BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 21:54 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tottenham   2 - 0   Fulham

David Bentley, left, celebrates his goal
Bentley, left, marked a surprise return to first-team action with Spurs' second

By Sam Lyon

Tottenham reignited their push for a top-four spot with a clinical victory over Fulham at White Hart Lane.

The hosts, searching for a first league win since December, took the lead when Peter Crouch capitalised on some poor defending to clip in from close range.

And David Bentley made the most of a rare Tottenham start when his free-kick was deflected home on the hour mark.

The Cottagers offered little in attack, though Bobby Zamora brought a brave save out of Heurelho Gomes early on.

However, the victory was all too comfortable for a Tottenham side that rarely had to get out of third gear as the hosts kept hold of fourth spot in the league, three points ahead of Liverpool, who were held to a goalless draw by Wolves.

Fulham injuries concern Hodgson

It was a far from fluent victory for Spurs, though, who have lost an element of attacking swagger of late with winger Aaron Lennon injured.

But they had far too much for a Fulham side whose performances away from Craven Cottage could hardly be more of a contrast with their impressive home form.

With just one league win on their travels all season, Fulham's gameplan was clearly to keep things tight early on - and they were grateful to Mark Schwarzer's smart low stop from Tom Huddlestone's drive in the first minute amid a typically sharp start from the hosts.

Huddlestone and Defoe also kept Schwarzer busy during the opening salvos, but as has happened more than once recently, Spurs' early vigour in attack slowly diminished as Fulham took a foothold in the game.

Not that the visitors were offering much in attack, with a fantastic chance for Zamora in the 13th minute the sole exception.

606: DEBATE
AlfieConnsAfro

Zoltan Gera was the creator, his flick from Damien Duff's cross looking to have found Zamora six yards out, only for Gomes - who injured his shoulder in the process - to save bravely at the striker's feet.

It was a missed chance Fulham were left to rue as Spurs took the lead on 28 minutes - thanks in no small part to some dire defending.

First Schwarzer flapped at Bentley's cross, then Bjorn Helge Riise failed to clear the ball, allowing Modric to rescue it and cross for Crouch, who nipped in front of the sleeping Chris Smalling to poke in.

Smalling, making only his second Premier League start, was featuring just hours after it was announced he will be joining Manchester United next season - and the 20-year-old might have wished he had not made the headlines as his naivety was punished mercilessly.

The irrepressible Modric almost made it two on the stroke of half-time when he stepped inside Aaron Hughes and curled inches over the bar, but the home fans did not have to wait too long for a deserved second.

Bentley has future at Spurs - Redknapp

Bentley, making his first league start since October, got it, his curling free-kick deflecting off Riise and past the helpless Schwarzer.

And that was pretty much that as far as the competitive edge in the match was concerned, with Tottenham happy to move the ball around comfortably and injury-ravaged Fulham apparently just happy to keep the score down.

It will do nothing to take away from what was a red-letter day for Gareth Bale, though, who - at the 23rd time of asking - secured his first ever victory as a Premier League starter.

As for Fulham, a fourth straight defeat for the first time since 2006 does little to improve their hopes of securing European football for a second successive season, though with two home matches to come they will hope to return to winning ways sooner rather than later.


Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp:
"The main thing was for us to get the win. We have been playing well recently but have come up against a couple of keepers who have been in great form.

"We well deserved to win it tonight. We dominated the game and our keeper has maybe had one save to make all night.

"I'm pleased with David Bentley's performance, he's got great ability and he showed that tonight. He's been unlucky not to have had more chances because of Aaron Lennon's form but all we can ask is that when he gets his chance he takes it and he did that tonight."

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:
"I thought we dealt with Spurs reasonably well. After their initial burst I thought we did OK.

"We were a little unlucky with the goals, the second one in particular because that was a cruel deflection.

"After that second goal they could relax - if we hadn't conceded that, maybe we could have pressed them a bit more."

