Premier League

Tottenham 2-1 Fulham: Player ratings as Spurs return to winning ways

Sean Walsh
Spurs were impressive on Saturday
Spurs were impressive on Saturday / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages
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From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - Tottenham maintained their unbeaten start to the new season with a 2-1 win against Fulham on Saturday.

Antonio Conte's men were outplayed by West Ham in midweek and were in need of a performance almost as much as a result, and Spurs duly delivered ahead of their return to the Champions League on Wednesday.

Tottenham felt they should have had a fifth-minute penalty when Joao Palhinha barged into the back of Ryan Sessegnon and caused him to take a tumble, but their appeals were dismissed.

Harry Kane nearly gave Spurs the lead soon after when he managed to hold off Tim Ream and get a shot away from the edge of the area, with former Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno forced into a smart save.

A cross from Son Heung-min was met by the diving head of Richarlison following a clever corner routine, but Kenny Tete got across to get a vital deflection.

Spurs had the ball in the net when a similar cross from Son evaded both Harry Kane and Eric Dier and went straight in, but the flag was up against both as they were offside and ruled to be interfering with play.

Richarlison got the better of Tosin Adarabioyo and teed up Son, though Ream just about got back across to make a goal-saving block.

The Brazilian then latched onto the end of a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ball over the top of a switched-off Fulham defence and laid it off to Kane, who rounded Leno but couldn't get a shot away in time.

Tottenham's luck continued to be out as Kane looped a great pass over for Son, whose toe-poke over Leno from six yards rattled the underside of the crossbar.

But Spurs finally broke the deadlock shortly before the half-time interval after pressing Kevin Mbabu into giving the ball away deep in his own half, with Hojbjerg and Richarlison linking up well before the Dane fired into the bottom corner.

Just after the the break, Dier blazed over from 12 yards after guiding a bobbling cross from Richarlison a little too high, while Spurs' new number nine himself had a chance from a similar distance but his shot was easily held by Leno.

Fulham's first chance of the game came after 54 minutes when Dier lost possession in midfield and Aleksandar Mitrovic's deflected shot off Clement Lenglet forced Hugo Lloris into a stretching save.

At the other end, Leno prevented ex-Fulham star Sessegnon from doubling the hosts' lead with a fine save of his own, and soon after denied Son and later Cristian Romero.

Tottenham grabbed their second of the day with under 20 minutes remaining. Sessegnon's shot was blocked, but he squared the rebound for Kane to tap in, and the England captain became the joint-top scorer in London derby history after a VAR check, tying Thierry Henry's 42 goals.

Richarlison was once more denied his first goal for Spurs when his shot struck the post and rolled across the six-yard box, before Fulham went down the other end and got one back through a stunning strike from Mitrovic.

Another shot from the same angle and distance deflected off Romero minutes later, with Lloris this time getting a glove on it to push it behind.

Tottenham thought they had wrapped up the victory through Richarlison, but Sessegnon was adjudged to have been offside in the build-up and the goal was chalked off.

But Conte's side rode out five minutes of intense stoppage-time pressure to jump up to second place in the Premier League table, for a few hours at least.


Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham, player ratings

1. Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-3)

Richarlison, Neeskens Kebano
Richarlison was a constant threat / Clive Rose/GettyImages

GK: Hugo Lloris - 6/10 - Had very little to do in terms of shot-stopping, marshalling his area and kicking.

CB: Cristian Romero - 6/10 - Booked early on but that seemed to calm him down. Dealt well with Mitrovic.

CB: Eric Dier - 6/10 - Caught in possession once or twice but was largely solid.

CB: Clement Lenglet - 7/10 - Excellent on the ball and didn't let an early duel with Mitrovic get to him.

RM: Emerson Royal - 5/10 - Solid defensively but this was another horror-show going the other way from Emerson, whose crossing is seemingly getting worse somehow.

CM: Rodrigo Bentancur - 8/10 - Such a smooth operator. There's a reason Conte values his composure and technique so highly.

CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - 8/10 - Won the midfield battle with ease and got a lovely goal for his efforts.

LM: Ryan Sessegnon - 8/10 - Dominated the left flank with a mature and aggressive performance.

RF: Richarlison - 7/10 - Didn't disappoint on his first start. Caused Fulham plenty of problems with his movement and pressing.

LF: Son Heung-min - 6/10 - A much better performance today but you could tell he was in his own head when faced with the chance to shoot.

CF: Harry Kane - 8/10 - Richarlison's pace meant Kane had another option to pick out when dropping deep. Now the joint-leading scorer in London derbies.

Manager: Antonio Conte - 7/10 - Seemed calmer on the touchline today, probably because his team looked in much better shape.

SUB: Dejan Kulusevski (78' for Kane) - 5/10

SUB: Ivan Perisic (84' for Son) - N/A

2. Fulham (4-2-3-1)

Bernd Leno
Leno was in fine form / Visionhaus/GettyImages

GK: Bernd Leno - 7/10 - Called into action plenty and kept his side in the game.

RB: Kenny Tete - 3/10 - A nightmare afternoon up against Son and Sessegnon.

CB: Tosin Adarabioyo - 4/10 - Didn't know how to deal with any of Spurs' attackers.

CB: Tim Ream - 6/10 - His strength and physicality helped slow Tottenham down at least.

LB: Antonee Robinson - 5/10 - Brought off with injury in the opening half hour.

CM: Joao Palhinha - 6/10 - Forced Hojbjerg and Bentancur to work hard for the ball.

CM: Harrison Reed - 5/10 - Never really got a foot in the game.

RM: Bobby De Cordova-Reid - 4/10 - Worked hard but lacked any menace.

AM: Andreas Pereira - 4/10 - Started brightly but faded out of the game very, very quickly.

LM: Neeskens Kebano - 3/10 - Was easy to forget that he was even playing at times.

CF: Aleksandar Mitrovic - 7/10 - Quiet for so long but came alive when Fulham needed him at the end, though just couldn't find an equaliser.

Manager: Marco Silva - 4/10 - Fulham were overrun and none of his tactical decisions or tweaks helped them out.

SUB: Kevin Mbabu (29' for Robinson) - 3/10 - Torn apart from the minute he stepped on the pitch.

SUB: Dan James (61' for De Cordova-Reid) - 4/10

SUB: Tom Cairney (61' for Pereira) - 4/10

SUB: Willian (61' for Kebano) - 4/10

SUB: Carlos Vinicius (85' for Palhinha) - N/A

Player of the Match - Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

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