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FA Cup Sixth Round Replay

Wednesday 24th March 2010

So, a third meeting with Fulham within the last two months and this one has to be decided on the night. 

Roy Hodgson has used his experience to forge a solid unit at Craven Cottage, with the players playing for each other.  Boosted by the return of Clint Dempsey, they sprang a marvellous win over Juventus last week to over-turn a Europa League first leg deficit and record a famous victory. With that game and another on Sunday against Manchester City, which they lost, will a third game in quick succession be too much for them ?

Well, the manager replaced Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora in Sunday's defeat by City and Brede Hangeland missed the game with a rib injury, so he is hoping all three are fit for Wednesday's meeting with Spurs, as they are crucial to the team's success.  Hangeland is the rock at the back (or big enough to be The Rock anyway), Gera is a skilled passer and clever finisher, while Zamora has been the primary source of goals for the Cottagers this season.

With Spurs likely to recall Wilson Palacios after keeping him on the bench in Saturday's win over Stoke, the midfield will be more bale to battle for the ball, but the midfield four on Saturday did well both in matching Stoke's determination to win the ball and to open them up with good passing and movement.  Much of the same will be needed tonight, with the main source of Tottenham's attacking play likely to come up the left flank with Gareth Bale.  Teams will be getting wise to this soon and maybe, by doubling up on the Welsh full back, Luka Modric can find more space to operate behind the front two, who will probably be Crouch and Gudjohnsen.

Fulham might play a 4-4-1-1 system with Zamora up top on his own, with Duff, Dempsey or Gera playing off him.  The midfield will be the area where they will be keen to stop Spurs playing and it will be our problem to break through, while the visitors attempt to hit us on the break.  As the game goes on, if it is scoreless, then Fulham may come out and leave space to exploit, but it will be a fairly tight game.  Hopefully, Tottenham can progress and I think it will be by a narrow margin ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur    2      Fulham    1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (out - thigh); Carlo Cudicini (out - hip and wrists); Jermaine Jenas (out - groin); Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); Aaron Lennon (out - groin); David Bentley (doubtful - virus); Tom Huddlestone (doubtful - ankle); Jermain Defoe (out - hamstring); Kyle Walker (out - cup-tied); Younes Kaboul (out - cup-tied); Danny Rose (doubtful - knee); - (-); 

FULHAM :  - David Elm (doubtful - virus); Andy Johnson (out - knee); John Pantsil (out - knee); - (-); 


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 (live coverage)
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If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
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BBC London - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.


Tottenham Hotspur   3    Fulham   1     (Half-time score : 0-1)

FA Cup Sixth Round replay
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Wednesday 24th March 2010
Kick Off :  7.45 p.m.
Crowd :   35,342
Referee :  Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)
Fulham kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road End end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Wet
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

32  Assou-Ekotto (  6  Huddlestone 46)
19  Bassong     
20  Dawson (c)
22  Corluka (  9  Pavlyuchenko 53  )

  3  Bale
12  Palacios
14  Modric
21  Kranjcar (  5  Bentley 46  )

15  Crouch
17  Gudjohnsen 

Unused subs: 
27  Alnwick
29  Livermore
37  Townsend
25  Rose

Fulham :

  1  Schwarzer

  3  Konchesky
  5  Hangeland
18 Hughes
  2  Kelly       (23  Dempsey 69)

23  Davies
13  Murphy
20  Utuhu
16  Duff

11  Gera

25  Zamora         (25  Okaka Chuka 77)

Unused subs: 
19  Zuberbulher
  6  Baird
26  Smalling
27  Greening
17  Riise

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Tottenham Hotspur

Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Bentley 47
Pavlyuchenko 60
Gudjohnsen 66


Zamora 17

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Bassong (unsporting behaviour) 59 



Kelly (foul) 46
Zamora (unsporting behaviour) 59 


Match Report : -  
From a far from inspiring first half, when Spurs turned around one goal behind, Harry Redknapp transformed the game with two half-time substitutions that saw Spurs reach the FA Cup semi-final in a sparkling 17 minute second half spell of football that took them to a 3-1 win over Fulham.

