By 90Min
August 18, 2018

Tottenham Hotspur saw off a spirited Fulham side to win 3-1 at Wembley and continue their 100% start to the Premier League season.

A fine Lucas Moura strike gave Spurs the lead in the first half, but Fulham equalised shortly after half-time through Aleksandar Mitrovic. However, a gorgeous Kieran Trippier free-kick followed by Harry Kane's first ever August goal were enough to give Spurs the win they deserved.

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

Fulham worked hard to get back into the game and were good value for their equaliser but can have no complaints at the final scoreline after allowing Spurs to regain their grip on the match.

Here is a breakdown of all the major talking points of Saturday's London derby.


Tottenham Hotspur: 


Key Talking Point

Spurs fans were given a major boost before kick-off with the news that Toby Alderweireld would be returning to the starting XI, after a lengthy absence and rumours of a move to Manchester United.

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The Belgian's return allowed Tottenham to start with a back three, a formation they have had success with in the past. The improvement over last week's outing at Newcastle was instantaneous, with full-backs Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies able to bomb forward and pin Fulham's defenders back while Spurs retained a strong defensive base from which to play out.

Alderweireld may not stay at Spurs beyond this season, but this performance showed why Spurs should be keen to make the most of the 29-year-old's undoubted talent while they can.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Lloris (7); Vertonghen (7) Sanchez (5) Alderweireld (7); Davies Dier (6) Trippier (7); Eriksen (6) Dele (7) Lucas(7); Kane (7).

Substitutes: Dembele (7) Lamela (7) Winks (N/A)


STAR MAN - Critics will say he should have bagged more than one goal, but Harry Kane looked much closer to reproducing his unstoppable best form in the second half against Fulham.

Kane looked rusty in the first half and probably could have had three or four today if he had been truly at his best, but the World Cup Golden Boot winner looked ten times the player he did against Newcastle, taking his goal beautifully and making some beautiful passes to build attacks.

We're still some way away from seeing the Kane of 2017, but this match certainly looked like a huge step in the right direction. And scoring a goal in August at last will have felt so good.


WORST PLAYER - No one put in a truly horrendous shift for Spurs in this game, but Davinson Sanchez was certainly the weakest link in the back three, slipping over as Fulham scored their equaliser and looking shaky before finally being substituted shortly after the hour mark.


Fulham:


Key Talking Point

Fulham have now lost both of their opening games upon returning to the Premier League, and Slavisa Jokanovic's men have been brought crashing back down to earth and given a grim dose of top-flight reality.

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

There have been positives from their performances and their new signings need time to gel before being judged, but the way Spurs carved through Fulham's defence at times today could be a real cause for concern going forward this season.

It's all well and good playing attractive football, but now it is time for Fulham to show they have the grit and steel to survive in the top flight. Have they got what it takes?


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Fabri (7); Bryan (6) Le Marchand (6) Chambers (5) Fosu-Mensah (6); Seri (7) Anguissa (6) Cairney (7); Kamara (5) Mitrovic (7) Sessegnon (6).

Substitutes: Johansen (6) Schurrle (N/A)


STAR MAN - It might be early days yet, but midfielder Jean-Michael Seri looks like a brilliant player. 

The Ivorian looked calm on the ball and was at the heart of some of Fulham's most dangerous attacks with his slick passing, as well as putting in a shift defensively when required.

Seri was linked with a number of much bigger clubs this season and judging by the early signs, Fulham may well have done a quality piece of business here.


WORST PLAYER - It feels somewhat harsh to single out anyone in particular for criticism but Fulham's wingers Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara could probably have done a little better today.

When Fulham desperately needed some composure going forward it looked like a case of deer meeting headlights as the two attackers failed to show the explosive form they did last season in the Championship.


Looking Ahead


Having seen off two of the Premier League's weaker sides in Fulham and Newcastle, Spurs face a real test next week when they take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Spurs have always struggled away at United and have lost on both their visits to the Theatre of Dreams since Jose Mourinho took charge in 2016. However, Mauricio Pochettino's side will be riding high on a wave of confidence and will be hoping they can pull off an impressive win this time around.

As for Fulham, they have another chance to get their first points on the board when they take on Burnley at Craven Cottage next week and will be hoping for a more positive outcome. This could prove difficult, with Burnley's rugged style of play very much at odds with Fulham's passing football.

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