Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Carabao Cup Rd 2 Match Report - Fulham v Spurs, 29.08.23
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Fulham v Spurs Carabao Cup Rd 2 report

My thanks go to Declan Mulcahy for this excellent and comprehensive report:-

Tuesday 29 August 2023, 7:45pm
Carabao Cup Second Round South
Fulham (1) 1 Tottenham Hotspur (0) 1

Fulham scorer:-
van de Ven 19 og

Spurs scorer:-
Richarlison 56

Fulham won 5-3 on penalties

Pereira scored 1-0     Son scored 1-1
Jimenez scored 2-1     Kulusevski scored 2-2
Wilson scored 3-2      Sanchez saved 3-2
Palinha scored 4-2     Maddison scored 4-3
Tete scored 5-3

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Marco Silva
1 M Rodak, 2 K Tete, 31 I Diop, 13 T Ream, 33 A Robinson; 6 H Reed (38 L Harris 77), 26 Joao Palhinha; 11 A Traore (8 H Wilson 61), 10 T Cairney (c) (35 T Francois 83), 14 B De Cordova-Reid (18 A Pereira 77); 19 R Muniz (7 R Jimenez 83)

Subs not used: 17 B Leno, 27 K Mbabu, 44 L De Fougerolles, 30 C Vinicius
Ream took the captain's armband when Cairney was substituted

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-1-1):
20 F Forster; 12 Emerson Royal, 6 D Sanchez, 37 M van de Ven, 33 B Davies (c); 27 M Solomon (10 J Maddison 82), 4 O Skipp (29 P Sarr 72), 5 P-E Hojbjerg, 14 I Perisic (7 H-M Son 71); 18 G Lo Celso (44 D Scarlett 45); 9 Richarlison (21 D Kulusevski 72)

Subs not used: 13 G Vicario, 38 D Udogie, 17 C Romero, 8 Y Bissouma

Booked: Skipp (63 on Palinha), van de Ven (76 foul on Wilson) (Chris Davies coaching staff also booked)
Son took the captain's armband when he came on as a substitute

Craven Cottage, Attendance: 21,043

Referee: Josh Smith
Assistants: Matthew Jones, Sam Lewis
Fourth official: Samuel Barrott

A Missed Opportunity - Spurs Ring in the Team Changes and Pay the Penalty

The view from high in the Putney Road stand

Ange Postecoglou made nine changes from the team that had performed very well in the last two league games against Manchester United and Bournemouth. As is often the case in domestic cup games when multiple changes are made, the team lacked cohesion. They struggled in the first half and were lucky to go in at the break only a goal behind. They equalised in the second half but never looked like winning. With the score level after 90 minutes, a penalty shoot-out took place and Spurs succumbed to the lottery that this deciding phase is.

The last time that the club participated at the second-round level was in 2019-10 when they beat Doncaster Rovers 5-1 away. The last time they were eliminated in the second round was in 2005-06 when they lost 2-1 away to Grimsby Town (a League Two or Fourth Division team) which was a far more inglorious affair than tonight. These are the only two occasions since 1979-80 that the club has been eliminated at this level.

Since the last occasion Spurs had played in the second round there has been a change in the format of the tournament. For the past few seasons the first and second rounds have been played on a regional basis with the pool of teams being divided into two groups north and south and teams play other teams from their group.

As noted Spurs made nine changes from the weekend. Only van de Ven and Richarlison retained their places. Forster played his first game of the season; Solomon made his full debut and Lo Celso made his first start of the season. The other six players had been involved to varying degrees in the previous league games. Once again there was no sign of Dier.

Fulham made six changes from the weekend. The manager Marco Silva was suspended having received three bookings in the first three league games. He sat in the stand. Luis Boa Morte the former Fulham player was in charge at the touchline. Despite the Fulham changes and the manager being out of direct contact with the coaches down below, they looked a more cohesive unit than Spurs.

Spurs wore their third change kit. It seemed to be pink with some brown perhaps added. It looks rather nondescript and the supporters in the ground had difficulty distinguishing the numbers on the shirts.

It was a total transformation from the league games. The Spurs team lacked cohesion or authority from the beginning.

Robinson made a couple of good runs down the left for Fulham. Traore, who last March had scored on the only goal in the game for Wolves at Molineux, made a run down the right skipping past two Spurs players, but lost control of the ball before he could put in a cross.

Cairney made a nice run into the Spurs box beating a couple of players before setting up Reed. His shot diverted off van de Ven, who was marking him closely into the right corner of the net. Perisic who was by the post made an effort to stop it going in but was unsuccessful. It was credited as an own goal.

