Well that wasn’t so bad after all. After getting myself all worked up yesterday, we ended up winning rather easily. We never really got out of second gear, but as Fulham never slipped out of first, we were still able to put some distance between us.
We got off to a strong start with the returning Hudd firing in a stinging shot, which was pushed round for a corner. We have reached the point where a goalkeeper having to make an early save, frightens, rather than encourages us. Was it going to be another one of those days?
Nope. We broke the deadlock after 27 minutes when Modric performed a neat bit of trickery on the byline and pulled the ball across for Crouch to nip in and grab his second goal in successive games.
We’d been pressuring them from the off and the goal was deserved. It also came at a nice time, as had we gone much longer without scoring, you could anticipate us starting to get anxious.
Seeing David Bentley back in the team was a major shock and demonstrates just how far downhill has career has plummeted. He should after all, be a rather natural replacement for Aaron Lennon. He was fairly productive in the first half, but faded as the game went on, which is what you’d expect, considering how few games he’s played.
Just when it looked like Bentley’s grand return might be fading out into another forgettable performance, we won a free kick after a surging run from Bale. It was clearly Bentley territory and he got lucky as his shot took a massive deflection to wrong-foot Schwarzer. 2-0 and game over.
We deserved a bit of luck in front of goal, because we clearly haven’t had it of late. This, combined with a solid performance from a Spurs team with much more of a discernible shape than we’ve seen of late, was enough to ensure a much needed victory.
Modric played his best game since returning from injury, which may be due to the fact that he stuck to his position on the left, where he found plenty of space. With Bentley on the right and with Huddlestone stroking the ball around in midfield, we looked to have a good balance.
Bale had yet another good game. In a week when Redknapp criticised John Bostock for wasting his opportunity at Brentford, it is refreshing to see a youngster making the most of his opportunity in the first team. By starting in this win, he also got rid of that boring statistic.
Fulham’s best chance came in the first half when Zamora was put through by Gera and Gomes smothered the shot. Other than that they didn’t really threaten our defence. King and Dawson didn’t have a lot to do and Corluka looked more comfortable for having Bentley in front of him, instead of a gaping hole.
So it wasn’t spectacular, but it was a win, which is what we needed more than anything right now. With Liverpool drawing at Wolves, it turned out to be a good night for us.
We now need to build on this and grow in confidence. Birmingham away is going to be tough, but we’ll need another win, to put us back on track.
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