Dimitar Berbatov struck a second half goal against his former club as Fulham recorded only their third away victory of the season against a disappointing Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
Berbatov was in the right place to turn home Sascha Riether’s pinpoint cross early in the second half but the star of the show was keeper Mark Schwarzer who twice denied substitute Jermain Defore with two fantastic reaction saves.
The result moves Fulham to tenth in the table above Stoke City with a further game in hand whilst Spurs remain third.
A desperately disappointing opening half saw precious few chances for either side, Spurs looking visibly weary after Thursday's extra-time exploits against Inter Milan in the Europa League.
Unsurprisingly, it was Gareth Bale who provided most of the early talking points, with his header Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner that was cleared off the line by Riether being the closest either side came in the opening 45 minutes.
The Welshman repaid the compliment midway through the half, setting up Sigurdsson with a good shooting chance right on the edge of the box. But the midfielder cut across the ball, slicing it well wide.
For their part, Fulham mustered only one shot off target as Bryan Ruiz and Berbatov saw precious little of the ball. The Bulgarian did create Fulham’s only real half chance as Hugo Lloris spilled his cross, the ball nearly falling straight into the path of Giorgos Karagounis. But the major talking point of the half came late on as Bale fell to the ground clutching his right Achilles with only the slightest of challenges from Karagounis.
Bale came out for the second half haven shaken off the niggle that appeared to have been hampering his movement but it was Fulham who drew first blood. Ashkan Dejagah set Riether away down the right wing and his cross was met by Berbatov to slide into an empty net.
Andre Villas Boas made an attacking substitution, bringing on Clint Dempsey for Michael Dawson but it was the visitors who continued to look the more likely, Brede Hangeland missing a glaring opportunity to double Fulham’s lead, planting his header wide from Ruiz’s flick on.
Sidwell also planted a header just wide from another corner before the first of two fine saves from Schwarzer maintained Fulham’s advantage. The big Aussie was on hand to palm away Defoe’s shot from Caulker’s cross and he repeated the feat with only a minute on the clock remaining, this time from Bale’s cut back.
Dejagah spurned another headed chance that would have made the game safe but Fulham were good value for the victory.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Mark Schwarzer – Fulham: Twice saved the day for Fulham with two superb reaction saves to deny Jermain Defoe and give his side all three points.
Tottenham: Lloris 6; Naughton 6, Caulker 7, Dawson 6, Vertonghen 6; Sigurdsson 7, Dembele 6, Parker 6, Assou-Ekotto 6; Adebayor 6, Bale 6. SUBS: Dempsey 6, Defoe 7, Carroll 7.
Fulham: Schwarzer 8; Riether 7, Senderos 7, Hangeland 7, Riise 6; Dejagah 6, Sidwell 6, Karagounis 6, Duff 6; Ruiz 6; Berbatov 7. SUBS: Emanuelson 6, Enoh 6.