaniklić who manoeuvres to shoot but wraps the shot the wrong side of Lloris' crossbar.
  • 33 Another fast Spurs move opens up for Lamela to shoot but Stekelenburg leaps one-handed to palm the strike away.
  • 32 Kasami is shown yellow after going into a challenge with Dawson, with both men ending up sprawled across the pitch.
  • 31 Spurs are defending deep but launch a counter attack which sends Defoe scampering away on the left. He squares for Lamela but the Argentine slides his shot wide.
  • 26 It's end-to-end as the Whites force Spurs back to win a corner. Dejagah jumps highest and his header is going towards the top corner but Lloris fingertips it away.
  • 24 Riether slips as Spurs counter and Paulinho is allowed a clear shot at goal. With the whole goal to aim at, he shoots over.
  • 23 Berbatov is denied an opener only due to Lloris' reflexes as our striker volleys Kačaniklić's cross goalwards. Fantastic save.
  • 22 Mesmorising footwork from Kasami almost ties Spurs' backline in knots and he wins the corner. Kačaniklić's centre is flapped at by Lloris.
  • 20 The visitors have upped their game in the last five minutes but superb defending from Hughes and Parker has snuffed out their best efforts.
  • 14 A well-worked move finds it's way to Karagounis and the Greek unleashes a rifle which stings the hands of Lloris as he beats it away.
  • 13 Kačaniklić turns on the burners again and is scythed down by Capoue for a yellow card.
  • 12 An outstanding dribble inside from the left sees Kačaniklić carve open Spurs defence. He plays Berbatov through but the striker miscontrols.
  • 11 Kačaniklić's turn of pace wins Fulham a free-kick, which Karagounis bends in with venom. Berbatov gets a flick but it's not enough to divert the ball away from Lloris.
  • 10 The Whites are moving the ball around quickly in possession but a compact Spurs midfield three is proving difficult to break through.
  • 5 Defoe capitalises on a loose ball and spins away from Senderos but Stekelenburg gets down well to parry his shot.
  • 4 The reunited Dejagah-Riether partnership combines well and the German, back from suspension, gets a in cross which doesn't trouble goal.
  • 2 Karagounis charges into the Spurs territory with a twisting run which draws a free-kick. Spurs scramble it away.
  • We have kicked-off at the Cottage, with Spurs wearing aqua blue and the Whites defending the Hammersmith End.
  • It's showtime at the Cottage. Scott Parker and Michael Dawson lead out the teams to choruses of 'Come On You Whites.'
  • The floodlights are beaming and there's a buzz around Craven Cottage. Only 15 minutes until kick-off.
  • Head Coach Rene Meulensteen makes seven changes from last week's match, with only Aaron Hughes, Scott Parker, Pajtim Kasami and Maarten Stekelenburg retained.
  • Craven Cottage is the scene for Fulham Head Coach Rene Meulensteen's first match in charge, with Tottenham the visitors.
  • Tottenham Team: Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Vertonghen; Sandro, Capoue; Lennon, Paulinho, Lamela; Defoe.
  • Fulham Team: Stekelenburg; Riether, Hughes, Senderos, Riise; Parker (c), Karagounis; Dejagah, Kasami, Kačaniklić; Berbatov.