Ivan Cavaleiro earns point for Fulham at Tottenham as Spurs lose ground at top

Scott Parker looked in no mood to apologise.

Not after Fulham made their point with a battling draw, a performance full of grit and defiance as Tottenham blew the chance to close the gap on the leading pack.

It ended in frustration for Tottenham and Jose Mourinho who, for so long, looked destined to win on the back of a bitter pre-match row about fixture rescheduling.

Harry Kane put Tottenham ahead with his 11th goal of the season but they clearly did not bank on Fulham’s resolve as Ivan Cavaleiro’s late leveller was no more than they deserved.

Fulham certainly looked fired up by Mourinho’s rant that the visitors would owe Tottenham an apology if they fielded a full strength XI.

And it would be foolish to write off Fulham on this evidence because they look a team ready and willing to defy the odds. Written off before the season started, they are still in with a fighting chance.

Parker’s complaints about a lack of notice about this game being rearranged did not draw much sympathy as we are in unprecedented Covid times when surely there has to be some give and take.

But maybe, just maybe, Mourinho’s words and all that criticism instilled a siege mentality within the Fulham ranks because they dug in, rode their luck and emerged with a precious point in the battle for survival.

Certainly, Tottenham will look back upon the game as two points dropped especially after Heung-Min Son hit the post just two minutes before Cavaleiro’s 74th minute winner.

But, in truth, they just could not find an extra gear to kill off Fulham and it was not simply about Mourinho being pragmatic and not chasing the win. They were well and truly pegged back by Fulham and made to defend.

Though it is hard to believe that both Dele Alli and, in particular, Gareth Bale were not brought on. They just sat there, frustrated spectators on the bench. What on earth has gone wrong for Bale who was supposedly going to be a transfer coup and the signing of the season?

It is truly baffling and it is beginning to look like a big money mistake because it was still a deal worth £20m in wages and loan fee.

At least Tottenham did two good deals in the summer as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, now looking an absolute snip at £15m, and £27m left back Sergio Reguilon combined brilliantly for Kane’s 25th minute opener.

Hojbjerg switched the play brilliantly with a fantastic diagonal pass out to the left. Reguilon raced down the flank, put over an inch perfect cross for Kane who stormed into the box and headed powerfully home. What a goal.

But the Fulham collapse never came. And nor did the second Tottenham goal to kill off the game. Harry Winks went close, Kane glanced a half chance over and Son went through only to hit the post with a scuffed finish.

You could sense the frustration on the Tottenham bench because Fulham were pushing hard, pegging the home side back and looking for an equaliser.

Substitute Ademola Lookman gave them pace an edge after coming on and it was his brilliant run down the left, skinning the Spurs defence, which led to the leveller.

Lookman’s brilliant cross found a gap in the box and there was Cavaleiro jumping highest to bury a terrific header into the bottom corner beyond Hugo Lloris.

It was not Tottenham being cautious, sitting back. This was Fulham pushing them back. After all the rows and the anger over postponed fixtures because of a coronavirus outbreak, this was Fulham making their point.

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