Wednesday 20 September 2017

Impressive Holtby strike enough for Spurs to beat Fulham

Lewis Holtby of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring the winning goal
Lewis Holtby of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring the winning goal

Nick Purewal

Vlad Chiriches' first Tottenham goal and a smart strike from Lewis Holtby spared manager Andre Villas-Boas' blushes as Spurs scrambled a 2-1 victory at Fulham.

Romania defender Chiriches' crisp 20-yard finish and an equally neat second from Holtby helped Spurs dispatch a spirited Fulham side desperate to start Rene Meulensteen's reign in style.

When Ashkan Dejagah capped Dimitar Berbatov's astute through-ball with a calm finish just before the hour, Fulham had capitalised on Spurs' first-half profligacy.

But the hosts were unable to hold that lead, with the defensive fragility that ended Martin Jol's tenure again costing dear.

And so it was Tottenham who ended a run of four Barclays Premier League matches without victory - with Fulham slipping to their sixth consecutive league defeat.

Tottenham wasted two gilt-edged chances in a first half heavy on application but little else, with Paulinho and Erik Lamela the guilty parties for Villas-Boas' men.

Spurs rallied when left with little option by a Fulham side scrapping for any kind of league foothold, and that proved enough for victory.

But Villas-Boas will know his men were nowhere near as fluent as he would expect, struggling to control the pace and tempo for much of the match.

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