Half-time: Fulham 0 Tottenham 0 – chances at both ends in pulsating derby

Dimitar Berbatov, restored to the starting line-up by Rene Meulensteen, had two first-half chances to give Fulham a dream start to the new manager’s reign.

During a lively opening at Craven Cottage, Jermain Defoe, in the Tottenham starting line-up for only the second time this season, had an early shot from the edge of the penalty area well saved by Maarten Stekelenburg.

Spurs then had to withstand a spell of pressure and their former striker Berbatov, keen to move in January according to his agent, mis-controlled after being put through by Alex Kacaniklic, enabling keeper Hugo Lloris to gather the ball.

Berbatov’s inclusion was one of seven changes made by Meulensteen.

In came the likes of Giorgos Karagounis, who had a stinging shot saved by Lloris, Ashkan Dejagah and Philippe Senderos, while John Arne Riise – an outcast under sacked boss Martin Jol – was given his first start since August.

The new-look team have started well and another opportunity fell to Berbatov when he was found by Pajtim Kasami’s cross, but he was denied at point-blank range by Lloris’ fine save.

Fulham, who lost five matches in a row prior to Jol’s departure, again went close to scoring when an unchallenged Dejagah headed over from Karagounis’ left-wing corner.

But Spurs remained a threat on the counter attack, with Paulinho and Erik Lamela both missing the target after being teed up by Defoe.

Lamela then forced an excellent stop from Stekelenburg, who pushed over his 25-yard drive.

Fulham: Stekelenburg, Riether, Hughes, Senderos, Riise, Karagounis, Parker, Kasami, Dejagah, Kacaniklic, Berbatov.
Subs: Sidwell, Ruiz, Stockdale, Duff, Taarabt, Zverotic, Boateng.



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