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Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham. Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur StadiumAttendance61,286.

Tottenham Hotspur 2

  • H Son (36th minute)
  • J Maddison (54th minute)

Fulham 0

    Tottenham 2-0 Fulham: Heung-min Son and James Maddison return Spurs to top of the Premier League

    Report and highlights as Tottenham's protagonists Heung-min Son and James Maddison kept up their unbeaten league record with a comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham on Monday Night Football; Fulham stay 16th with just two wins in last eight league games

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Fulham in the Premier League

    Tottenham returned to the top of the table after beating Fulham 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Ange Postecoglou set a Premier League record for the best start by a manager after nine games.

    Goals from Heung-min Son (36) and James Maddison (54), the two players filling the void left by Harry Kane, secured the three points which knock Man City off top spot. Fulham failed to cope with Spurs' relentless pressure from the front with Calvin Bassey losing possession on the edge of his box for both goals.

    Heung-Min Son is congratulated by Micky van de Ven after Tottenham's first goal against Fulham
    Image: Heung-Min Son is congratulated by Micky van de Ven after Tottenham's first goal against Fulham

    Postecoglou now has 23 points in his first nine games, which surpasses the previous best set by ex-Chelsea head coach Guus Hiddink and former Norwich boss Mike Walker (22). The Australian has transformed Spurs in less than four months and put them firmly in contention for Champions League qualification and perhaps more.

    Fulham battled hard to fend off Spurs, and were denied by two fantastic Guglielmo Vicario saves in each half, but were always second best to Postecoglou's tireless Spurs team and failed to recover after the second goal. They stay in 16th with just two wins in their last eight league games.

    Player ratings

    Tottenham: Vicario (8); Porro (7), Romero (7), Van de Ven (7), Udogie (7); Hojbjerg (8), Sarr (8); Kulusevski (7), Maddison (9), Richarlison (7); Son (9).

    Subs: Skipp (6), Emerson (6), Lo Celso (N/A), Johnson (N/A), Veliz (N/A).

    Fulham: Leno (5); Castagne (6), Bassey (4), Ream (6), Robinson (6); Palhinha (7), Lukic (5); Decordova-Reid (6), Pereira (5), Willian (6); Vinicius (5).

    Subs: Reed (5), Jimenez (5), Wilson (6), Cairney (N/A), Iwobi (5).

    Player of the match: James Maddison (Spurs).

    How Postecoglou made Premier League history

    Tottenham's James Maddison and team-mate Richarlison delebrate their second goal against Fulham (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
    Image: Maddison's impressive debut season at Spurs continued with another influential display

    Postecoglou's side set the pace of the game from the start as they pressed Fulham high, barely giving the visitors any breathing room. Son was kept out by Bernd Leno, the former Arsenal goalkeeper, two minutes in as Spurs then wasted three free-kicks around the box trying to be too tricky.

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    Vicario pulls off superb stop to deny early Fulham lead

    Fulham nearly took the lead against the run of play after 12 minutes but Vicario, the Spurs goalkeeper, kept out Joao Palhinha's header at a corner with a fantastic fingertip save. Marco Silva's side grew into the game, which became frenetic, as Fulham began to match Spurs' intensity.

    Team news

    • Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg made his first Premier League start of the season for Tottenham, replacing the suspended Yves Bissouma.
    • Heung-min Son and Cristian Romero were fit enough to start after shaking off injuries picked up on international duty.
    • Brennan Johnson returned to the Spurs squad after nearly a month out injured.
    • Calvin Bassey came in for the injured Issa Diop in defence, making his first league start since being sent off against Arsenal in August.
    • Fulham's only other change was the introduction of Sasa Lukic in midfield ahead of Alex Iwobi.

    Spurs found more space as the game opened up and should have gone ahead after half an hour through Richarlison, who has scored once in nine league games this season. He fired just wide following Dejan Kulusevski's lay-off on the edge of the box with the hosts pushing hard for an opener.

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    Richarlison misses glorious chance for a Spurs opener

    Fulham finally caved under Spurs' pressure six minutes later as Son struck a classy finish into the top corner after Bassey, making his first league start since August, gave away possession on the edge of his box. Had Kulusevski been more clinical, Spurs could have gone in 2-0 up at the break.

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    Heung-Min Son opens the scoring for Spurs against Fulham

    Silva made a double change at half-time for Fulham, bringing on Alex Iwobi and Raul Jimenez for Carlos Vinicius and Andreas Pereira. There was a response from his side but it was short-lived as yet another error from Bassey around his box allowed Spurs to score their second.

