My thanks go to Declan Mulcahy for fulfilling the unpleasant duty of reporting upon this match
SUNDAY 30 JANUARY 2011, 4.30pm
FA CUP FOURTH ROUND
FULHAM (4) 4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (0) 0
Murphy 11p, 14p, Hangeland 23,
Fulham (4-4-2): Mark Hughes
12 D Stockdale; 4 J Pantsil, 18 A Hughes, 5 B Hangeland, 3 C Salcido; 16 D Duff, 13 D Murphy (c) (27 J Greening 74), 7 S Sidwell, 23 C Dempsey; 30 M Dembele (29 S Davies 80), 8 A Johnson (11 Z Gera 68)
Subs Not Used: 38 N Etheridge, 2 S Kelly, 26 K Dikgacoi, 15 D Kamara
Booked: Duff (35 foul on Assou-Ekotto)
Tottenham Hotspur (4-5-1):
1 H Gomes; 2 A Hutton, 20 M Dawson (c), 19 S Bassong, 32 B Assou-Ekotto; 11 R van der Vaart (8 J. Jenas, 66), 14 L Modric, 30 Sandro (13 W. Gallas, 17), 40 S Pienaar, 7 A Lennon; 18 J Defoe (15 P. Crouch, 46).
Subs Not Used: 23 C Cudicini, 22 V Corluka, 21 N Kranjcar, 9 R Pavlyuchenko
Booked: Van der Vaart (27 foul on Murphy)
Sent Off: Dawson (13 professional foul)
Craven Cottage, Attendance: 21,829
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire), Assistant Referees: Darren Cann (Norfolk), Adam Watts (Worcestershire), Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
TH Light blue shirts, shorts and stockings, F White shirts and stockings, black shorts
Captains armbands: Dawson to Modric followed by Gallas, Murphy to Hughes
DAWSONíS NIGHTMARE AS TOTTENHAM MAKE AN EARLY FA CUP EXIT
Tottenham played Fulham in the FA Cup for the second consecutive season, the third time in five seasons and the fourth time in fourteen seasons. Spurs made four changes from the team which drew at Newcastle with Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Bassong and Sandro replacing Cudicini, Bale, Gallas and Jenas. Despite the team chosen Redknapp fielded an unusual formation with Van der Vaart on the right wing, Lennon on the left, Modric as holding midfielder and Sandro and Pienaar further up front.
Spurs made a bad start. After ten minutes Dawson played a pass which was intercepted by Dempsey. He advanced into the box on the left where Hutton challenged him but only succeeded in conceding a penalty. Murphy hit the ball to the right. Gomes guessed the right way but the ball went over him.
Two minutes later Dawson was again caught, this time dithering with the ball just outside the box. Dembele robbed him of the ball and advanced into the box. Dawson had no option but to tug him back which was spotted by referee Phil Dowd. He awarded a second penalty in two minutes and sent Dawson off for a professional foul. This was Dawsonís fifth red card, his second at Craven Cottage and his second in an away FA Cup tie, so perhaps he should not play in away FA Cup games particularly at Craven Cottage!
Murphy again took the penalty. This time he scored with a shot to the left as Gomes dived the wrong way. Modric took over the captainís armband, while Sandro moved into the back four. Minutes later a mistake by Sandro allowed Johnson to cross the ball. Dempsey headed just over distracted by the close attention of Hutton. Almost immediately afterwards Sandro was sacrificed for Gallas as Redknapp decided a specialist defender was needed.
After 23 minutes Fulham won a corner which Duff took on the right. Johnson flicked the ball on towards the far post. Hangeland got in front of Bassong to score with a shot at the far post and Spurs were 3-0 behind. Four minutes later Van der Vaart was booked for a foul on Murphy. The one criticism which could be made of Van der Vaart is that he accumulates too many unnecessary bookings. Duff was also booked for a foul on Assou-Ekotto.
With a few minutes remaining in the first half an unusual incident occurred. Bassong and Pantsil were challenging for the ball near the touchline. A piece of mud flew up and hit Darren Cann, one of the assistant referees in the recent world cup final, in the eye. The game was stopped while he received treatment from the Fulham medical staff.
In injury time at the end of the first half Dembele received the ball just inside the Spurs half. He rounded Bassong too easily. He then bore down on the Spurs goal. Just outside the box Gallas attempted to tackle him but he unleashed a shot which entered the net at the left post. It was a fine individual goal and the best of the match.
Spurs made changes at half time. Crouch replaced Defoe. Gallas emerged with the captainís armband rather than Modric and Lennon switched to the right wing. Their performance was slightly better than the first half but having only ten men they still did not make much of an impact.
Just after the hour Dempsey brought a good save from Gomes and two minutes later the same player shot narrowly over. With a league game in three days time, Redknapp sensibly replaced Van der Vaart with Jenas. The latter had one of Spursí few efforts when he volleyed wide from outside the box. Fulham came closest towards the end. Hughes hit the bar with a header from a corner and Gomes saved from Gera and also from Duff after initially fumbling the second shot.
Spursí worst performance of the season ended with a disappointingly early exit from the FA Cup. The normally very reliable Michael Dawson gave his worst ever display in a Spursí shirt.
This was Fulhamís first win over Spurs in the FA Cup at the sixth attempt. They have now scored ten goals in two FA Cup games this season. It was only Mark Hughesís second win as a manager over Spurs. The first being a last minute win by Blackburn at White Hart Lane in Clive Allenís one game interregnum between Jol and Ramos in October 2007. It was Spurs worst FA Cup defeat since Glenn Hoddle lost 4-0 in successive seasons to Chelsea and Southampton in 2002 and 2003.
From my perspective none of the Spurs players played well enough to deserve the Spurs man-of-the-match award and I would give it to the loyal away support who sang loudly throughout the game even with the team losing 4-0.
Paul Smith showed great foresight in choosing to attend the Roxy Music concert rather than go to this very disappointing performance. Harry Redknapp now has a major challenge to reinvigorate the squad before a potentially difficult game away to Blackburn on Wednesday where a win is surely needed to bring the season back on track.
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