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Fulham 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0: match report
Published : 26 Dec 2009 15:19:06
As goalless draws go, this was hardly a cracker, but no turkey either. Spurs missed a chance to go third in the table but were hanging on against an impressive side who kept Heurelho Gomes far busier than his opposite number Mark Schwarzer. Tottenham Hotspur's Brazilian goalkeeper had a nightmare in the corresponding fixture last November, but Gomes was the hero for the travelling fans this time around. Related ArticlesPremier League tablePremier League actionTelegraph player raterPremier League fixturesTransfer TalkSport on televisionFulham had the better chances of a first-half high in energy, low on quality. Danny Murphy had a dipping volley from 20 yards tipped over the bar brilliantly by Gomes in the 12th minute. Clint Dempsey went even closer in the 33rd minute, when his fierce free kick from 25 yards struck the top of the cross bar, but the American striker was also guilty of a bad miss 10 minutes earlier when he shot wide from the edge of the area with a clear sight of goal. Spurs did not force Schwarzer into a meaningful save in the opening hour or so, with Harry Redknapp's decision to demote Jermain Defoe to the substitute's bench appearing to backfire. Robbie Keane was restored to the Tottenham attack alongside Peter Crouch, but the Irishman had another poor game, struggling to get into the game. Another player who failed to impose himself was Aaron Lennon, who was surpisingly quiet. The winger was rarely given a chance to run at his marker. Too often Tottenham opted to hit the ball long towards Crouch, who had one of those frustrating days when the ball would not drop for him. By contrast, Fulham continued to test Gomes in the second half, with one header from Bobby Zamora being saved at full stretch. Dempsey then finished off an end-to-end move with a powerful shot that was well saved by Gomes, and the Brazilian then made another fine save from a Zamora header after Damien Duff crossed from the right. Redknapp gave Tottenham's supporters what they wanted when he sent on Defoe for Keane with 20 minutes to go, and the England striker soon went close with an overhead shot that flew over Schwarzer's bar. And the Australian keeper was finally tested 10 minutes from the end when he dived full-length to keep out a 20-yard volley from Crouch, and then did just as well to block the follow-up effort from Jermaine Jenas at close range with his legs. There were still chances in the final moments for Fulham to score, and when Zamora slipped the bal through to Duff, the Irishman crossed low to the far post but Dempsey could not reach to slide the ball into the net.