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Fulham 0 Tottenham 2 - Match Report

last updated Sunday 24th March 2002, 8:06 PM
Fulham 0 (0)Tottenham 2 (2)
Fulham were left still teetering perilously above the relegation zone by two goals in four minutes which righted Tottenham's recent wrongs.

A lucky deflection off Teddy Sheringham's face and an instinctive effort from Gus Poyet saw Glenn Hoddle's men end a run of three straight Premiership defeats in a London derby best described as low-key.

Fulham striker Steve Marlet
Fulham striker Steve Marlet unlucky against Spurs
 
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Tottenham's victory eased their fears of being dragged into the relegation dog fight but increased the pressure on Fulham boss Jean Tigana with his team's sixth successive defeat in the league.

Fulham made the brighter start. But the game turned against them when England striker Sheringham - back from injury - scored his ninth goal of the season.

Alain Goma conceded a free-kick on the right edge of the Fulham box when he whacked Steffen Iversen in the head with his elbow as the pair jumped for a header.

Christian Ziege drilled in a low shot with his left foot which hit Sylvain Legwinski on the end of the wall and then deflected off Sheringham's head and past hapless goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

Ziege was again influential three minutes later when he charged into the box and hit a fierce drive which van der Sar could only parry. Poyet pounced to stroke home the rebound for his 13th goal of the season.

Tigana and his men will be glad to see the back of Spurs this season, having been well beaten 4-0 at White Hart Lane in the league earlier in the season and also knocked out of the Worthington Cup at Craven Cottage by Hoddle's team.

In front of their lowest league gate of the season, just under 16,000, due to efforts to control Spurs fans following their bad behaviour at Craven cottage earlier in the season,Fulham had made the early running; yet it was Spurs who forced the first real chance in the third minute.

Goalkeeper Neil Sullivan's long punt to the left flank was picked up by Poyet, who delivered an early cross into Fulham box. Iversen out-jumped Goma but could only direct his header over the bar.

Spurs put together another good move after 11 minutes when Ziege played a ball over the top to pick out Iversen down the right. His cross dropped on the head of an unmarked Sheringham, but he headed tamely into the arms of van der Sar despite having enough time to maybe bring down the ball and try a shot.

Spurs won a free-kick when Sheringham was bundled over after 25 minutes. He quickly fed it out to Darren Anderton on the right, and his dangerous cross was met at the far post by Iversen - but van der Sar palmed his effort behind for a corner.

The visitors were on the up and then effectively sealed the points with those two goals in the space of three minutes.

Fulham had a good chance to pull back a goal on the stroke of half-time as Steve Marlet sent in a good cross from the right, but Barry Hayles headed over.

Spurs should have increased their lead inside the first two minutes of the restart.

Anthony Gardner played a clever ball over the top, and Iversen beat the offside trap to meet it.

The Norwegian international striker was clean through with just van der Sar to beat, but he blasted the ball wide of the right-hand post from the edge of the box.

It was no surprise when he dropped to the floor and held his head in a mixture of shame and embarrassment.

There was a scramble in the Spurs box after 52 minutes as Marlet's delicate cross left Sullivan stranded - and when the ball fell to Steed Malbranque he scooped his shot over the bar.

Spurs were enjoying all the luck, and in the 71st minute Hayles crossed from the left for Marlet who saw his header hit the post. The ball ran across the line before Ben Thatcher hooked it clear, with Sullivan again in no-man's land.

Anderton was rested after 75 minutes as Welsh international Simon Davies was introduced by Hoddle.

The substitute should have scored with his first touch when he had a free header from Iversen's cross - but he sent it over the bar.

It mattered not as Spurs held on to record their first win since March 2 in what was Hoddle's 50th game in charge, leaving FA Cup semi-finalists Fulham without a league victory of their own since February 9.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Finnan, Goma, Ouaddou, Harley (Brevett 58), Malbranque, Legwinski, Davis, Hayles, Marlet, Saha.

Subs Not Used: Taylor, Melville, Collins, Boa Morte.

Booked: Malbranque, Goma.

Tottenham: Sullivan, Perry, King, Gardner, Thatcher, Anderton (Davies 75), Sherwood, Poyet, Ziege, Iversen, Sheringham.

Subs Not Used: Keller, Rebrov, Etherington, Thelwell.

Booked: Gardner, Sherwood.

Goals: Sheringham 28, Poyet 32.

Att: 15,885 Ref: P Durkin (Dorset).
Source PA Sport by Neil Silver
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