Spurs finally won a corner after 25 minutes to no avail. The ball found its way to Perisic a couple times on the left but his control was poor.

During the final 15 minutes of the half Traore twice set up Muniz. The first was saved by Forster near the post. The second just before the break was a good opportunity. Muniz's header was goal bound but Forster made a diving save.

Richarlison had an effort about ten minutes before the break which was blocked by Ream.

Fulham had six shots (two on target) in the first half while Spurs had only two with none on target.

It was apparent that Spurs needed changes after the break. The lack of creativity suggested that it would be a good idea to introduce Maddison. It was therefore surprising when Spurs made only one change at the break with Dane Scarlett replacing Lo Celso. It seemed very unlikely that the least experienced substitute could be an agent of change in a Spurs team that urgently needed to improve.

Spurs started the second half better perhaps after Postecoglou's team talk. Davies set up Richarlison whose shot was tipped over the bar by Rodak. Hojbjerg found space in the box but his shot went wide.

Then an unusual incident happened. Tete, the Fulham right back, went into a tackle and one of his boots disintegrated. He held up his boot and asked referee Josh Smith to stop the game while he got a replacement. The referee declined to do so. It then became apparent that the Fulham bench didn't have a replacement boot. Tete was seen to go haring off the pitch, down the tunnel to the dressing room in search of a new boot.

Fulham were now down to ten men. Spurs mounted an attack down the left wing. Perisic had the ball in the area where the missing Tete should have been. He sent a lovely cross towards the goal where Richarlison rose and scored with a header despite the unsuccessful efforts of Ream to keep the ball out. We don't know if Tete had been on the pitch if he could have prevented the cross but his absence certainly helped.

After 61 minutes Wilson replaced Traore. It was a surprise to see Traore go off as he had been one of Fulham's better players. However Wilson was Fulham's biggest threat after he came on. Minutes later he put De Cordova-Reid in the clear but the latter sliced his shot. He then made a run of his own but Sanchez blocked him

Chris Davies of the Spurs coaching staff was booked for dissent.

Solomon had an opportunity but Rodak saved. Postecoglou made a triple change with 20 minutes left with Sarr. Son and Kulusevski replacing Skipp, Perisic and Richarlison.

With seven minutes remaining Maddison replaced Solomon. Although he had 14 minutes including time added on it wasn't sufficient to conjure up a winning goal.

He did play Scarlett into the Fulham box but Rodak saved. Wilson made a run into the Spurs box and Forster made a good save. Tete then set up Jimenez who headed over. There was time for a Maddison free-kick which was blocked by the wall.

Forster was Spurs man of the match. Without his efforts penalties might not have been needed to produce a result.

The game went to penalties. Fulham went first and scored from their first three. Son and Kulusevski scored from the first two for Spurs. Sanchez took the third and his kick was saved. Palinha scored Fulham's fourth. Maddison kept Spurs in the hunt by scoring too. Then Tete, who had been missing when Spurs scored their goal converted the final kick to win the game for Fulham!

Penalty shoot-outs are a lottery and no blame should accrue to Sanchez who had the courage to take one of the kicks.

Twelve Premier League teams play in this round. Seven of the teams played today. This was the only match between two Premier League teams. The other six Premier League teams won. So sadly Spurs are the first team from the division to be eliminated.

Postecoglou said before the game that he would make changes to give the fringe players an opportunity. He has now found out like some of his recent predecessors that if you make significant changes you end up with a team isn't competitive. One of his worthy predecessors Mauricio Pochettino never really solved the conundrum of what team to field in the English domestic cup competitions. No blame attaches to Postecoglou here. He has made an excellent start. He will certainly learn from what went wrong tonight.

Postecoglou was quoted after on Sky Sports: "It is my priority [the cups] but there is no European football so how am I going to find out about our players? What opportunity would I have to do that other than the game? They are all part of our club."

Nonetheless it feels like a missed opportunity. Spurs need to win a trophy. The League Cup is probably the best bet. Spurs are not in Europe this season. The League Cup would only have added one more game per month between now and Christmas. It should have been possible to field the strongest possible team in both the league and the league cup without overly tiring the team.

It is very clear that most of the creativity comes from Maddison and if he is absent the team will struggle. He needs to stay fit for the whole season.

The Spurs supporters who attended the game did a superb job. They were in fine voice throughout the game dominating the Fulham crowd. It is a pity they weren't rewarded for their efforts.

So now we put the league cup behind us and return to the league. There are no other distractions between now and the New Year. The team needs to try and maintain the momentum which has been generated so far. Postecoglou remains the man for the job and hopefully will impress even more than he has so far.

. Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
. Read the preview for this game.
. All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

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