Fulham hosted Tottenham Hotspurs down at Craven Cottage in the second of todays FA Cup Quarter Finals.
Both sides are facing some injury problems as Tottenham declared that they only had twelve fit players whilst Fulham were missing vital talisman Danny Murphy would plays a big role for them in midfield. In my FA Cup tips I speculated as to who would play alongside Defoe for Tottenham, with the choice being potentially crucial, but what I wasn’t expecting was for Defoe not to start altogether as Pavlyuchenko joined Crouch up front.
Tottenham started the better of the two in this match as they sprayed the ball around for the first twenty minutes, enjoying some possession play. Fulham looked lost without Murphy but Spurs were sent a reminder of their opponents attacking potential when Zamora drove in a shot on twenty minutes and forced a good save from Gomes.
Fulham found a way into the game after this move and things equalled out on the field as the game opened up a bit. With thirty minutes played Crouch came close with a short range header, but the tame shot was pushed wide.
The rest of the first half was pretty much just possession play as a battle ensued in the middle of the park and the referee called time on what was a fairly lifeless forty-five minutes.
We got slightly more excitement in the second half, which began promisingly. With just sixty-seconds played Zamora met a cross in the area to hang up a ball for Gera who smashed a header goal-wards; but Gomes just managed to tip it over the bar.
Tottenham had a decent spell of pressure before the hour mark with two penalty shouts and a couple of attempts on goal but all efforts were fruitless. Fulham also came close before the hour mark, with Duff dragging a shot wide.
In the final half hour we saw Gomez save well from a Duff shot before Pavlyucnehko had a great chance, just a few yards out from goal, but unfortunately he had his back to goal and with the ball in the air he could only try an overhead kick which didn’t trouble the ‘keeper but may have bothered the fans in row Z.
The chances were thin as the game came to a close. Modric and Crouch tripped over each other trying to get on the end of a cross with twenty minutes to play and the lack of finesse up front for Tottenham forced Harry Redknapp to bring on Defoe for Pavlyuchenko. This didn’t help much though as we entered the final ten minutes.
A good chance fell to Zamora who was put through on goal but dragged his shot well wide and with the ninety minute mark encroaching, a cross into the Spurs box was flicked on by star man Zamora and Corluka tried to swing it clear but the Spurs defender was a hair away from smashing the ball into his own net.
This game ended a disappointing 0-0 and these two will now head to a replay at White Hart Lane.