Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Spurs hold on for victory

Aaron Lennon
Aaron Lennon

Tottenham survived a second-half onslaught with a 3-1 victory at Craven Cottage to deny Fulham manager Martin Jol a satisfying Barclays Premier League victory over his former club.

Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon struck to give Spurs a commanding interval lead in a lively London derby, but they were over-run when play resumed.

Fulham dominated the second half with Younes Kaboul's 57th-minute own goal the direct result of relentless pressure from the rampant home side, only for Jermain Defoe to then pounce deep into injury time.

Controversy reigned during a chaotic five-minute spell of injury time when Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker clearly handled the ball, but referee Peter Walton declined to award a penalty. To rub salt into the wound, substitute Defoe scored with virtually the last kick of the game.

Jol will have felt the disappointment more than anyone as he oversaw his first encounter against his former paymasters since leaving White Hart Lane in acrimonious circumstances three years ago.

Spurs surged ahead in the 10th minute when Bale drilled the ball back across goal and it was deflected into the net by helpless Fulham defender Chris Baird.

Tottenham struck for a second time through Lennon, who jinked his way into the area, skipping around Baird in the process and directed a shot into the bottom right corner.

Tottenham defender Kaboul beat his own keeper in the 57th minute as rampant Fulham deservedly hit back, with Ledley King nodding the ball from a corner against Kaboul's back and into the goal.

Drama was to follow during injury time as first Walker handled the ball during a frantic goalmouth scramble, an offence that went unpunished, and then Luka Modric cleared a late effort off the goalline.

Fulham then suffered the cruel blow of seeing Defoe prod home to end an action-packed encounter.

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