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    James Maddison gives Tottenham a 2-0 advantage against Fulham

    Maddison capitalised on the mistake after being set up by Son to give the home side a comfortable lead with what was almost a carbon copy of their first goal. The pace of the game subsequently subsided with Fulham losing belief and Spurs seeming happy to take their foot off the gas.

    James Maddison scores Tottenham's second goal against Fulham
    Image: James Maddison scores Tottenham's second goal against Fulham

    Bassey nearly handed Spurs a third goal though when he was robbed of the ball by Maddison in his own area. He was fortunate that the Spurs midfielder failed to punish him again although the Fulham defender then somewhat made up for his mistake by blocking Richarlison's subsequent shot.

    Fulham were kept out by Vicario for a second time in the closing stages when Jimenez was played through on goal and also had chances with Tom Cairney and Harry Wilson but were unable to convert.

    Spurs, whose only dropped points heading into this game had come against London opposition, always seemed to be in control as they got the job done against their city rivals to continue their incredible start to the season under Postecoglou.

    Ange: We took liberties in the second half

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    Ange Postecoglou was disappointed with his players’ performance in the second half.

    Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou speaking to Sky Sports: "It was a good result. Fulham are a tough team to break down. In the first-half he handled it pretty well, nice and calm. With the chance we had, probably should have had a second and a third.

    "The second half wasn't great for us. We didn't play anywhere near the levels we can with the ball. Without the ball we were still excellent in terms of our pressing. With the ball we were really, really wasteful. We've been really consistent this year. That's probably the worst 45 minutes with the ball we've had.

    "If you're off it just a little bit, I've been around long enough to know it will drag you down pretty quickly. We didn't stay true to the football we want to play and took some liberties with the game which I wasn't happy with."

    On Maddison, he added: "It was great for Madders on the back of him working hard defensively which is part of the game we've really impressed on him this year.

    "With the ball, we know what he can do, he's really creative. First-half we were really good, I was really happy with the way we stayed patient and waited for our little opportunities to open them up and Madders was key to that

    "Him, along with others in the second half, we lost our discipline a little bit and we can't do that at this level. It's a good little lesson for us."

    Maddison: How Ange's non-negotiables transformed Spurs

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    Spurs midfielder James Maddison reflects on the win against Fulham, life under Ange Postecoglou and what his personal aims are.

    James Maddison speaking to Sky Sports on Spurs' pressing:

    "If you look back at the teams he's managed, they've always been front-foot pressing teams.

    "The first day he came in he said pressing high is almost a non-negotiable at any stage of the game.

    "We had a game in pre-season where we went 1-0 or 2-0 up and we kind of stopped pressing and sat in a little bit - and he went ballistic at half-time. It was Shakhtar Donetsk here.

    "He said that's almost how Tottenham have been in the past, trying to protect a lead. He said it's non-negotiable to keep going and keep pressing, and we go and score three and four."

    Silva: We made the same mistake twice

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    Marco Silva believes his Fulham side should have got more from the game, but was disappointed by the way they conceded both goals.

    Fulham manager Marco Silva to Sky Sports: "I believe that we could have taken more from the game, at least to score.

    "When you come to play against Tottenham, the way we knew they were preparing the game, they are aggressive in our first build-up and all the transitions.

    "We had very good moments inside the box, we should have created more.

    "The way we conceded the goal was a bit sloppy. They prepared to give Calvin (Bassey) [the ball] on his right foot which was going to be more difficult to build from that moment.

    "The thing that made me more disappointed was the way we conceded the second goal. It was similar to the first. We spoke at half-time not to do the same thing again."

    Opta Stats: Spurs show potentially title-winning form

    • Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has picked up 23 points from his first nine games as a manager in the Premier League (W7 D2), more than any other manager in the history of the competition (Mike Walker and Guus Hiddink next on 22).

    • Fulham are without a win in their last 11 Premier League London derbies (D4 L7), since a 2-1 home victory over Chelsea in January 2023 and have enjoyed just one win in their last 22 away games against fellow London clubs in the competition (D6 L15).

    • Only eight sides in Premier League history have started a campaign with more than 23 points from their first nine games, with four of them going on to win the title, three ending second and one ending third.

    • Since his debut season in the Premier League (2015-16), Tottenham's Son Heung-min has both scored and assisted in 23 different games, with only Mohamed Salah (26) doing so in more different games in that time.

    What's next?

    Tottenham are back in action, live on Sky Sports, on Friday Night Football (October 27) against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park; kick-off 8pm.

    Meanwhile, Fulham face a trip to Brighton on Sunday October 29; kick-off 2pm.

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