Harry Winks scored a dramatic injury-time winner as Tottenham came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage. Mauricio Pochettino’s side initially fell behind after Fernando Llorente’s first-half own goal. But Dele Alli halved the deficit in the 51st minute and Winks headed home from substitute Georges-Kevin Nkoudou’s cross in the final seconds, keeping the north Londoners seven points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal in the top-four fight.
Spurs have repeatedly triumphed in adversity this season and, despite the absence of important players like Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min and Moussa Sissoko, they dug deep once again here to avoid a damaging setback. The worry was who would score the goals, and fears about the striking options looked fully justified when Tottenham were trailing 1-0 after a toothless half. But Alli and Winks stepped up the plate to not only grab a draw but secure all three points. Nkoudou’s assist was also encouraging. The French winger is out of favour and this was only his second substitute outing of the season, but he may now be needed in the coming matches and he will have been buoyed by his vital contribution.
Llorente had a nightmare outing as the frontman, scoring an own goal and missing two big chances at the other end, while Erik Lamela was poor. Spurs needed more from the duo, and will do again if they continue to be selected. Alli also limped off in the closing stages, seemingly suffering his third hamstring injury of the season. It is absolutely the last thing Tottenham needed.
Manager Rating out of 10
6 — Mauricio Pochettino’s tactics did not really work. The plan seemed to be for the wing-backs to provide service for Llorente but a bombardment never materialised. He also probably would not have introduced Nkoudou if Alli had not been injured. Nonetheless, he oversaw a victory in hugely difficult circumstances.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 7 — Denied Ryan Babel and Andre Schurrle in the first half, and dived at Aleksandar Mitrovic’s feet in the second period. Helpless for the own goal.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 6 — Solid at the back and made some useful forays forward to support Kieran Trippier.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 5 — Struggled in the first half, especially in the air. Babel got in behind him early on, forcing a save from Lloris, and then leapt above the Colombian to head over the bar. Sanchez was better after the break though and stood up to Mitrovic.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 8 — Got forward usefully on the left side of the back three, putting in a few good crosses, notably when he put the ball straight on Llorente’s head. The Belgian also defended well, especially when he made a goal-saving tackle on Babel.
DF Kieran Trippier, 6 — Struggled to get crosses into the box and tended to pass the ball back infield whenever he got it. But in fairness, Fulham were sitting deep and it was tough for him to get in behind.
DF Danny Rose, 7 — Lively on the left side, making intelligent runs, committing players and ratting the crossbar with a deflected effort just before the hour mark.
MF Harry Winks, 8 — Kept Spurs on the front foot with his passing and darting runs and scored the crucial winning goal after attacking the box in the final moments.
MF Christian Eriksen, 7 — Neat and tidy in the middle and set up the equaliser with an inviting cross to the back post, while having a shot blocked inside the box soon after.
FW Erik Lamela, 4 – Very ineffective. The Argentine’s link-up play was sloppy and he wastefully overhit a square pass to the unmarked Llorente in the box.
FW Fernando Llorente, 3 — The own goal was clumsy but a bit unlucky. Of greater concern was the Spaniard’s attacking performance. His hold-up play was poor and he squandered two good headed chances at close range. That is supposed to be his main strength.
FW Dele Alli, 7 — Did his best to move the ball quickly and outmanoeuvre Fulham, and took responsibility for scoring the equaliser with a well-timed run and header.
MF Eric Dier, NR – Replaced Lamela for the final 10 minutes and ensured Fulham were unable to break and score a winner of their own.
MF Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, NR – Came on with just four minutes left and supplied the cross for the winner.