New manager Rene Meulensteen had Fulham oh so close to a derby delight against Tottenham, only for two long-range strikes to win it for the Lilywhites
A decent early start by Fulham saw some pressure on the Spurs back four over the first few minutes. Despite a relatively determined start by the home team the first decent chance fell to Spurs, the ball falling to Jermain Defoe, preferred up front to Roberto Soldado, who made some space for a smart shot that Maarten Stekelenburg got down to keep out.
But the next strong chance fell to Fulham, and it came as a result of a good run and pass by Kacaniklic, Dimitar Berbatov surprisingly failing to control the through ball.
Just two minutes later Karagounis had a long range strike that was pushed wide by Hugo Lloris.
Berbatov had another excellent chance, controlling a ball from the right, and guiding it towards the bottom corner. Frenchman Lloris got down well to make a great save.
Just moments later, and with the game opening up, Spurs countered well from a corner, and left Paulinho with an easy side foot finish. Somehow the Brazilian blazed over.
Another Spurs counter attack saw Defoe do really well at holding the ball up, playing in Lamela who just put it wide with a decent left footed shot.
Lamela had another great effort, after switching wings with Lennon, bursting through a challenge and seeing a great long-range strike pushed wide by Stekelenburg, as Spurs started to look the stronger team.
Fulham retained a threat of their own though, and kept the visitors on their toes.
The second half started with just as much pressing and intent from both teams, as both traded blows in search of a breakthrough.
Just as Tottenham seemed to be edging towards breaking the deadlock, a misplaced pass by Michael Dawson left them woefully exposed at the back, and with Dawson out of position, Dimitar Berbatov found Ashkan Dejagah in acres of space, and he drove past Lloris for the opener.
The goal shocked Spurs, and the North Londoners looked stunned and devoid of ideas as Fulham didn't just sit back in their half, they sat back in their final quarter.
Just as it looked like Fulham were managing to hold on, a Tottenham corner found Vlad Chiriches some 35 yards out, and his speculative half-volley flew along the ground through a sea of players and into the bottom corner. Stekelenburg seemed completely unsighted as the strike flew past him, and there was some debate as to how much Jermain Defoe was influencing play as he jumped over the goal bound shot from an offside position.
Suddenly Spurs looked the likely winners, and a long punt upfield found Jermain Defoe, only for his left foot chip to fly way over the bar.
Fulham responded with another excellent Berbatov effort, who forced Lloris into action once again.
Lewis Holtby found himself bustling from the right side of the box to the middle of the D, before the German unleashed an outstanding strike into the corner.
Stekelenburg kept Fulham in the came just a few minutes later with a wonderful save from a Paulinho header that looked as good as in.
The home team kept coming forward, and substitute Bryan Ruiz nearly scored with his first touch, after his effort was deflected towards goal. Lloris somehow flicked up his other hand and turned it wide.
That wasn't to be the end of it, as Fulham pushed everyone up front and Kasami hit the post in the 92nd minute. Ultimately, it would be Spurs' night.
Shots on target
- Maarten Stekelenburg
- Aaron Hughes
- Philippe Senderos
- Sascha Riether
- John Arne Riise
- Giorgos Karagounis
- Ashkan Dejagah
- Scott Parker
- Alexander Kacaniklic
- Pajtim Kasami
- Dimitar Berbatov
- Damien Duff
- Bryan Ruiz
- Elsad Zverotic
- Adel Taarabt
- Steve Sidwell
- David Stockdale
- Derek Boateng
- Hugo Lloris
- Vlad Chiriches
- Kyle Walker
- Michael Dawson
- Jan Vertonghen
- Aaron Lennon
- Etienne Capoue
- Erik Lamela
- Jermain Defoe
- Roberto Soldado
- Kyle Naughton
- Andros Townsend
- Lewis Holtby
- Gylfi Sigurdsson
- Nacer Chadli
- Brad Friedel