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Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Friday, 26 December 2008

Tottenham 0-0 Fulham

By Nabil Hassan

Heurelho Gomes
Heurelho Gomes was in fine form for Tottenham

Tottenham and Fulham played out a draw in a tame London derby that illustrated Spurs's need for another striker.

Aaron Lennon had the hosts' best chance but saw his close-range effort well saved by Cottagers keeper Mark Schwarzer after 30 minutes.

Clint Dempsey came close with a spectacular overhead-kick from 20-yards but it was kept out by Heurelho Gomes.

The Brazilian keeper then did well to save at the feet of Andy Johnson after he got behind his marker Ledley King.

Gomes, who spilled Simon Davies's cross over his own goal-line in the corresponding fixture showed how much he has improved since that costly fumble.

The often beleaguered keeper was in fine form for Spurs in what turned out to be a cagey London derby.


And while his opening save from Dempsey's tame volley was straightforward, his later stop from the American's 18-yard overhead kick was stunning.

The hosts were surprisingly lacklustre in attack and have now failed to score in their last three home matches in the Premier League - a barren run that has forced boss Harry Redknapp to look at transfer targets such as West Ham's Craig Bellamy.

Fulham's chances in dull game were few and far between, but whatever they threw at Gomes he was more than equal to.

I couldn't see us scoring - Redknapp

At the other end, Schwarzer was equally impressive, keeping out David Bentley's long-range effort in unconventional fashion before later tipping Lennon's close-range side-footed half-volley around the post.

Luka Modric also came close with a 20-yard shot that sailed just past the post having beaten two Fulham defenders with a classic Cruyff turn on the edge of the box.

Tottenham dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes but often failed to deliver in the final third.

While the second half saw Redknapp's men resort to long-range strikes that failed to hit the target.

Hodgson happy with away point

Left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto, did his best to inspire Tottenham and Modric should have done better when heading the Cameroon defender's fizzing cross well wide from close range.

Fulham defender Paul Konchesky curled a 20-yard free-kick a foot wide but the visiting team showed little ambition to leave White Hart Lane with anything other than a point.

But with six minutes remaining Fulham almost stole all three points when Johnson escaped his marker inside the box, but Gomes saved bravely at the striker's feet to deny him.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"It was ok but we lack punch up front.

"I couldn't see us scoring. We had a lot of the ball but didn't create enough chances.

"We looked solid at the back they had one or two chances but other than that we kept them quiet. We're short in certain areas to make the difference.

"I thought Bobby Zamora was outstanding, in the first half he held the ball up very well. I wish he was still at Tottenham."

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:
"When you come to Tottenham and get a point you've got to be happy.

"We knew we were meeting a wounded team and they'd be firing on all cylinders.

"I didn't think we started that well but once we found our feet I thought our defending was very good and we limited them to a few chances.

"We looked more dangerous the longer the game went on and if I'm being really greedy we might have stolen all three points."

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Zokora, Huddlestone (Jenas 20), Bentley (Campbell 58), Modric, Bent (Pavlyuchenko 72).
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Bale, O'Hara, Woodgate.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Baird, Hughes, Konchesky, Dempsey, Murphy, Bullard (Etuhu 37), Davies (Nevland 90), Johnson, Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Gray, Stoor, Andreasen, Kallio.

Booked: Konchesky.

Att: 35,866

Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Luka Modric 8.12 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Premier League as it happened
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Boxing Day football photos
26 Dec 08 |  Football
Tottenham unsure of Bellamy deal
26 Dec 08 |  Tottenham

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