Illustrated Premier League Match Report: Fulham 1 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur like you’ve never seen
Listen, let me just be the first to get this out of the way, ok?
Fulham were ROBBED the other weekend. FUCKING ROBBED! I know it, you know it, we all know it god damn it, that doesn’t matter any more! Get it together!
The score has been tallied, the points respectively lost and accumulated. Time, that cruelest of taskmasters, has had its way with the inhabitants of humble Craven Cottage. Some things, Prigogine teaches us, are irreversible.
Would that I could, yall. Would that I fucking could. Alas.
And yet, what a match this was. What a battle. It’s this kind of match that does the real heavy lifting in earning the Premier League’s self-proclaimed “Best League in the World” title. Watching matches like this one, between an aspiring Top Four candidate and a comfortably mid-table outfit, you’re inclined to believe the hype.
Right from the start Fulham went all out. A few minutes in, Fulham’s American Hero Clint Dempsey almost scored but only managed to collide with Spurs keeper and fellow American Hero Brad Friedel.
Freedom isn’t free, you guys.
At ten minutes, Tottenham scored. The ball and most of the Cottagers were on one side of the pitch, so Adebayor kicked it way out into space upfield on the other side. Spurs’ right back Kyle Walker had the dizzying pace to run onto it, taking it to the byline and then cutting back to Aaron Lennon, who sent it to the far post. Adebayor, who’d started the move way back in the middle third, was there leaping for a tap-in but the ball deflected behind him off the keeper. No matter though–Gareth Bale had come charging and belted it into the net. Then he celebrated by making gang signs at the fans in what I presume was the away section.
This goal got me to thinking–are Spurs the fastest team in the EPL? Van der Vaart definitely slows them down, but other than him they all seem pretty quick. Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon are like Sonic & Tails, and with Adebayor there too now it’s like whoa, Knuckles cheat unlocked! Then there’s the aforementioned Kyle Walker, while Scott Parker, Luka Modric, and Assou-Ekotto can be speedy when they need to be as well. Zoom zoom.
At around 20 minutes, Scott Parker got an elbow in the face. There was BLOOD!!!!
Sweet, glorious blood.
Credit to Scotty P, he got right back into it soon as he could, and the game went on from there. It also got way scrappier from there, with slide tackles pretty much the norm from there on out. It was FFFFUUUUNNNNN boy I tell ya what.
Fulham were bossing the game, too. Pretty much everything happened in Tottenham’s half. But no goal came. And then, at the cusp of half time, Aaron Lennon scored a beautiful individual goal. He played short pass to Gareth Bale, who back heeled it back to Lennon, who then stormed into the area and completely bamboozled poor Chris Baird, who practically toppled over from so many quick changes of direction. Then he curled the ball past Schwarzer into the far post. It was, like, WHOA.
Fulham reacted positively though. What felt like mere seconds later, Younes Kaboul had to take a boot in the head to prevent a Cottagers goal. Dude got up and played the rest of the game though.
Unfortunately half time still wouldn’t come. Fulham’s Zdeněk Grygera got jinked by Bale and twisted his knee, falling down screaming in agony. It was genuinely horrifying to hear and see. At 52 minutes the half-time whistle finally blew and the teams went down the tunnel. Fulham were down 2-0. Unjust, but that’s football.
In the second half Fulham were even more dominant. They just hammered and hammered away at Spurs, who were completely cowed and only just managed to hang on. In the 57th minute Fulham finally got a goal, but it was an own goal by earlier head kick victim Younes Kaboul, rebounded off his back from an attempted Ledley King clearance of a corner.
Fulham kept coming so close to an equalizer! They kept threatening and threatening, they had so many chances. But the goal never came. I started to experience haunting visions. I saw a man with grey skin trying to climb up a sand dune, the ground slipping down underneath his feet, the sand filling up his shoes, the top never getting any closer. I saw a Spanish galleon rowing its way through a windless fog across a flat sea. I saw a chunk of rock spinning around a ball of fire, black emptiness all around them, forever. I saw Sisyphus pushing his boulder up the hill and watching it roll back down.
Then I saw Jermain Defoe score Tottenham’s third goal, and heard the final whistle blow.