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White Hart Lane (ATT 36,077) 26th December 2007 - Kick off 13:00 Ref: A Marriner

Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham Fulham

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Fulham 1

Five-star Spurs crush Fulham

Tottenham skipper King returns to action during comfortable win

Last Updated: 28/12/07 12:54pm

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King - returned from long lay-off

King - returned from long lay-off

Robbie Keane and Tom Huddlestone both scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur claimed a 5-1 victory over Fulham at White Hart Lane.

Spurs captain Ledley King returned to the starting line-up for the first time this season and eased his way back into things before being taken off in the second half once the points were safe.

Tottenham opened the scoring on 27 minutes when Pascal Chimbonda won a header in the Fulham box to set-up a shooting chance for Steed Malbranque. The Frenchman's shot rebounded off the inside of the post straight to Keane, who gratefully put the ball into an empty net.

Huddlestone doubled the lead with the final kick of the first half, firing in a low shot from the edge of the box after being teed-up by Dimitar Berbatov.

Managerless Fulham grabbed a lifeline early in the second half through Clint Dempsey's close-range finish, but it was a shortlived reprieve.

Keane restored the hosts' two-goal cushion with a close-range finish a minute later and Huddlestone added his second with another low, long-range shot in the 71st minute.

And Fulham's miserable afternoon was completed with the dismissal of Moritz Volz - who only came on at half-time - for two bookings, and a fifth Spurs' goal late on from substitute Jermain Defoe.

There was a lack of intensity for the first part of the clash, and only Spurs midfielder Malbranque distinguished himself as an attacking threat.

Jeered by away fans, the former Fulham midfielder was at the heart of most attacks and helped spark the match into life.

Antti Niemi had to save at full-stretch when Berbatov headed Malbranque's cross towards the bottom corner - but Spurs were not made to wait long for their opener, in the 27th minute.

Amazing run

Chimbonda's header found Malbranque in plenty of space on the edge of the area. His shot crashed off the post and Keane tucked away the rebound with a first-time finish.

Keane has been on an amazing run of form, which all started last season against Fulham in the FA Cup last February. From there he has scored 29 goals since in 39 games.

The opener appeared to deflate Fulham and their only promising move before the break saw Simon Davies' shot screw wide towards the corner flag.

Malbranque almost finished off a flowing move from the hosts but could not get power on his header - then the second goal came in first half stoppage-time.

Malbranque's cross was tamed by Berbatov and laid back to Huddlestone. Niemi was unsighted and the midfielder's daisy-cutter deceived him.

Lifeline

Fulham were granted a lifeline on the hour mark when Dempsey bundled in from close range.

Hameur Bouazza, a half-time substitute, had his cross met by Dempsey - his first effort was saved by Paul Robinson but the rebound came off the American's arm and trickled in.

But the two-goal cushion was restored a minute later when Keane tapped in with his knee after Berbatov had flicked on Jamie O'Hara's corner.

Huddlestone added the fourth with 19 minutes remaining, flicking up Aaron Lennon's pass and volleying into the far post from the edge of the area.

With the points safe, King was then taken off for Adel Taarabt for the rest of the victory.

Volz was dismissed late on for two bookings, then Defoe's goal came when Huddlestone powered through and laid the ball back to the substitute.

Tottenham HotspurTeam StatisticsFulham
5Goals1
21st Half Goals0
8Shots on Target2
5Shots off Target6
1Blocked Shots4
3Corners5
11Fouls17
4Offsides0
1Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards1
79.2Passing Success77.4
19Tackles29
94.7Tackles Success79.3
54.4Possession45.6
47.8Territorial Advantage52.2

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 32 70
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 33 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 60
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 34 48
9 Newcastle United 34 46
10 Stoke City 34 43
11 West Ham United 34 37
12 Crystal Palace 33 37
13 Hull City 33 36
14 Aston Villa 33 34
15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 32 25

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