Fulham 1 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur: Holtby Late Show Shocks Resurgent Fulham

Two superb left foot strikes stole a precious victory away from a gutsy, resurgent Fulham side and gifted Andre Vilas-Boas's much-critcised Spurs side a boost ahead of the festive period. AVB finally seemed to bow to pressure or just lose patience with his goal-shy summer Roberto Soldado and gave Jermaine Defoe a rare start, although it was defender Vlad Chiriches and midfielder Lewis Holtby who gave Spurs the win after Ashkan Dejagah's first-half opener. Both sides were desperate to put their poor form behind them, with wantaway striker Dimitar Berbatov going closest on 22 minutes, only to find his shot blocked by a world-class from Hugo Lloris, who got down low in the corner. A minute later Paulinho missed a guilt-edged chance €“ with Spurs counterattacking at a pulsating pace, Defoe teased the Fulham defence before feeding the Brazilian, who did everything right before blazing the ball over the bar. The hosts started the second half off with great vibrancy and within twelve minutes it paid off as Berbatov threaded an inch perfect pass through to Dejagah, who drilled low into the far corner past an oncoming Lloris. Yet Spurs continued to threaten, and a speculative left foot volley on 74 minutes saw them back on level terms €“ following up on a corner clearance Chirches unleashed a difficult shot from 35 yards which skipped along the ground before pinging off the post and past a rooted, despairing Maarten Stekelenberg. The goal saw the visitors take control of the game €“ they dominated possession, were first to every ball and on 82 minutes made their attacking verve count with a Bale-esque thunderbolt from substitute Holtby, who smashed it into the top corner with pinpoint accuracy to give Tottenham the lead. Fulham almost stole a point on the 88th minute as Ruiz forced Lloris into a smart save after his ten-yard shot suffered a wicked deflection, and then in added time when Patjim Kasami lashed the ball against the Tottenham post. Close, but not close enough. Today's loss sees the Cottagers stuck in 18th position, three points shy of escaping the relegation trapdoor, but Spurs will be thankful to put return to goal-scoring ways €“ Vilas-Boas's men had only managed nine in 12 matches before last week's fixture against Man Utd, but now have four goals in two games.
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Frustratingly argumentative writer, eater, reader and fanatical about film ‘n’ food and all things fundamentally flawed. I have been a member of the WhatCulture family since it was known as Obsessed with Film way back in the bygone year of 2010. I review films, festivals, launch events, award ceremonies and conduct interviews with members of the ‘biz’. Follow me @FilmnFoodFan In 2011 I launched the restaurant and food criticism section. I now review restaurants alongside film and the greatest rarity – the food ‘n’ film crossover. Let your imaginations run wild as you mull on what that might look like!