Antonio Conte made a small change in his line-up, resulting in a few changes in how Tottenham attacked Fulham.
Observation 2: Tottenham likes to try and weave their passes together
One certainty to Spurs this season is that the team moves with the ball. Players rarely just pass the ball and stand still. What you often see is players that will even follow their pass.
Whether it was Son flashing across from left to right following a ball he played across the pitch to Richarlison, or Dier running left toward Clement Lenglet after passing that way, the players often followed the ball across the pitch.
Although the movements create the opportunities for a quick give-and-go, Tottenham, more often than not, used this movement to play the ball back across the pitch to the vacated space in a weave-like pattern.
Basketball teams often do these passing drills in practice or in the games, if the team is the Harlem Globetrotters, but it is not always seen on the football pitch.
The movements worked well as Kane could fill the space behind Son and Cristian Romero could fill behind Dier, and those players would typically now find themselves on the ball with some space.
In previous matches, Spurs attacked more directly up the flanks; against Fulham, these crossing movements helped to create space to move the ball inside out and get the Cottager defenders off their spots.
Observation 3: Tottenham attackers were all trying to post-up the Cottagers
Another historical facet of Conte teams has been forwards having success posting up defenders near the top of the box. If you go back to Conte’s Inter Milan teams, Romelo Lukaku posting up defenders to serve as a play-making hub was pivotal to their approach.
Against Fulham, Tottenham’s post-up play was in full effect.
Kane had a couple of nice opportunities in the first half, forcing a tough save from Bernd Leno and producing a lovely chip Son ended up volleying off the crossbar. Both instances were big opportunities for Tottenham, and although the chances did not result in goals, it did result in chances.
Kane was not the only Tottenham player posting up too. Son tried to find space at the top of the box several times, although he was not as successful as Kane.
Likewise, the natural tendencies of Richarlison as a striker were showing as he found space on several occasions near the top of the box. And although it was not your traditional post-up play, Richarlison’s ability to hold the ball under pressure and find a pass in the box led directly to the first Tottenham goal.
Not all teams will play a style that allows Spurs to get the ball to the feet of their forwards near the penalty circle, but when Tottenham can, it is effective, as we saw on Saturday.