There was little about Tottenham in the first half that would suggest that a meeting with Portsmouth at the national stadium was a possibility.  Slow to start and second best to almost every ball, Fulham played some neat passing and scored a well-crafted goal, as they looked comfortable and Spurs looked decidedly off the pace.  While Wilson Palacios flashed a 25 yard shot from our left hand side past Schwarzer's left hand post, but Gomes was the busier of the keepers in the first ten minutes.  He dived low to his right to hold a Danny Murphy daisy-cutter, then was saved a dive by a block on Utuhu's weak shot from outside the box and then had to dive left and up to palm Simon Davies' stinging drive from 20 yards and then grab it at the second attempt.  Modric should have hit the target, when Eidur Gudjohnsen set him up, but the presence of a Fulham defender gave him little to aim at and his shot went wide.

The presence of no less than five ex-Spurs players (Murphy, Davies, Stephen Kelly, Paul Konchesky and Bobby Zamora) gave the Fulham side a familiar look and they were all keyed up to show the Tottenham crowd that they can still play a bit.  Murphy ticked play over with a series of short passes that kept Spurs moving backwards and Davies looked intent on getting up the left wing, but it was Zamora, who, with 17 minutes on the clock, gave Fulham the lead.  Damien Duff picked up the ball just inside the Tottenham half and ran unchallenged to within 25 yards of the Spurs goal.  With no Tottenham player coming out to meet him, he slipped a pass through to Zamora just inside the penalty area and the in-form striker side-footed a left foot shot past Gomes and inside the post to make it 1-0 to the Cottagers. 

It was not the start that Spurs or the fans wanted and the goal did spark a bit of a response from the team.  Firstly, Modric put Gudjohnsen through on the shoulder of the last man ,but his touch took the ball wide left of the goal and there was insufficient support to pass to and make the most of the opening.  Then came a moment when the Icelander almost got Spurs back in the game in the 27th minute with a cute piece of ingenuity.  A ball into the box bounced up and when Crouch went for it at the far post, Aaron Hughes came in and appeared to knock the ball with his hand, but it took the ball towards the six yard box and Eidur, with his back to goal, back-heeled the ball at goal and it took Schwarzer by surprise and forced him to dive to his right to grab the ball before it crossed the line.

A minute later, Bale and Crouch linked down the left and the Welshman crossed for Gudjohnsen to knock the ball down for Modric with his chest and the midfielder hit a shot just wide.  Peter Crouch then had a weak shot straight at Schwarzer and Bale put a free-kick over the top from 25 yards out, before Fulham came into the game again at the end of the half with Hangeland putting a free-header from a corner over the top and Zamora nodding a Gera cross wide for beyond the far post.

The latest inductees into the Spurs Hall of Fame - John Pratt, Ralph Coates and Phil Beal - were interviewed at half-time, with Beal telling of his fight with Romeo Benetti of AC Milan in the away leg of the UEFA Cup semi-final of 1972 and being told to lay down after punching the Italian in retaliation to avoid punishment by the ref.  It took our minds off the first half for a bit.  It was odd that the Spurs subs who came out to warm up in the interval were quickly summoned back in the dressing room by Tony Parks, probaby because Harry wanted to make them aware of what was needed in the second period should they be called upon.

When the second half started, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Niko Kranjcar were missing and David Bentley and Tom Huddlestone were waiting to join the fray.  When Bale, now playing left back, went down the left wing and was hacked down by former Tottenham full back Stephen Kelly, there was a yellow card and a free-kick.  The real punishment came when Bentley had his first touch and bent the ball in with pace and Corluka went diving in at the near post and missed the ball with his head (thank goodness) and it left Schwarzer in no-man's land with the ball zipping past him off the wet turf and into the net.  This was just the start Tottenham wanted to the second half.

Bale was involved again soon after the goal, when the ball was cleared to the edge of the box and he hit a half volley over the bar and then his defensive team mates Corluka and Gomes were required to combine to stop Simon Davies at the near post, when Gera put in a low cross.  Corluka took a knock going in for a challenge with Zamora and had to go off to get treatment, while Spurs continued to attack and got a free-kick where the goal came from,  This time Bentley bent it in low at the near post and the Fulham keeper had to be quick to get down and get his body behind the ball.  Corluka could not continue, so the third Spurs sub had to be used and Pavlyuchenko came on to play up front, with Palacios going to right back and Gudjohnsen dropping into midfield.

