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Premier League - Saturday 18th August 2018, 12:00 AM
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Attendance: 58297
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

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Match Report

Tottenham Hotspur (1) 3-1 (0) Fulham

Premier League Match Day 02 at Wembley

Saturday 18th August 2018    KO: 15:00

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Fulham Striker
Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic
His Wiki page
There were echoes of England’s World Cup summer as Tottenham put a bad week behind them to claim victory over Fulham.

Unfortunately for the Spurs team, however, playing like a side that finished fourth in Russia is not what Mauricio Pochettino is after.

A superb free kick from Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane’s first Premier League goal in August turned the match in Tottenham’s favour after Aleksander Mitrovic had cancelled out Lucas Moura’s first-half strike.

For Pochettino, however, this was not good enough and he demanded his side become more clinical if they are to become winners rather than just gallant runners-up.

“In football we are here to win, not to come third or fourth,” he said after the match.

“Having a good World Cup increases your confidence and the trust in yourself. But it is important to understand that while many of our players had an excellent World Cup only Hugo [Lloris] won it.”

Trippier, making his first start for Spurs since starring for England in Russia, was at the heart of everything Tottenham did in this match. If his delivery had been better, in the first half in particular, they would have won the match at a canter. Still, he managed to score the goal of the day, a sweet free kick from 25 yards out that bent inside Fabri’s right-hand post.

Match Stats Spurs Fulham
Goals (1) 3 1 (0)
Scorers Moura 43 Mitrovic 52
Trippier 74
Kane 77
Goal attempts 25 10
On target 11 3
Shooting Accuracy 44% 30%
Possession 60% 40%
Passes 632 434
Passes Success 88% 82%
Crosses 25 7
Crosses Success 32% 29%
Corners 6 3
Tackles 12 13
Tackles Success 58% 62%
Saves 2 8
Fouls 9 5
Offsides 1 3
Yellows 0 0
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
Moura scored the opening Spurs goal in the 43rd minute, his first in the league for the club, curling home inside the far post after another cross from the right had been blocked.

But Fulham came out the better side after half-time and Aleksander Mitrovic had already hit the post before he equalised in the 52nd minute, stooping low to head home after a cute layoff from Ryan Sessegnon.

Pochettino responded to the goal immediately with a change of formation.

Ironically, an England-style 3-3-2-2 with Moura alongside Kane went to a 4-2-3-1 with Mousa Dembélé replacing Davinson Sánchez. Soon Spurs were on the front foot again.

As Fulham tired openings began to spring up and the home side enjoyed another period where they might have scored many more than just their two goals.

For Slavisa Jokanovic there were no lessons to be learned from this match that weren’t apparent already.

“We know where we are,” the Fulham manager said. “We played a complicated away game against one of the top Champions League teams.

They showed quality but on the other side they showed they’ve been playing for three years together. We’ve played two and a half weeks together.

We are a Premier League team in a building process, we are going to need the time. We showed a few positive things, but without any doubt we need to fix our problems. The only way I know how to do that is to work hard.”

There were positive signs for the visitors, not just the Mitrovic goal and the Sessegnon assist but in the combination of £40m central midfield recruits Jean Michaël Seri and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Their next fixture is a home encounter with Burnley, another big challenge. Spurs, meanwhile, travel to Manchester United where Pochettino is yet to win in the league, or even score a goal.

As for Kane, he sealed the victory with a typical goal 13 minutes from time, stepping inside Calum Chambers and firing low with his right foot into the far corner.

The captain has found himself in the odd position of having won the Golden Boot in Russia while apparently struggling for form. Here he was back to something closer to his best, looking sharp in and around the box and providing a stern physical challenge for Fulham’s centre-halves.

“I am very happy for Harry,” said Pochettino of his captain. “It was important for him to feel the net in this period. If not we might have made a big trauma for him.

He came up to me after the game to tell me that: ’gaffer I have done it!’. We have a little disadvantage in fitness and preseason but if you have a good mentality you can compete.”

“I am disappointed but I am also happy‚“ Pochettino said in summary after this eventful match. “Old Trafford will show us whether we are ready to challenge at the top or not.”

Tottenham Hotspur : Lloris, Alderweireld, Sánchez (Dembele 63), Vertonghen, Trippier, Eriksen, Dier (Lamela 73), Davies, Moura, Dele Alli, Kane (Winks 89)

Unused substitutes: Vorm, Rose, Aurier, Sissoko

Moura 43 (left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner.)
Trippier 74 (from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.)
Kane 77 ( right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Erik Lamela following a fast break.)

Fulham: Fabri, Fosu-Mensah, Chambers, Le Marchand, Bryan (Christie 85), Cairney (Johansen 73), Anguissa, Seri, R Sessegnon, Mitrovic, Kamara (Schurrle 88)

Unused substitutes: Rico, McDonald, Kebano, Vietto

Mitrovic 52 ( header from very close range to the top left corner. Assisted by Ryan Sessegnon.)

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Attendance: 58,297

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