Fulham 0 Tottenham 0: Gomes the hero as Spurs escape with a point

27 December 2009 04:21

Little more than a year ago, Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was making a fool of himself down by the Thames - and his days in the Premier League looked distinctly numbered.

On Saturday, on his way back to the dressing room in that ridiculously quaint corner of Craven Cottage, Gomes was able to milk the applause of the Tottenham supporters, knowing his rehabilitation was complete.

Two fine saves from Bobby Zamora headers, one ugly and sprawling, the other more graceful and left-handed, helped stretch Gomes's run of clean sheets in the Premier League to three.

Look out: Tottenham's Wilson Palacios (left) jumps with Fulham striker Bobby Zamora (right)

No more messing about by the river for the previously calamitousBrazilian, whose blunders had cost his side so dear here last season.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp reflected on the progress he has made with Gomes since his arrival at White Hart Lane.

'He was short of confidence but now he has improved beyond allrecognition and he is back to the keeper everyone said he was when heplayed in Holland. He certainly made a couple of good saves today.'

Even so, Fulham should have won. Clint Dempsey side-footed wide in the 23rd minute when he had time to pick his spot.

The American hit the top of the bar 10 minutes later with a powerfulfree-kick but reverted to his more tentative self in the second half.

Top Gera: Fulham's Zoltan Gera takes on Tottenham's Benoit Assou-Ekotto

Excellent work from Damien Duff and the industrious Zamora had givenFulham's striker his third big moment but the lack of power inDempsey's shot allowed astute positioning from Gomes to carry theday yet again.    

Peter Crouch also ended goalless, though he had less reason to kickhimself - not least because Fulham full-back John Pantsil had alreadydone the kicking for him.

Crouch could only laugh in dismay as he suddenly smashed into theadvertising boards having been flattened from behind. Already his dayhad taken a strange twist.

Some beautiful individual skill in the first half had helped him to tee up and unleash a thunderous shot past Mark Schwarzer.

Unfortunately for Crouch, referee Steve Bennett had already blownfor a foul on Niko Kranjcar. Shortly before the end, Crouch must havethought he had snatched the winner with a similarly snappily effort.

Midfield tussle: Fulham's Clint Dempsey and Wilson Palacios compete for the ball

This time Schwarzer was the hero, repeating his save to deny Jermaine Jenas on the rebound.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson already seemed to have one eye on New Year'sEve, perhaps a dangerous mindset with a showdown with local rivalsChelsea just round the corner.

He said: 'It would be the icing on the cake if we could get a resultagainst Chelsea but it has been a great 2009 and I don't think we couldhave sketched out a better year than the one we've had.'

Fulham may face the league leaders without Brede Hangeland after heinjured his knee by slipping in the warm-up. He played the match butwas below-par by his high standards.

Hodgson said: 'He wasn't 100 per cent and he may be unable to play both games.'

With a 10-match unbeaten run in the bag and more European footballon the horizon, Hodgson and Fulham fans did not seem to care.

And Spurs boss Redknapp, who controversially rested Jermain Defoeuntil the final quarter, seemed equally untroubled by having to sharethe spoils.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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