Spurs figure it out in the second half against Fulham: 3 takeaways

18th August 2018, Wembley Stadium, London England; EPL Premier League football, Tottenham Hotspur versus Fulham; Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates as he scores making it 3-1 in minute 77 (photo by Shaun Brooks/Action Plus via Getty Images)
18th August 2018, Wembley Stadium, London England; EPL Premier League football, Tottenham Hotspur versus Fulham; Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates as he scores making it 3-1 in minute 77 (photo by Shaun Brooks/Action Plus via Getty Images) /

After playing a very attractive and attacking brand of soccer, Tottenham come way with their second straight win to start the season against the newly promoted Fulham.

Tottenham enjoyed a relatively comfortable win to open their season last week against Newcastle. They took on newly promoted Fulham this week, a team looking to bounce back after a loss to Crystal Palace in which they failed to score. After a nervous first half, Spurs found a way to control the game and secure the win. Here are three things we learned from the match.

Harry Kane can apparently score in August

It took him 14 tries, but Harry Kane’s August woes are finally behind him. The English striker had famously failed to score in the first month of the season, a strange statistic when you consider that he’s been the league’s top scorer two of the last three years. The slow start has been a staple for Kane over the last few years but he was able to score against Fulham today, effectively ending the drought. Kane slid the ball past Fulham’s keeper Fabri in the 77th minute to give Spurs their third goal of the game, putting them two ahead.

Now that he’s seen the ball go into the net this early in the season, there’s no limit to the amount of goals Kane can score this season. Any striker who can go a month without scoring to open the season and still lead the league in goals by the end of the year is a special player, and that’s definitely a description that fits Harry Kane.

Kane had multiple chances in the game, including one in the 72nd minute where he hit the crossbar. If he had a bit more luck, he could have possibly score two or three goals today. A big game like that would have certainly done wonders for his confidence, but the one goal he managed to get won’t hurt at all.

Fulham might be in trouble

Adjusting to a new league can be difficult for any promoted team, and Fulham are finding that out first hand early in this Premier League season. Two games into the 2018-19 season and they find themselves without a point, a troublesome start in a league as competitive as this one.

There are positives that Fulham can take away from this loss. They showed resiliency by managing to bring the game level after going down 1-0 just before the first half. Aleskandar Mitrovich scored shortly after halftime, finishing after very good attacking play from the entire team. Fulham played the entire game with a confidence that masked the fact that they’re a recently promoted team. Their forwards, namely Mitrovich and Ryan Sessengon, looked to take advantage of opportunities and go forward with and without the ball.

Still, the loss will sting, especially with a rough run of upcoming fixtures. Fulham play Burnley at Craven Cottage next week, before two away trips to Brighton and Manchester City respectively. The Brighton fixture looks like a winnable game, given Fulham’s talent level and the way they’ve played over the last two weeks. If they can manage to find points against Burnley or City, they would have far less reason to panic after their first four games.

If all of those games end in losses, it may mark the beginning of a very long season for the newly promoted side.

Spurs look good going into a big game next week

After a somewhat messy win against Newcastle last week, Tottenham needed to be sharper against Fulham. They take on Manchester United next Monday night in a clash of Premier League titans. Going into that game in good form was important, and Spurs managed to live up to the task.

They controlled the ball with 60% possession, and finished the game with 25 shots to Fulham’s 10. Lucas Moura opened the scoring for Spurs near the end of the first half with a beautiful left footed strike. The ball careened off the post and in to give Tottenham a lead heading into halftime. Before that goal, it appeared as if the game would remain level at the break. Tottenham had several chances but were unable to capitalize, even though their buildup play was very good.

After Fulham equalized early in the second half, it appeared that Spurs reached a second gear. They seemed to be more active away from the ball, getting players forward and putting more of them into the box. Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen all had opportunities to score as the game opened up.

After Alli was fouled just outside of the box, Kieran Trippier stepped up to take – and score –  a free kick, just like he did against Croatia in the World Cup. Trippier’s goal proved to be the game winner, giving Spurs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Tottenham face their biggest test of this young season next week against a very talented Manchester United team. With two wins in their first two games and their star striker getting himself on the board earlier than usual, they’re in the best possible form for a game of this magnitude.

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