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Tottenham 2-0 Fulham FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Crouch 27
  • Bentley 60

    Tottenham

    Substitutes

    Fulham

    Substitutes

    Ref: DeanAtt: 35,467
    TOTTENHAM
    FULHAM

    Possession

    • Tottenham 58%
    • Fulham 42%

    Attempts on target

    • Tottenham 7
    • Fulham 6

    Attempts off target

    • Tottenham 6
    • Fulham 3

    Corners

    • Tottenham 11
    • Fulham 3

    Fouls

    • Tottenham 11
    • Fulham 16
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:02 The referee blows for the end of the match.
    • 90:00+1:53 Simon Davies takes a shot. Save by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 90:00+0:51 Simon Davies takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Michael Dawson.
    • 89:19 Heurelho Gomes fouled by Chris Smalling, the ref awards a free kick. Heurelho Gomes takes the direct free kick.
    • 88:55 Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
    • 88:55 Booking Michael Dawson receives a yellow card.
    • 88:40 Michael Dawson concedes a free kick for a foul on Simon Davies.
    • 86:44 Direct free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
    • 86:44 Booking The referee shows Diomansy Kamara a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 86:36 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Robbie Keane by Diomansy Kamara.
    • 84:14 Foul by Kagisho Dikgacoi on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Luka Modric.
    • 83:48 Long range shot by Diomansy Kamara goes wide right of the target.
    • 80:57 Substitution Robbie Keane replaces Jermain Defoe.
    • 80:26 Chris Baird takes a shot. Blocked by Wilson Palacios.
    • 79:39 Unfair challenge on Diomansy Kamara by Tom Huddlestone results in a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
    • 79:08 David Bentley challenges Damien Duff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Damien Duff takes the direct free kick.
    • 78:01 Substitution Bobby Zamora goes off and David Elm comes on.
    • 77:39 Shot from just outside the box by Kagisho Dikgacoi goes over the crossbar.
    • 77:31 Short corner taken by Simon Davies.
    • 77:20 Damien Duff takes a shot. Blocked by Vedran Corluka.
    • 75:55 Unfair challenge on Vedran Corluka by Damien Duff results in a free kick. David Bentley sends in a cross, Headed effort from inside the area by Michael Dawson misses to the right of the goal.
    • 74:47 Chris Baird has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the target.
    • 73:58 Foul by Tom Huddlestone on Diomansy Kamara, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
    • 73:37 Foul by Tom Huddlestone on Danny Murphy, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Chris Baird.
    • 71:57 The official flags Peter Crouch offside. Chris Smalling takes the free kick.
    • 71:08 Michael Dawson takes the indirect free kick.
    • 71:08 Substitution Diomansy Kamara replaces Zoltan Gera.
    • 71:08 The referee blows for offside.
    • 69:36 Shot from just outside the area by Jermain Defoe misses to the right of the target.
    • 66:28 Jermain Defoe fouled by Brede Hangeland, the ref awards a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from David Bentley, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 65:35 Chris Baird challenges Jermain Defoe unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Bentley restarts play with the free kick.
    • 64:28 Jermain Defoe is adjudged to have handled the ball. Chris Smalling takes the free kick.
    • 64:06 The referee penalises Luka Modric for handball. Direct free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 63:10 Direct free kick taken by Tom Huddlestone.
    • 63:10 Substitution Simon Davies on for Bjorn Helge Riise.
    • 63:10 Kagisho Dikgacoi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Dawson.
    • 61:33 Outswinging corner taken by David Bentley from the right by-line, Bobby Zamora manages to make a clearance.
    • 61:00 David Bentley takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post.
    • 60:48 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Kagisho Dikgacoi gets a block in.
    • 60:18 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Aaron Hughes.
    • 59:06 The assist for the goal came from Gareth Bale.
    • 59:06 GOAL - David BentleyTottenham 2 - 0 Fulham David Bentley grabs a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Tottenham 2-0 Fulham.
    • 58:13 Unfair challenge on Gareth Bale by Aaron Hughes results in a free kick.
    • 57:24 Jermain Defoe is ruled offside. Brede Hangeland takes the indirect free kick.
    • 54:32 The official flags Bobby Zamora offside. Heurelho Gomes takes the indirect free kick.
    • 52:40 Damien Duff takes a shot. Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
    • 50:35 Headed effort on goal by Wilson Palacios from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
