London: Tottenham rode their luck in the quest for a top-four finish in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory at Fulham on Thursday (Friday AEDT) thanks to an own-goal by Tosin Adarabioyo and the intervention of the video assistant referee (VAR).
Victory dragged Tottenham back into the race for a Champions League spot with Jose Mourinho’s eighth-placed side on 42 points from 26 matches, four points behind Everton in fourth, ahead of Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace.
Tosin Adarabioyo of Fulham reacts after his decisive own goal during the Premier League loss to Tottenham.Credit:Getty
Everton moved one point clear of Chelsea, who face Liverpool in Thursday’s later game, after a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
“In this period we need three points. Fulham are a very good team,” Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld told BT Sport. “We should be better on the ball but without it we did everything we could to keep a clean sheet.”
Seconds after an unmarked Harry Kane failed to head his team in front, Tottenham took the lead from a quick counter-attack in the 19th minute when Son Heung-min’s cross was met by Dele Alli before going over the line following a touch by Adarabioyo.
Fulham began the second half brightly and thought they had equalised through Josh Maja but his effort was chalked off by VAR after Davinson Sanchez kicked the ball onto Mario Lemina’s hand as Tottenham looked to clear.
Everton’s European hopes were boosted by Richarlison’s (centre) goal against West Brom.Credit:Getty
“For the players and maybe referees it’s a difficult one because some are high intensity and not on purpose but they get given,” Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg said.
“As players I think what we wish is some kind of consistency in the reviews with the handball situations but I haven’t seen it so I can’t say if it was on or not.”
Midfielder Alli looked sharp in his first league start since the opening day of the season and combined well with Son late in the first half, but the forward was unable to head in the England international’s cross from a tight angle.
Fulham pushed on after going behind as Antonee Robinson weaved his way into Spurs’ penalty area in the dying seconds of the first half and found Maja who set up Lemina, but the Gabon midfielder’s shot flew over the crossbar.
Fulham stayed 18th in the table and deep in relegation trouble, three points behind Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion.
In the Midlands, Everton striker Richarlison continued his scoring form with a fourth goal in as many Premier League games to earn his side a hard-fought 1-0 victory at West Brom.
Everton climbed into the top four to stay on course for a European club competition berth next season.
West Brom’s narrow defeat and their first loss in almost a month left them still deep in relegation trouble. They have 17 points from 27 games, nine points from safety, as they stayed second last on the table.
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