Fulham got beat in the second half of their match with Tottenham last night. At the half, they were leading 1 - 0. They gave up 3 second half goals to lose the match 3 - 1. After each match I like to analyze my "keys" that I write about in my preview. Could some of my "keys" show some reasons for the loss? Below is my " Analysis of My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham Against Tottenham."
1. Fulham need to play from ahead at the half. I thought going into the match Fulham needed to be winning at the half. I thought the defense could hold them off in the second half. I might have been really wrong about this key. Maybe if they are even at the half Harry Redknapp does not make his changes in the second half? Playing from ahead on the road against very good teams Fulham have not succeeded. This is an issue that needs to be looked into more.
2. If Brede Hangeland does not play Chris Smalling must play efficiently in his place. Hangeland especially in the first half played very well. In the second half some of the blame for the goals need to go to all of the defense. Hangeland is a force. He is also great on headers during corner kicks. He had a chance in the first half that just went high. I don't think this was a negative key.
3. Roman Pavlyuchenko is doubtful for this match. Fulham need to shutdown his replacement Eidur Gudjohnsen and Peter Crouch. In the first half Fulham were definitely able to contain the strikers for Tottenham. The second half was a completely different story. Pavlyuchenko actually came into the game shortly in the second half. He ended up scoring an incredible goal. In the second half, the pressure was intense and Fulham's defense did not step up.
4. Fulham need to control the midfield. Again, this was a game of two halves. In the first half Damien Duff was fantastic and set up a beautiful goal from Bobby Zamora. Simon Davies also did a nice job. The second half was a completely different story. Luka Modric was tough to control for Fulham in those first 20 minutes of the second half. David Bentley was menacing in the second half. Tottenham completely controlled the midfield in the second half. This key turned out be tough to overcome for Fulham.
5. Fulham need to defend perfectly on set pieces. On the road Fulham seem to be poor on set pieces. Last night was no exception. The free kick by David Bentley was far enough out that it shouldn't have been a goal on its own. This was very bad defense. The game completely changed off of this set piece.
The last 3 keys to me had a significant impact on the match last night. To me though another issue emerged in this match. The second half collapse against quality opponents on the road is becoming a trend. Fulham seem to be on the cusp of taking their game to the next level. They are playing well in the first half of away games against quality opponents. For some reason they cannot put 2 great halves of football together away from Craven Cottage. If they want to consistently be in the top half of the league they are going to have to win on the road more. Let's hope again they start a new trend in Hull City on Saturday.