Tottenham Hotspur continued its scintillating start to the 2023/24 campaign with a clean-sheet victory over London rivals Fulham on Monday night. With the win, Fulham rises to the top of the Premier League table after nine games. Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou now owns the best record for a manager’s first nine games in Premier League play. The north London club now has seven wins and two draws for 23 points this season.

Tottenham grabs lead against Fulham in first half

Tottenham thought it had a shout for a penalty after just eight minutes. Antonee Robinson brought down Pedro Porro on Spurs’ right side. The admittedly minimal contact between the two occurred just outside the penalty box in a tight, but correct, call for Anthony Taylor. The free kick did not lead to any noteworthy attempts.

Instead, it was Fulham that had the best chance in the opening quarter of an hour. Off a corner, Andreas Pereira found the head of Joao Pahlinha on the Spurs penalty spot. Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario got a desperate and strong hand on the ball to keep the game scoreless.

Ten minutes before halftime, Fulham gave the ball away cheaply out of the back. The turnover in possession fell to Richarlison who played in Son Heung-min. The South Korean took a touch onto his right foot to get beyond both Tim Ream and Calvin Bassey. Son ripped a shot into the far corner to give Tottenham the lead.

(IMAGO / PA Images)

(IMAGO / PA Images)

(IMAGO / PA Images)

Spurs put together a spell of brilliant play five minutes later to nearly grab a second. A slew of Tottenham players exchanged quick interplay before firing three shots. Fulham defenders flung their bodies in the way to deflect each attempt.

To close the half, Tottenham dominated on all fronts. Yet, it squandered a sensational chance to double the lead. Cristian Romero carried the ball forward from the Spurs back line. He played in Dejan Kulusevski alone on Bernd Leno. However, the Swede waited and passed the ball, and Spurs lost control.

Spurs maintain win and fourth clean sheet this season

All that pressure to close the first half spilled into the second half. This time, it was the other Spurs talisman to get on the scoresheet. Bassey gave the ball again to Spurs in the offensive third. The ball fell to Son, who laid the ball off to James Maddison instead of going for goal. The Englishman was through on goal against Leno. Maddison passed the ball into the far corner to give Tottenham a two-goal cushion.

With the lead established, Tottenham never looked likely to surrender points in this game. Yet, that did not stop Fulham from pushing forward to get back into the game. With six minutes left in the game, Fulham had its best chance. Raul Jimenez was face-to-face with Vicario in net. However, the Mexican’s shot was not placed well enough to beat Vicario, who parried the low shot away.

Tottenham was sloppy in possession to end the game against Fulham, much to the chagrin of Postecoglou. However, Fulham was never clinical enough in its finishing to worry the Spurs supporters in attendance. In the end, Tottenham closed out a clean sheet and a win on Monday night. Spurs rose to the top of the table.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sportimage