Friday 26 December 2014

Berbatov downs slumping Spurs

Published 17/03/2013 | 17:11

Dimitar Berbatov, left, handed Fulham a shock win at White Hart Lane
Dimitar Berbatov, left, handed Fulham a shock win at White Hart Lane

Dimitar Berbatov came back to haunt his former club as Tottenham's chances of Champions League qualification took a huge blow with a shock 1-0 defeat against Fulham.

Having scored three goals in his last four matches, Berbatov was always going to be Fulham's main goal threat, but even he could not have imagined how easy it would be to score his first goal at White Hart Lane since leaving Spurs in 2008.

The Bulgarian, who scored 46 goals in two seasons at Tottenham, easily spun off his marker and his mis-timed shot flew past Hugo Lloris to give the Cottagers their first win at White Hart Lane in 10 years.

Andre Villas-Boas' side have now lost three successive games for the first time under his stewardship and they sit four points above Arsenal having played one more game.

Gylfi Sigurdsson found Gareth Bale from a corner, but luckily for Fulham Sascha Riether cleared the forward's goal-bound header off the line and the only other event of note in the first period was that Bale needed treatment on an ankle injury after being clipped by Giorgos Karagounis.

Tottenham had much more energy about them in the second half and Bale drew Mark Schwarzer in to his first save of the game.

Fulham then stunned the home crowd by taking the lead through Berbatov. The Bulgarian lost his marker to meet Ashkan Dejagah's cross and bundle the ball past Lloris.

Brede Hangeland almost doubled Fulham's lead moments later when he met Karagounis' corner at the back post, but his effort flew just wide.

Jermain Defoe almost levelled after his introduction as a substitute, firing a low shot which Schwarzer saved well after some good work by Steven Caulker down the right.

Schwarzer pulled off a brilliant save to deny Defoe in the final minute and Fulham held on in the four minutes of added time as Spurs left the field to a loud chorus of boos from their support.

Press Association

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