Premier League - Lloris stars as Spurs stutter to victory over Fulham

Premier League, White Hart Lane – Tottenham 3 (Paulinho 35’ Kane 48’ Kaboul 62’) Fulham 1 (Sidwell 37’)

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Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (AFP)

Tottenham cemented their hold on a Europa League place with a 3-1 victory over Fulham that left the Cottagers two points from Premier League safety.

Spurs edged ahead when Paulinho tapped home at the back post after Christian Eriksen’s driven free-kick had somehow evaded a queue of players.

But it was level moments later. Steve Sidwell tiptoed through the Tottenham backline, via an accidental one-two with Spurs defender Zeki Fryers, before clipping a shot over Hugo Lloris.

The hosts improved after the break, retaking the lead when Harry Kane headed home Aaron Lennon’s cross from the right and building a two-goal cushion when Younes Kaboul lashed another Eriksen set-piece into the net.

Fulham were handed a route back into the contest when Eriksen handled inside the penalty area, but Lloris beat Sidwell’s powerful penalty away to avoid a nervy finish.

KEY MOMENTS

19’ – BIG SAVE! Lloris races off his line to charge down Rodallega's effort. Tottenham look so shaky at the back.

26’ – POST! Tottenham win the ball back deep inside the Fulham half. It's whipped into the penalty area where Lennon lurks, but the England winger sees his shot palmed onto the post by Stockdale.

35’ – GOAL! Tottenham 1-0 Fulham. Eriksen flashes the free-kick into the six-yard box which somehow bypasses a host of players before landing at the feet of Paulinho. The Brazilian can't miss. He doesn't miss. Spurs lead.

37’ – GOAL! Tottenham 1-1 Fulham. Sidwell picks the ball up inside the Tottenham half, plays a quick one-two off Fryers before fending off the white shirts and clipping over Lloris. Lovely finish. Hopeless defending.

48’ – GOAL! Tottenham 2-1 Fulham. Lennon throws a clever dummy, swings in a cross with his weaker foot and leaps up into the air in delight as Kane diverts it into the net.

50’ – BIG HEADER, BIG SAVE! Rodallega thumps a header at goal from inside the penalty area... It's destined for the top corner... Lloris saves superbly.

62’ – GOAL! Tottenham 3-1 Fulham. Another Eriksen set-piece causes havoc in the visitors' penalty area and Kaboul shins home from inside the six-yard box.

77’ – LLORIS SAVES SIDWELL PENALTY! Eriksen strangely handles in the penalty area to give Fulham hope, but Lloris beats Sidwell’s spotkick away.

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KEY STATS

Tottenham have scored three or more goals in three successive Premier League matches for the first time since Feb-March 2007 (Infostrada)

Of Fulham's last 21 Premier League games they were drawing at half-time, none have finished as draws (Opta)

Hugo Lloris records his first Premier League penalty save for Tottenham (Infostrada)

TALKING POINT

Can Fulham brush aside defeat to avoid relegation? Fulham impressed for long periods against Spurs but were undone, yet again, from deliveries into the penalty area. They can draw strength from Norwich’s horrible run-in, but first they must accumulate some points – starting with Hull next weekend.

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MAN OF THE MATCH

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham): Tottenham may have only conceded the solitary goal, but some of their defending was appalling. Lloris came to the rescue on numerous occasions.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

PLAYER RATINGS

Tottenham: Lloris 8, Naughton 5, Kaboul 6, Fryers 5, Rose 5, Lennon 6, Chadli 5, Paulinho 6, Eriksen 8, Adebayor 6, Kane 7. Subs: Dembele 6, Soldado 6, Townsend N/A.

Fulham: Stockdale 6, Heitinga 5, Amorebieta 5, Hangeland 6, Riise 6, Kvist 5, Sidwell 7, Parker 6, Dejagah 7, Rodallega 6, Kacaniklic 7… Subs: Karagounis 6, Zverotic 6.

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