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Record-equalling Kane bails Spurs out again! Winners, losers & ratings as Tottenham register unconvincing win over Fulham

02:07 GMT+3 24/01/2023
Tottenham Fulham 2022-23 WLR
Harry Kane levelled Jimmy Greaves' Tottenham goalscoring record as Spurs registered an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Fulham

Was it convincing? Absolutely not. But who needs to be convincing when you've got Harry Kane.

Tottenham told a familiar tale at Craven Cottage on Monday night, putting in a thoroughly uninspiring first-half display before being bailed out by their joint-highest all-time goalscorer.

Kane didn't hold that record before proceedings in west London, but after swivelling on the edge of the box and finding his favoured bottom right corner, he now stands alongside the immortal Jimmy Greaves in Spurs' scoring charts with 266 strikes.

On the balance of play, that goal had not been coming. By Conte's design, Tottenham pinned themselves back in their own territory for the overwhelming majority of the opening period, allowing the Cottagers the freedom to express themselves and cause serious problems.

However, a combination of poor finishing and Hugo Lloris' heroics meant Spurs kept them out, and they protected their lead pretty gallantly after the break. A few defensive alterations killed Fulham's momentum and, aside from one late scare, Tottenham were not overly troubled.

And so they held on for just their second Premier League victory since the restart. Off the pitch, there are still countless questions to answer, with the futures of both Kane and Antonio Conte still subject to feverish speculation. But there's no denying this was an important three points which keeps Spurs ticking over in the most hotly-contested race for the top six in recent memory.

Here are GOAL's winners, losers and ratings...

  • Tottenham Fulham 2022-23

    The Winners

    Hugo Lloris:

    A string of post-World Cup clangers meant Spurs' captain was under intense pressure heading into this one - not that you could tell by his performance. Fulham peppered the Lloris' goal in the first half, but he was more than up for the challenge, producing four saves - one of which was of the highest quality to prevent Harrison Reed putting Fulham ahead. Thankfully, his second half was altogether quieter, but he'd already made his point. Lloris may not be perfect, but it's safe to say that Fraser Forster's chances of seeing significant Premier League minutes any time soon are extremely remote.

    Harry Kane:

    It wasn't deserved - Spurs' first-half display was putrid - but like he has done so many times before, Kane came to his side's rescue. The goal that saw him tie Greaves' all-time Tottenham goal record was fittingly world class. Knocking the ball into a yard of space in front of Tim Ream, Kane then somehow curled it into the far corner. His body shape for the strike was a thing of beauty. He'll be disappointed that he couldn't break the record with a second-half header that was well saved by former north London derby adversary Bernd Leno.

  • Son Heung-min 2022-23

    The Losers

    Son Heung-min:

    Anyone who loves football cannot help but feel a little despondent over the drastic decline that Son, one of the most likeable players in the Premier League, has experienced this season. Once again, this was a thoroughly underwhelming evening for the South Korean superstar. Nothing he tried came off and, in truth, he was fortunate to get away with a naughty stamp in the first half. It seems unthinkable, considering how untouchable he's been in recent times, but carry on like this and Richarlison simply has to replace him.

    The fans:

    A delayed kick off is never good - but it's especially depressing when it happens on a Baltic Monday night. Severe delays on the London Underground caused kick-off to be pushed back by 15 minutes at Craven Cottage, though that was not the only issue. Once the two teams did finally emerge, a fault with referee Paul Tierney's electronic communications lead to another chilly wait before things finally got underway. Even second-half stoppage time was delayed due to injury. Really not a great evening for anyone who wanted an early night.

    ENIC & Daniel Levy:

    In case you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Spurs supporters aren't the biggest fans of their ownership right now. And the travelling contingent made their feelings perfectly clear with little over 120 seconds played in west London, belting out the first of many 'We want Levy out!' chants. Even the rare sight of a first-half goal could not temper the hostile atmosphere - and it's tough to envisage a way for this relationship to be rebuilt from here. Interestingly, Spurs' away support were still vocally behind their manager. They clearly feel that he has not been given the right backing - and if that doesn't change, they will no doubt lose the Italian at the end of the season, if not sooner.

    Spurs' top six rivals:

    This must have been a maddening watch for those currently occupying, or aspiring to occupy, the Champions League places this season. Tottenham really weren't convincing here and the likes of Manchester United, Brighton and others would have been expecting the Cottagers to land a damaging blow on Spurs' Champions League qualification hopes at some point. But that blow never came. Instead, Conte's charges held on, leaving them in a startlingly good position to land European football next term when you consider the current gloomy mist surrounding the club.

  • Romero 2022-23

    Tottenham Ratings: Defence

    Hugo Lloris (7/10):

    Under pressure coming into this and dealt with his early tests confidently. Made a fine stop from Reed. A good answer to his critics.

    Cristian Romero (5/10):

    Mitrovic easily won the battle against him in the first period. Nearly took the Serbian's head off half an hour from time. A bit rash.

    Eric Dier (7/10):

    Gave Mitrovic his toughest test of the three Spurs defenders. Kept it simple and fairly solid.

    Ben Davies (6/10):

    Fulham exploited his channel time and time again before the break. Tightened up after the half-time tweaks.

  • Perisic 2022-23

    Midfield

    Emerson Royal (5/10):

    Pretty dismal. Willian enjoyed plenty of joy down the left due to Emerson's hapless defending.

    Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (6/10):

    Needed to be more assertive in demanding the ball from his defenders. Did the nitty gritty fairly well, especially in the second half.

    Rodrigo Bentancur (6/10):

    Sloppy early on. Far too easily dispossessed on more than one occasion and passing was wasteful. Improved markedly to help his side see things out.
    Ivan Perisic (5/10):
    Takes a share of the culpability for Fulham having so much joy down the right. Not his most influential display in the final third.

  • Kane 2022-23

    Attack

    Dejan Kulusevski (6/10):

    The only one capable of driving his side up the pitch. Manoeuvred into some crossing position by sheer force of will at times.

    Son Heung-min (5/10):

    Another tough evening. Potentially lucky not to get sent off for a stamp too.

    Harry Kane (7/10):

    Now he's equalled Greaves' record, the question is by how many will he extend it? Honestly, where would Spurs be without this man?

  • Conte 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Richarlison (6/10):

    Should have been brought on earlier.

    Yves Bissouma (N/A):

    Time-wasting sub.

    Antonio Conte (7/10):

    Spurs were far too deep in the first half, which allowed their opponents al the time in the world to play. Got the win, but not convincing.