Tottenham buckles again in familiar style, City jumps to 3rd

·2 min read

It has become a familiar pattern for Tottenham under Jose Mourinho this season: take the lead, retreat, invite opponents on, and eventually concede.

The same thing happened again on Wednesday, and it cost the team a place in the Premier League’s top four.

Leading through a rarely seen diving header put away emphatically by Harry Kane, Tottenham couldn’t hold out against a Fulham side playing the game on just two days’ notice — much to the chagrin of its manager.

Ivan Cavaleiro scored a header of his own in the 74th minute to earn Fulham a 1-1 draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, giving Mourinho that sinking feeling he is starting to know well.

After all, Tottenham has conceded second-half equalizers in draws against Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton over the past month. In that period, there was also the 90th-minute header scored by Roberto Firmino to earn Liverpool a 2-1 win over Spurs at Anfield.

Earlier in the season, Tottenham squandered home leads in draws against Newcastle and West Ham.

Mourinho’s renowned pragmatism is well-received by supporters of his teams if it pays off. It feels like a wasted opportunity when it doesn’t.

Tottenham would have moved into third place with a win, but instead dropped to sixth place because Manchester City beat Brighton 1-0 in the day’s other game.

Phil Foden was the match-winner for City with a piece of skill followed by an unerring finish that capped a performance — delivered in front of England coach Gareth Southgate — which was the latest reminder of the 20-year-old midfielder’s massive talent.

City jumped to third place and is four points behind the new leader, archrival Manchester United, with a game in hand.

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Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80

Steve Douglas, The Associated Press