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Carabao Cup: Tottenham Hotspur knocked out by Fulham

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Fulham 1-1 Tottenham: Carabao Cup
Fulham players celebrating a goal in the Carabao Cup clash against Tottenham Hotspur. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |
  • Fulham hosted Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Carabao Cup second round at Craven Cottage
  • Spurs headed into the match from a positive start of the season under Ange Postecoglou
  • Fulham scored first, only for Spurs equalised but Fulham progressed through a penalty shootout

Tottenham Hotspur experienced their first setback during the Ange Postecoglou era as they were eliminated from the Carabao Cup in the second round by Fulham, losing 5-3 in a penalty shootout. The crucial moment came when Davinson Sanchez’s penalty was saved.

Richarlison scored his first goal of the season to equalize after an own goal by Micky van de Ven had given Fulham a halftime lead. Fulham’s manager, Marco Silva, was serving a touchline ban during the match.

The game remained deadlocked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, leading to a penalty shootout. After both teams successfully converted their initial penalties, Sanchez’s low shot was saved by Marek Rodak, ultimately making the difference. Kenny Tete sealed Fulham’s place in the third round by scoring their fifth penalty, leaving Tottenham with their only realistic chance of ending their trophy drought, which has persisted since 2008.

Fulham 1-1 Tottenham (5-3 pens): EFL Carabao Cup

Tottenham Hotspur defender Davinson Sanchez saw his penalty saved by Fulham goalkeeper to win the tie for Fulham in the EFL Carabao Cup second round. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |

READ; Kevin De Bruyne: eight years on since joining Manchester City

Both Premier League teams had exited the same competition in the first round the previous season, but they made a total of 15 changes for this match. Tottenham made nine changes after entering the second round for the first time since 2009, while Fulham largely stuck with their first-choice back four.

Antonee Robinson, Fulham’s left-back, created an early opportunity with a cross that Rodrigo Muniz narrowly missed. This match revealed the struggles of Davinson Sanchez, who had been expected to leave in the summer but had moved up the defensive pecking order under Postecoglou, ahead of Eric Dier.

Sanchez’s difficulties were evident when he was responsible for Fulham’s 19th-minute opener. Tom Cairney outmaneuvered Sanchez at the edge of the penalty area, and his cross deflected off Spurs’ center-back Van de Ven and past Fraser Forster, the Tottenham goalkeeper.

Although Postecoglou had brought a positive atmosphere to Tottenham after a challenging first half of 2023, the away fans at Craven Cottage expressed their frustration with chairman Daniel Levy, calling for him to leave the club.

Forster had to make a crucial save to deny Muniz’s snapshot, and Tottenham finally threatened with Richarlison’s shot blocked by Tim Ream and Ivan Perisic’s free-kick deflected wide.

READ: Tottenham Hotspur plans ahead of transfer deadline day

Muniz remained lively, heading wide from Adama Traore’s cross just before half-time, but Forster’s save kept the score at 1-0.

Postecoglou decided to make a change, bringing on teenage forward Dane Scarlett for Giovani Lo Celso. This move paid off as Richarlison forced Marek Rodak to tip over his shot, and Scarlett’s presence created a chance for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, whose shot from 10 yards went wide.

The equalizer finally came in the 56th minute when Richarlison headed in Perisic’s cross at the back post, marking only his fourth goal for Tottenham since his £60 million transfer the previous summer.

Fulham was unhappy that Perisic capitalized on the absence of their right-back, Tete, who had to leave the pitch to replace a boot after a tackle on Scarlett.

After conceding, Fulham improved, with Bobby Decordova-Reid missing a chance and substitute Harry Wilson having his shot blocked by Sanchez.

Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-min came on as substitutes, and Manor Solomon nearly secured the win for Spurs with a curled effort, but Rodak made the save. Forster also denied Wilson with his legs, forcing the match into a penalty shootout.

Fulham was flawless from the penalty spot, with Andreas Pereira, Raul Jimenez, Wilson, Joao Palhinha, and Tete all scoring. At the same time, Sanchez’s weak effort meant Tottenham exited in the second round for the first time since 2005.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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