When Bentley went down the right, his crosses were causing problems and one fizzed a couple of feet off the floor across the six yard box, with Crouch unable to get even his long legs to the ball that would surely have resulted in a goal had he got any sort of touch.

Spurs were really passing the ball around well now and one chipped shot by Pavyluchenko went just over, while Fulham stood off the white shirted players and chased shadows, they could only manage Zamora tugging Sebastien Bassong's shirt  off him and the Cameroon defender tried to extricate himself by swinging himself free and got a booking along with the striker.  From the free kick, Spurs picked up the bal land strung a number of passes together across and back, before Bentley stood a cross up at the far post and Roman produced a left foot volley from a narrow angle that beat Schwarzer at his near post on the hour.  It was a neat finish and one that put Spurs ahead with Fulham seemingly running out of steam.

Maybe Harry had told the players to shoot on sight, as Schwarzer was being tested regularly, with Pavlyuchenko and Modric both stinging his hands with shots that he pushed aside before the third Spurs goal came in the 66th minute.  A long passing movement once more built up play and with Modric darting into the right side of the Fulham half, just outside the box, he flicked the ball through to find Gudjohnsen's good run and he dinked the ball past the goalie and then just got to it before a defender to prod home from just outside the six yard box.  it was a beautifully worked goal and one which was worthy of winning a game, especially well finished by the striker who has been languishing in French football for most of the season.

Tottenham continued to go forward and when the ball dropped to Crouchy on the edge of the box, he hammered a first time shot that left Schwarzer standing with the ball missing the goal by inches.  Fulham did hit back when a cross was knocked back by Zamora to Duff and the Irishman hit a good low shot low down to Gomes' right and he did very well to push it wide of the goal.  With time running out Dempsey and Okaka came on, but apart from a scramble in the box where Palacios won a vital header and Dempsey trying his luck from 20 yards that brought a routine save from Gomes, the pressure they had resulted in little goal threat.

The final whistle was greeted by players and fans alike and the empty seats in the Fulham end had been full of supporters who were going on a European tour and were now already well on their way to making a trip back to West London.  There was little for them to sing about at the end, as their side had been dismantled by Spurs and a tactical master-stroke with a deep squad (despite injuries and more to Corluka and Bassong) allowed Tottenham to progress to meet Portsmouth at  Wembley in two and a half weeks time.

Before then we meet the cash-strapped South Coast club (CSSCC) on Saturday in a match for points.  With results elsewhere in the Premier League going Tottenham's way tonight the chase for fourth place

purcell cole


Fan Reaction : -



In the end, it looked as though this was an easy win, with a 3-1 score-line, but the game looked to be slipping away from Spurs at half-time until Harry gave the team a blast at the break.

Bentley was looking as good as he has in a Spurs shirt, with a series of precision crosses into the box and some decent work-rate.  Pav looked the class act that he is and Tom Huddlestone added some physical challenges that sections of the White Hart Lane crowd have been yearning for from him.  The whole team seemed to be lifted after the break and the importance of Bentley's early free-kick going in cannot be under-estimated.  The impetus switched to Spurs and Fulham crumpled under the pressure.

It was a performance that showed the potential of the team and they must not go into the semi thinking it is a foregone conclusion.  Portsmouth themselves have proved they can turn it on when they get it together, but without Jamie O'Hara being available to play against us, there will be a hole in their midfield.

It is a hole we need to fill and make sure that the way we play starts from the first kick off anf not the one after 45 minutes.

kempston hardwick

How noisy the Fulham fans were when they scored and how quiet they were come the last third of the game.  Funny how things can change and for once, it wasn't Tottenham on the end of a comeback in a game.

The substitutions were well chosen and had a great impact and despite picking up a couple more knocks, the players coming back will hopefully have come through unscathed and will be all the better for some playing time under their belts.

The only disappointing thing was that Wilson Palacios couldn't get himself booked at the end of the match so that he can get his suspension out of the way before the semi-final.  Normally he has no problem picking up yellow cards, but towards the end, the ref must have realised what he was trying to do and would have none of it.

benny the ball




Other league scores this mid-week :
West Ham United 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 Tuesday
Aston Villa 1 Sunderland 1 Wednesday
Blackburn Rovers 2 Birmingham City 1 Wednesday
Manchester City 0 Everton 2 Wednesday
Portsmouth 0 Chelsea 5 Wednesday


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