A goal-fest at White Hart Lane produced a dominating 5-1 victory for Tottenham—the perfect tonic for an away defeat to Arsenal as the crucial Christmas period gets into full swing.
Ledley King made a welcome return to the starting 11, and showed all the class that has been lacking in the Spurs back line this term. Jamie O’Hara was rewarded for a fine display at the Emirates, keeping his place in the centre of the park.
The game started off fairly slowly, with Spurs monopolizing possession but achieving no end result.
On 27 minutes, Steed Malbranque hit the post with a great strike, and Robbie Keane was on hand to mop up for his first score of the game.
The match stalled again after that, with the visitors holding out against the home attack, and even managing to create some chances of their own.
Tottenham looked to seal the game just before halftime, as a neat lay-off from Dimitar Berbatov allowed Tom Huddlestone to smash a 20-yard effort past the helpless Fulham keeper on 47 minutes.
Spurs started the second half playing possession football and applying pressure to the opposition, but never really looked to be on top of their game. The Cottagers threatened to put a spanner in the works on the hour, as Clint Dempsey scored against the run of play.
As it turned out, though, the goal was small consolation for what was to follow.
Berbatov again turned creator as a nodded down corner provided another tap-in for Keane on 62 minutes—almost straight from the restart. Huddlestone added a fourth goal on 71 minutes with another fantastic shot, continuing the form he showed on a superb half-volley at Manchester City.
King departed shortly thereafter to generous applause. Malbranque had a fantastic game, and was the catalyst in Moritz Volz’ late sending-off, which summed up the visitors' afternoon.
Huddlestone had a chance for a hat-trick in stoppage time, but instead set up substitute Jermain Defoe for Spurs' fifth and final tally.
Reading are the next visitors—or perhaps victims—at the Lane. Judging by Reading's away form this term, Spurs look set to avenge an earlier defeat and carry their momentum into the New Year.
Come on you Spurs!