Luis Boa Morte and Andy Cole ended Fulham’s three-match losing streak as Chris Coleman’s side swatted Tottenham aside at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
Ex-Arsenal winger Boa Morte put the hosts ahead just after the half an hour when finished a flowing move from close range to score his fourth goal of the season. Cole, named Fulham skipper for the first time since he moved from Blackburn in the summer, made sure of the three points when clinically converting a left-wing cross from the rampaging Boa Morte.
In truth, after Fulham had taken a little time to settle, there was really only one side in it. The Cottagers could have been out of sight by half-time but never looked likely to pay for any wastefulness in the final third as Jacques Santini’s sides barely tested Mark Crossley, who kept his place in goal after his outstanding display at Birmingham in the League Cup. All that meant Sean Davis endured a miserable first return to Craven Cottage since joining Spurs in the summer and the former Fulham favourite was booed mercilessly throughout before his substitution was greeted a loud chorus of ‘what a waste of money’.
Chances took a while to flow as Cole glanced a header wide from a free-kick, but Fulham took the lead with a move of the highest quality. Papa Bouba Diop, who convincingly won the central midfield battle, linked cleverly with Collins John, who found Steed Malbranque and the Frenchman’s penetrating pass was effortlessly put away by Boa Morte. It was almost two seconds later when Robinson made a stunning reaction stop to prevent John from heading home Diop’s delivery.
Coleman majored on the need for his side to maintain their concentration throughout in the build-up to this London derby – mindful of Fulham’s second half collapse against Liverpool. But Fulham were equally as dominant after the interval and deservedly moved two goals in front when interplay between Cole and Boa Morte allowed the Portuguese winger to reach the byline before cutting a cross back for the former Manchester United striker to turn home his fifth goal of the season.
Fulham might have extended their lead in the closing stages. Boa Morte was particularly perturbed that he was denied a penalty after a challenge by Noureddine Naybet, but television replays suggested referee Alan Wiley made the correct decision. The contest closed with Cole drilling a shot straight at Robinson – and the Cottage could toast an impressive home win.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Crossley, Volz, Bocanegra, Knight, Rehman; Diop, Pembridge, Malbranque, Boa Morte; Cole, John (Radzinski 70). Subs (not used): Flitney, Rosenior, Green, McBride.
GOALS: Boa Morte (33), Cole (61).
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-4-2): Robinson; Pamarot, Naybet, King, Bunjevcevic; Brown (Davies 41), Davis (Carrick 83), Pedro Mendes, Ziegler (Kanoute 67); Defoe, Keane. Subs (not used): Keller, Taricco.
REFEREE: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).
Source Sporting Life