Son Heung-min and James Maddison were both on target Monday evening in either halves as head coach Ange Postecoglou makes history in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 win against Fulham.
The win ensured that Spurs returned to the top of the table on 23 points, two points above Manchester City and Arsenal.
Postecoglou has thus set a new record of 23 points gained by a manager in their first nine Premier League matches (W7 D2 L0), beating the previous best of 22 jointly held by Mike Walker and Guus Hiddink.
The Australian had already made history earlier this season, becoming the first Australian to win the Barclays Manager of the Month award in each of his first two months in the competition.
Spurs started on the front foot and Maddison slipped a pass in to Son, whose fourth-minute shot was saved by Bernd Leno.
Micky van de Ven then volleyed over from Maddison’s clipped pass, before Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario brilliantly saved Joao Palhinha’s 14th-minute header to prevent Fulham going ahead against the run of play.
Fulham, who had not won in their previous 10 London derbies, including all four this season, continued to defend in numbers before a moment of magic by Son finally broke the deadlock on 36 minutes.
Brazil forward Richarlison played the ball into his pass, Son side-stepped Tim Ream on the edge of the area and then curled a sublime strike beyond Leno.
Fulham’s first-half blank was the seventh time in nine matches that the Cottagers had failed to score in the opening 45 minutes, behind only Luton Town and Crystal Palace (both eight) in the Premier League this season.
Marco Silva responded by bringing on Raul Jimenez and Alex Iwobi, but Spurs added a second goal nine minutes after the restart, this time Son capitalised on a Calvin Bassey error to tee up Maddison, who slotted home.
It was the midfielder’s first home goal contribution of 2023/24 having produced all five of these away from home.
Fulham tried to get a foothold back in the match and had a few chances late on – Jimenez with a shot parried by Vicario and a Harry Wilson effort blocked by Pedro Porro – but Spurs proved comfortable victors.
Spurs could move even further ahead when they kick off Matchweek 10 on Friday night with a trip to Palace.
A second defeat in three matches leaves Fulham in 13th place on 11 points.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.