but it ended with another 3 points.
Spurs 2-0 victory over Fulham, which saw then go back to the top of the table by two points, meant Ange Postecoglou has overseen the best start to a season by a new manager in Premier League history.
It was a typical game of two halves, with one of those typical Spurs performances that saw them dominate but not put away a team and then be sloppy and almost gift away the win, with injuries and head scratching substitutions disrupting the whole flow of the team.
It should have been game over by the time the ref blew the half-time whistle. At the end of the 45, Spurs had registered shots from every player excluding Vicario, Romero and Sarr. Spurs could have paid for spurning those chances, Vicario having to make an outstanding save from a Fulham corner before Spurs got on the score-sheet. It wouldn’t be his last.
But with Maddison running things chances were being created and by the end of the half they’d had 10 attempts but only the one goal to show for it. That came just after the half hour. It started out with Micky vdV cutting out a Fulham pass – he was in full Vertonghen with afterburners mode was Micky – Richy then played a lovely ball with the outside of his foot to the wide open Son on the edge of the box. Son controlled it, then shimmied past the onrushing defender before curling the ball past the diving keeper.
Spurs were running things, they had two thirds of the ball, were pressing, dominating just not finishing. A mention for Hojbjerg. People wondering how he would fare coming in for the suspended Bissouma. It wasn’t as dynamic a performance as Biss you’d have to say but he pinged his passes about – apparently only misplacing 2 of his 46 – and played his part in that press.
The second half Spurs started sloppy and were looking to cough up that lead, it was just lucky that Fulham weren’t looking capable of capitalising. At least the law of the ex wasn’t going to play a part, as one time Spurs Carlos Vinícius was replaced at the break. Though of course this could have led to Dr. Tottenham curing his replacement Jimenez, who hasn’t scored a league goal since March of last year.
The ironic thing was that sloppiness from Spurs probably helped them extend the lead. Fulham got a bit cocky and had pushed forward so were open at the back, when 10 minutes into the second half when Hojbjerg this time cut out the pass, played it to Son, again all on his own on the edge of the box who laid it off to Maddison, for him to slide it past the keeper.
It got even worse after that though, starting with Udogie being taken off a couple of minutes later. Apparently feeling a “bit of tightness at half-time”, he was going to be given a few minutes to see how he managed, but no he was off for Emerson. Emerson. Emerson in the wrong position. Yeah, it went how you’d think. When he wasn’t playing those around him into trouble he was going forward and playing useless passes to no one.
Then Sarr went down with some sort of injury with half an hour still to go, so we were back with SkippBjerg. Richy had made the effort, done a lot of work, good work chasing down and doing a shift, just as per usual when he got into scoring positions his head went and the ball flew all places but the net. But I would have kept him on and removed Kulusevski.
What is it about Kulu? When he arrived he was laying on and scoring goals game in and game out. This season he’s played all bar 8 of every minute in the 8 league games so far. He’s two goals and no assists. I like him, he’s a good player but he’s not cutting it at the moment. everything is predictable. Gets the ball cuts inside, runs into a crowd. He needs to stay wide on the odd occasion so the defence don’t know what is coming next. But no. Inside, inside, inside. And his dithering cost Spurs here. Numerous times he was in position to do something and then did the wrong thing. Passing it off when he should be shooting. Weak shot when he should be passing it off. He gets into position then seems to get scared. He’s better than this, much better.
More changes came, I feel a bit sorry for Veliz, he always seems to come on when Maddison is either departing or has departed. Does get to play with that creativity. There was one chance from Jimenez, he was through should have scored but again Vicario made an excellent save to preserve the clean sheet.
So in the end it was a win, it was a comfortable win that should have been a hell of a lot more comfortable… but remember… it’s the hope that kills you…