It didn't look pretty, but this was Fulham's most satisfying victory of the season. Not often do we find ourselves collecting three points against a top four side and it was our first victory at White Hart Lane since ten years. The result was totally well-deserved; additionally Fulham look safe in the league with 36 points, with a game in hand, and Martin Jol's main task is to finish the season strongly mirroring the previous two league campaigns'.
I must admit, the first-half was dreadful with no rhythm and tempo. Spurs looked fatigued, as they played for 120 minutes on Thursday night, while Fulham were prepared to defend and play cautiously. That perhaps gave Jol and the players confidence to believe and grab the three points during the break. The Cottagers took advantage and everything was perfectly timed: the defending, Berbatov's goal (he should've celebrated) and Jol's substitutions.
However, it was surprising Urby Emanuelson, Fulham's major loanee, didn't start because his pace and technical ability could've been ideal to counter-attack; but Jol obviously had his own plan and kept with the reliable Damien Duff. On the opposite flank, Sascha Riether and Askhan Dejagah were again reliable, quick and effective, which saw 54-percent of attacking play go towards that direction. Their link-up play simply creates chances, and they played the major part for Berbatov's goal, which similarly occurred in Fulham's 1-0 victory against Stoke City.
From a Fulham fans' perspective, majority of the match was spent watching the team defend and grind out the result. It's safe to say that Steve Sidwell and Giorgos Karagounis are Fulham's default central midfield partnership for the remainder of the season. You can never question their work ethic. They firmly stood as the brick wall in front of the defence that squeezed spaces and kept Gareth Bale silent throughout the match.
We never know what to expect from this defence but their reliability is beginning to return; three clean sheets in Fulham's last four matches is a good sign. The partnership of Philippe Senderos and Brede Hangeland initially felt worrying but they're receiving deserved praise. Finally, there has been less set-piece vulnerabilities and their distribution shouldn't be underestimated. Lastly, Mark Schwarzer's save to deny Jermain Defoe was simply down to experience and class. Which asks the questions: should Fulham offer him a one-year contract extension?
It was a delightful result, but I don't want to get too carried away. It was clear that Spurs' poor performance was influenced by drained fitness levels. However, it's great to see Martin Jol addressing and slowly transforming Fulham's alarming away form.
We have to wait for another two weeks for the next match, which is the derby against QPR, and although Fulham will have to play a totally different game, the same spirit and hunger has to be shown against the rock-bottom strugglers.