Fulham’s fury at having to play Tottenham with just two days’ notice was shown to be misplaced as it came from behind to draw 1-1 in the Premier League on Wednesday.
After Tottenham’s game with Aston Villa was postponed, the Premier League quickly rearranged this match against Fulham — which was originally due to be played on December 30 — and manager Scott Parker described the decision as “scandalous.”
It looked like his grievances were well-founded as Tottenham dominated the first half and led through Harry Kane’s 25th-minute diving header. But a spirited second-half showing from Fulham was rewarded with Ivan Cavaleiro’s equalizer 16 minutes from time, earning its fifth successive draw as Parker looks to have found a style that could keep his side up.
For Tottenham this was the same old story — a game of early domination, missed chances and ultimately dropped points. That is six points lost from winning positions just at home this season and that could ultimately cost the team any real shot at the Premier League title.
Despite his pre-match protestations, Parker was still able to name 10 of the players that played in Fulham’s last Premier League game — on December 26 — despite the club’s coronavirus outbreak since then.
The players arrived in north London without a defeat in their last four league games, during which they tightened up at the back significantly.
But it was clear from early on that they would struggle to keep Spurs quiet as the hosts enjoyed some early chances.
Right-back Serge Aurier enjoyed a particularly fruitful night as he was the creator of three good opportunities.
First he crossed for Sergio Reguilon, who fired over at the second attempt, then laid the ball on a plate for Son Heung-min to see a shot saved by Alphonse Areola’s legs, before again supplying Son, who brought a flying save out of the goalkeeper.
But Areola could only keep Spurs at bay as they eventually made a breakthrough.
This time it was created on the left as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s pass set Reguilon free and he delivered the most inviting cross for Kane, who obliged by sending a header into the bottom corner.
Kane then surprisingly put an even better chance over the crossbar from another cross by Aurier before teeing up Hojbjerg for a golden opportunity, only for the Dane to shoot straight at Areola.
Spurs struggled to play with the same verve after the break, but still looked the more likely to add to the score line as a surging run into the area by Moussa Sissoko was stopped at the last minute by Tosin Adarabioyo’s tackle, and then Areola was again called into action to claw away Harry Winks’ shot.
As Fulham pushed for an equalizer, Spurs sensed opportunities on the break and they had a big chance to make it 2-0 with 20 minutes left.
Son was put through on goal by Tanguy Ndombele for the sort of opportunity he has buried on many occasions this season, but this time he scuffed his shot and it hit the post.
Four minutes later, the inevitable happened as Fulham got the equalizer.
Ademola Lookman had made an impact from the bench and he turned Davinson Sanchez before putting in a cross that Cavaleiro powered home.
Fulham was looking the most likely to win it as goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had to keep out Ruben Loftus-Cheek after he was played in by Lookman.
The visitors were grateful for a linesman’s flag that ruled out Reguilon’s late effort for Spurs.