FAC: Fulham 0-0 Tottenham
Tottenham had Heurelho Gomes to thank for keeping them in Saturday
evening’s FA Cup quarter-final tie at Fulham, which ended in a 0-0
Gomes made a string of fine saves as the Cottagers went on
the rampage after the interval to book a replay at White Hart Lane
on Wednesday March 24.
The Brazilian prevented Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff, Brede
Hangeland and Zoltan Gera scoring in a London derby that lacked any
bite until a pulsating second period.
For Gomes, it was a return to the ground where in November
2008 he made the worst in a string of blunders that almost saw him
sold by manager Harry Redknapp.
Redknapp opted against offloading the £7.8million
signing from PSV Eindhoven.
The Spurs manager’s faith has already been repaid but once
more Gomes underlined his value.
At the other end, Mark Schwarzer kept out Niko Kranjcar and
Peter Crouch at the end of the first half, but was hardly involved
For all their possession and a passing game that was easy on
the eye, Spurs rarely troubled Fulham’s goal and wilted as an
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson will be disappointed his side, who
continue to punch above their weight in two cup competitions, did
not finish off their capital rivals.
Hodgson and Schwarzer were presented with their manager and
player of the month awards for February shortly before kick-off.
Spurs pressed hard in midfield to give their opponents little
time on the ball but despite some slick passing, they failed to
trouble Fulham’s goal.
Anticipation gripped home fans as Zamora broke free down the
left before expertly cutting back inside where he fired a shot
straight into the arms of Gomes.
It was not until the 28th minute that either keeper was
extended, Schwarzer palming away a well-struck shot from Niko
The big Australian then had to dive sharply to his left to
turn a fine goalbound header by Peter Crouch away from the target.
Damien Duff pulled the trigger from long range at the other
end as Fulham’s chances continued to be severely limited.
Zamora bulldozed his way through at the end of one
well-worked move but Michael Dawson intervened to snuff out the
The second half was not even a minute old when Gera drew a
superb save from Gomes.
Simon Davies initiated the move with a marauding run down the
right followed by a pinpoint cross to the far post where Zamora
directed the ball to Gera whose header was well stopped by Gomes.
The Brazilian then had to react sharply to keep out
Hangeland’s header from a Davies corner.
Dawson smashed the ball into the stands to end a spell of
Spurs’ dominance but once again the visitors did not look like
scoring for all their dominance.
The match was coming alive after a dull first half, partly
thanks to the noisy Spurs fans.
Duff found the side netting after being set up by Davies and
was then denied by another fine save from Gomes following excellent
work by Zamora.
The impressive Kranjcar fizzed a lethal cross through the
penalty area as Spurs launched a swashbuckling counter-attack.
Space was opening up for both sides in an increasingly
frantic final 10 minutes that saw Zamora fail to connect with a
Vedran Corluka almost turned an attempted clearance into his
own net – he did not know where the ball was going and Spurs
breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle went.