[Player Ratings] Fulham 1-2 Tottenham: Holtby Inspires Spurs Comeback

By on December 5, 2013

Tottenham came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night. Here, Spurs Blogger gives us his player ratings from the game.

Jermain Defoe

Tottenham ended a run of four Premier League games without a win at Craven Cottage, as they defeated a Fulham side, despite having new manager Rene Meulensteen at the helm for his first match, by a score line of 1-2.

Fulham opened the scoring in the second half, as Berbatov found himself in space in midfield and floated a lovely pass over the top of the Spurs defence to pick out Dejagah, who finished cooly under Hugo Lloris for his first goal in a the League. Vlad Chiriches then equalised with a low pile driver from 35 yards before Lewis Holtby scored the winner, finding space on the edge of the box and lit up Craven Cottage with a fantastic strike at Martin Stekelenburg’s near post.

Here are my ratings:

Hugo Lloris 7/10

Hugo will be disappointed to have conceded in this match, but cannot be blamed; Dejagahs shot was very powerful and would’ve been difficult to save for any ‘keeper. Hugo made a number of very good saves, including a crucial one in the first half, as he dived low to stop Karagounis’ low shot from going in and one to deny Dimitar Berbatov on the 22nd minute with a fantastic save.

Kyle Walker 6/10

Defended well and seemed to retain concentration for the full 90 minutes (for once). Kyle took the corner which, after being cleared, led to Vlad Chiriches’ 35 yard strike to equalise the match. Didn’t do anything wrong, but wasn’t special going forward.

Vlad Chiriches 7/10

Vlad ‘the Impaler’ scored his first goal in the Premier League; and what a goal it was. He found space, after the Fulham defence cleared a corner, and shot a 35 yard low strike through a group of players and past Martin Stekelenburg. But, for Fulham’s goal, Vlad was on walk about, as Dejagah found space behind our defence to fire past Lloris. Mixed game for him, but took his goal well.

Michael Dawson 5/10

Captain fantastic himself was partially to blame for the goal which we conceded, as he looked to take the ball forward, got mixed up with Paulinho, providing Dejagah enough room behind our backline to take Berbatov’s pass and finish. Question marks remain over whether or not Dawson is a defender who matches the high line which we seem to want to play, regardless of how successful it’s been as far. Once Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul fully fit from injury, Michael could find himself as 4th choice centre half and based off recent mistakes, maybe it’s time for the captain to step down.

Jan Vertonghen 6/10

Still playing in his less than preferred left full back slot, Jan Vertonghen had a good game, as his offensive work was impressive along the left hand side, considering the inconsistency in the player playing in front of him, ranging between Lennon, Lamela and Holtby. A few very good crosses completely dissecting the Fulham defence, but neither were met by a Spurs player.

Sandro 6/10

Began the match in a new deep midfield partnership with Capoue, and ended the night on the bench. Seemed redundant at times in the first half, due to being played next to a very similar player, but in the second half played well and stung the Fulham’s ‘keeper’s gloves on one occasion with a good strike. He was retracted as we chased the winning goal for Nacer Chadli in the 67th minute.

Etienne Capoue 6/10

During the first half, Etienne saw a lot more of the ball than fellow anchor man, Sandro, almost setting up Jermaine Defoe for the opening on goal early in the first half. But the pair playing together was far too defensive, considering they didn’t have as much to do, had’ve they been partnered against a side with better attacking talent. He was withdrawn at half time for Lewis Holtby, due to a knock which he suffered during the first half.

Paulinho 6/10

Paulinho played the more attacking of our three midfielders, at times even directly behind Defoe, spurning a number of chances to add to his Premier League goal-tally, including an excellent chance during the first half, where he shot high and wide of the goal from only 8-yards out. He dropped deeper when Lewis Holtby was introduced, demonstrating his versatility. Paulinho’s mix up with Michael Dawson was vital for Fulham’s goal.

Aaron Lennon 7/10

Aaron began the Fulham game on his less preferred left wing slot, allowing Erik Lamela to play on the right, but throughout the game, Aaron swapped places with the opposite winger. Lennon was at his best during the match and proved a handful for both Riise and Reither, as he constantly looked to find the by line and drift the ball in. Unfortunately, we played 5ft 7inch Jermaine Defoe, who isn’t going to out-jump Senderos and Hughes.

