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Fulham 0-4 Spurs: Cottagers thrashed

last updated Sunday 18th February 2007, 10:34 PM
Vincenzo Montella
Fulham ace Vincenzo Montella got a
straight red for reacting to being
manhandled by Robbie Keane.

Two stunning volleys from Robbie Keane sent Tottenham into the quarter-final of the FA Cup and eased any pressure that was on boss Martin Jol.

Keane struck early on to stun Fulham, then doubled the lead with 22 minutes remaining, profiting both times from flick-ons by strike partner Mido.

Dimitar Berbatov then came off the bench to seal Spurs' first win at Craven Cottage for nearly five years with two late strikes.

It ended a run of three consecutive defeats but also was their first win over a top-flight team since Boxing Day, a sequence which had fans questioning Jol's tactics and selections.

However, they are also in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup and, with their rich history in the FA Cup, fans were singing about a return to Wembley this season.

Fulham's misery was compounded in stoppage-time when substitute Vincenzo Montella was dismissed for a clash with Keane.

The clash had all the intensity expected of a London derby, with Papa Bouba Diop and Didier Zokora renewing an African rivalry by throwing themselves into challenges in central midfield.

But the game had not established a pattern when Spurs stormed ahead in the sixth minute.

For all of their footballing traditions, Keane's strike was route-one simplicity.

There was a hint of offside when Paul Robinson punted the ball out of defence and Mido flicked on, but Keane timed his own run to perfection and raced beyond Zat Knight to smash his volley beyond Jan Lastuvka.

It was Keane's eighth of the season for Spurs, two of which came in the previous two rounds.

The early strike paved the way for classic cup football, with wholehearted challenges dominating the midfield.

Match Stats Fulham Spurs
Goals 0 4
Possession 52% 48%
Goal attempts 16 8
On Target 9 6
Corners 8 4
Off-sides 1 8
Fouls 8 11
Yellows 2 2
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet

Diop, though, crossed the line and was cautioned for sending Aaron Lennon into the advertising hoardings.

Fulham have an unhappy history with Mark Halsey but there were no complaints with the referee's decision on this occasion.

Lennon looked threatening with his pace, chasing one lost cause the width of the pitch. He danced around Franck Queudrue on the half-hour mark and the French full-back earned a yellow card for tripping the winger.

But the hosts were building pressure of their own and Robinson was forced to palm over from Brian McBride's shot on the turn, a save even more impressive as the effort took a touch off Anthony Gardner.

Gardner himself was the next to get cautioned, hauling down Heidar Helguson to stop a counter-attack from the hosts.

Chris Coleman's men were almost given a helping hand in the 37th minute as they searched for an equaliser.

Mido had given Robinson a tricky backpass, which was sliced into the stands, then the striker nearly headed into his own goal only for the England goalkeeper to palm away his team-mate's bizarre attempt at a clearance.

Robinson, under a little pressure with his form this season, predictably told Mido what he thought.

The Egypt striker, restored to the starting line-up at the expense of Berbatov, has recently discussed his confidence in scoring in every game he plays in, but this was not what he had in mind.

At the other end, he then flashed wide from a tight angle and held up kick-off in the second half by encroaching.

Robinson was forced into saves early in the second half, from McBride and Helguson, but neither were difficult compared to his earlier stop.

Fulham had a tame penalty shout when Gardner challenged McBride in the area, but Halsey waved play on, then Robinson saved from a long-range Diop effort in the 59th minute.

Montella and Collins John were brought on for the final 28 minutes, with Coleman taking off Helguson and McBride, the two strikers he started with. Clint Dempsey was then brought on for Tomasz Radzinski.

Robinson produced a superb save to deny Moritz Volz with a drive, while John, in his first appearance since New Year's Day, volleyed over after racing through on goal.

But Berbatov was brought off the bench for Mido and sealed the win in the 77th minute, firing against the post before slotting in the rebound.

The Bulgaria striker then lobbed in with a minute remaining after Keane had flicked the ball through to him.

A miserable day for the hosts was complete in injury-time when Montella was given a red card after clashing with Keane.

Fulham: Lastuvka, Volz, Christanval, Knight, Queudrue, Radzinski (Dempsey 67), Diop, Smertin, Davies, Helguson (Montella 62), McBride (John 62).
Subs Not Used: Warner, Bocanegra.

Sent Off: Montella (90,vc).

Booked: Diop (14,f), Queudrue (30,f).

Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda, Dawson, Gardner, Young-Pyo Lee, Lennon (Ghaly 83), Zokora, Tainio, Malbranque, Keane, Mido (Berbatov 73).
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Huddlestone, Rocha.

Booked: Gardner, Keane.

Goals: Keane 6, 68, Berbatov 77, 90.

Att: 18,655

Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).

Source soccernet
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