Spurs extended their unbeaten run to nine games with a 2-0 win over Fulham Monday night.
Tottenham still sit at the top of the table two points clear of City, and could even go five points clear with a win at Selhurst Park this Friday.
The match was filled with fouls early on, with Spurs getting three free kicks in dangerous areas in the opening twenty minutes.
While Maddison wasn’t able to capitalize on these chances, Son was able to secure a goal in the 36th minute, his seventh of the season. Madders also found the back of the net in the 54th minute, bringing his cumulative goal contributions to eight across just nine matches.
Aside from the stellar performances from these two players, greatness came from all over the pitch.
Destiny Udogie was a major attacking presence, finding open space as an inverted fullback. Turning on the ball and creating chances moving forward, he wreaked havoc on Fulham’s midfielders. On his early substitution off the pitch, here’s what Ange had to say:
“Destiny just felt a bit of tiredness at half-time, we said to give it 10-15 minutes and, again, with that short turn around, once we scored the second goal, it made sense to take him off.”
The other worrying substitution came from Pape Sarr, who left the field in the 62nd minute after requesting a change. However, as with Udogie, the injury seemed to be quite minor:
“…the medical team seem to be pretty confident that he will be fine.”
Ange also stated that the player had been hurting a bit the day before the match, and that the team was aware of the issue and ready to limit his minutes as a precaution.
These “injuries,” along with the short turnaround for Friday’s match, is likely what led Ange to use all five subs.
In the last 15 minutes, players like Alejo Veliz and Giovani Lo Celso were able to get minutes, a rarity thus far in the season. Veliz, however, is looking more and more likely to get playing time moving forward.
Sonny took home the Player of the Match award with a goal and assist, and while his performance was certainly deserving of it, again, there were brilliant contributions from everywhere.
While it’s been a struggle for Richarlison finding form at Tottenham, his performance last night was much improved. Out on the left flank, Richy was able to whip crosses into the box, assisting Sonny on the first goal and almost finding Pedro Porro on a dashing run for another.
The defense also came up big, clinching another clean sheet. Cristian Romero closed down Fulham’s point of attack, Vinicius, all throughout the first half, leading to his substitution at the break. Pedro Porro was also key, having to handle Willian’s pace and crossing ability.
While he didn’t get as much action as he normally would’ve seen, Vicario came up huge in goal with two major saves to keep the clean sheet alive.
Overall, Ange will be happy with the result but keen to keep the run going.
Towards the end of the match, performance began to wane drastically. Obviously the lackluster effort in the final ten minutes, seeing Fulham find a number of breakaway chances, was not something the Australian manager wanted to see.
As Postecoglou stated,“In the second half, we were just really wasteful with the ball, really poor, as poor as we’ve been all year to be honest… We’ll take the win, it’s another good win for us, but plenty to learn.”
The mentality of the manager and the players seems to echo a mission towards achieving consistency, both in style of play and work rate.
These are principles that can prove crucial to a team maintaining unbeaten streaks such as the won we have seen so far, and both will be critical factors as the club look to earn points against Palace on Friday.