    • 47:05 Gareth Bale fouled by Bobby Zamora, the ref awards a free kick. Gareth Bale restarts play with the free kick.
    • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+3:16 The players leave the pitch at half time.
    • 45:00+0:52 Effort on goal by Luka Modric from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 42:44 Bjorn Helge Riise gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Huddlestone. Michael Dawson takes the direct free kick.
    • 42:15 Bjorn Helge Riise takes a shot. Michael Dawson gets a block in.
    • 41:47 Kagisho Dikgacoi takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Dawson.
    • 40:27 Corner taken by David Bentley from the left by-line to the near post, Kagisho Dikgacoi manages to make a clearance.
    • 34:42 Tom Huddlestone produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 32:38 Foul by Bjorn Helge Riise on Luka Modric, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Luka Modric.
    • 29:35 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
    • 28:46 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wilson Palacios by Danny Murphy. Ledley King takes the free kick.
    • 26:50 Luka Modric provided the assist for the goal.
    • 26:50 GOAL - Peter CrouchTottenham 1 - 0 Fulham Peter Crouch finds the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 1-0 Fulham.
    • 25:46 Chris Baird fouled by Jermain Defoe, the ref awards a free kick. Chris Baird takes the direct free kick.
    • 23:59 Gareth Bale delivers the ball, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 19:10 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Bentley.
    • 18:45 Corner taken by David Bentley played to the near post, clearance made by Aaron Hughes.
    • 17:41 Bobby Zamora is penalised for a handball. Ledley King takes the direct free kick.
    • 16:40 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kagisho Dikgacoi by Wilson Palacios. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
    • 13:54 Chris Smalling fouled by Peter Crouch, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Chris Smalling.
    • 13:34 Peter Crouch challenges Danny Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
    • 10:22 Corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff from the right by-line, Tom Huddlestone makes a clearance.
    • 9:52 Luka Modric challenges Bjorn Helge Riise unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aaron Hughes restarts play with the free kick.
    • 9:21 Peter Crouch has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
    • 8:56 Foul by Zoltan Gera on Tom Huddlestone, free kick awarded. Tom Huddlestone takes the direct free kick.
    • 8:16 Unfair challenge on Michael Dawson by Bobby Zamora results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Wilson Palacios.
    • 7:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by Bobby Zamora on Gareth Bale. Direct free kick taken by Ledley King.
    • 6:14 The assistant referee signals for offside against Bobby Zamora. Heurelho Gomes takes the indirect free kick.
    • 4:49 The offside flag is raised against Bobby Zamora. David Bentley restarts play with the free kick.
    • 3:42 Corner taken by David Bentley played to the near post, Bobby Zamora makes a clearance.
    • 3:21 Bjorn Helge Riise concedes a free kick for a foul on Jermain Defoe. Free kick taken by Luka Modric.
    • 2:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Bentley on Kagisho Dikgacoi. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
    • 2:25 Tom Huddlestone takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 1:59 David Bentley decides to take a short corner.
    • 1:42 Ledley King takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.
    • 1:31 David Bentley takes a short corner.
    • 1:10 Corner taken by David Bentley from the left by-line, clearance made by Danny Murphy.
    • 0:58 Tom Huddlestone takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 0:15 The offside flag is raised against Bobby Zamora. Free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
    • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



    Print Sponsor


    Premier League results

    26 Jan 2010 23:59 UK


    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 26 Jan 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 23 34 50
    2 Arsenal 22 34 48
    3 Chelsea 21 34 48
    4 Tottenham 23 20 41
    5 Liverpool 23 14 38
    6 Man City 21 12 38
    7 Aston Villa 21 11 36
    8 Birmingham 21 2 33
    9 Fulham 22 0 27
    10 Everton 21 -4 26
    11 Stoke 21 -7 25
    12 Blackburn 22 -16 24
    13 Sunderland 21 -8 23
    14 Wigan 20 -21 22
    15 Bolton 21 -13 21
    16 West Ham 22 -9 20
    17 Wolves 22 -21 20
    18 Burnley 22 -22 20
    19 Hull 22 -26 19
    20 Portsmouth 21 -14 15

    see also
    Tuesday football as it happened
    26 Jan 10 |  Football
    Tuesday's football photos
    26 Jan 10 |  Football


    BBC navigation

    BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

    This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.