Erik Lamela 7/10

Erik was recalled to the squad after being dropped completely for the draw against Manchester United on Sunday. He began on his preferred right hand side, but switched to the left flank at times, demonstrating a good understanding with Aaron Lennon to avoid any congestion down either flank. Erik missed an excellent chance half way through the first half, after impressive work by Jermaine Defoe and provided extra presence in the box, particular on one occasion, running onto Defoe’s pass after some good hold up play, latching onto his cut-back, but was unable to apply the deserved finish. Erik began the match slowly, but gradually seemed to gain confidence, demonstrating his tricky feet and performing a couple of impressive dribbles.

Jermaine Defoe 7/10

Jermaine was brought into the side after a run of unimpressive performances from fellow striker, Robert Soldado, and he made good of his chance. Defoe held up the ball well, and cannot be put to blame for not converting any chances. On a number of occasions, Defoe brought Lamela, Paulinho and Holtby into the game and all-in-all had a good game.

Subs

Lewis Holtby 8/10

Lewis came on at half time for Etienne Capoue, due to the Frenchman taking a knock in the first half. Holtby played deeper than usual, in contrast to his usual role in occupying the #10 role, behind the lone striker. Lewis was handed the man of the match award, after introducing more fluidity and attacking intent to the side in the second half, accumulating in Lewis scoring the winning goal, was a stunning strike, finding space on the edge of Martin Stekelenburg’s box and beating the Dutchman at his near post.

Nacer Chadli 5/10

Nacer was introduced behind Jermaine Defoe, when brought on for Sandro. He was fairly ineffective and hardly saw the ball, despite being on the pitch for over 20 minutes. One to forget for the Belgium wide man.

Andros Townsend 5/10

Andros got introduced from the bench for a short 10 minute cameo on the left hand side of the pitch, allowing Aaron Lennon to return to his preferable right berth. Almost denied Lewis Holtby his chance for the winning goal, but eventually left it to the German. Ineffective again, but didn’t have chance to feel his way into the match, and after two substitute performances, don’t be surprised to see him feature against Sunderland on Saturday.

All in all, the majority of the boys didn’t play well, but moments of magic from Vlad Chiriches and Lewis Holtby saved our bacon. A typical away result I guess, I’d take another on Saturday though.

COYS!

Thanks to Spurs Blogger for posting this article – follow them on Twitter here

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7 Comments

  1. Daragh

    December 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Think your harsh on Walker, I thought he was easily on of the better players last night along with Lamela, Vlad and Lloris. He did the defensive stuff as required and was very busy in attack all night.

  2. chazza

    December 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Townsend to play this weekend? And 5/10 for 10 minutes in which he achieved loss of possession, no crosses and one run from our own half (where he again hit the defensive wall). Is it possible to score less than 5 in your ratings? And who would you drop to play him against Sunderland? Lennon? Lamela?
    Utter rubbish.

    • Ben

      December 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      I’m sorry you feel this way, but yes I believe Townsend could return against Sunderland, we don’t want to burn out Lamela and think we’ll start Townsend on the left. In terms of his performance, I thought he was bright, looked active and took men on. Players are slated too often for not showing any attacking intent, but when they do, we blast them for’wasting’ possession instead of keeping possession. These are just my opinions, apologises if you see otherwise.

      • dsfgd

        December 6, 2013 at 12:57 am

        “burn out lamela” – oh dear. A player that has played a handful of games. Didn’t play in the manchester game. Burn him out. The only thing burning here is the fuse in your head. Go watch an actual game lol

  3. tony

    December 6, 2013 at 6:46 am

    WE BOUGHT 6 PLAYERS IN THE LAST WINDOW.ONLY ONE LOOKS LIKE HE WAS WORTH THE MONEY.VLAD CHIRICHES.LOOKS REAL CLASS AT TIMES AND COST LITTLE MONEY.WHATS WRONG AT SPURS.WE BUY FROM EVERTON THEIR STAR PLAYER AND HE FLOPS.RETURNS TO EVERTON AGAIN A TOP PLAYER.BUY TOP PLAYERS FROM FULHAM.ONE HAD SCORED 26 GOALS PREVIOUS SEASON. HE FLOPPED.THE OTHER PAID ABOUT 15 MIL.HES NOT CONSISTENT.NOW ANOTHER 5 IN THE SAME CATEGORY.SUPPOSED TO BE TOP PLAYERS.NEARLY HALF WAY THRU THE SEASON AND STILL NO IMPROVEMENT.

  4. Spursfan

    December 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Is everyone forgetting that TOWNSEND has been our best player and most potent attacking force for us all season??? Even after all the moneybwe invested? Just saying. Think before you speak.

    • Ben

      December 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Completely agree, hence why I’d like to see him return to the starting eleven on Saturday. Some people seem to think that a players price tag should dictate the starting eleven, rather than performance and current form. COYS!

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