EPL

Rodrigo Muniz scores twice as Fulham stun top-four hopefuls Tottenham

By Sports Desk March 16, 2024

Rodrigo Muniz scored twice as Tottenham missed out on the chance of moving into the Premier League top four after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Victory would have meant Ange Postecoglou’s side moved a point ahead of Aston Villa but the north Londoners instead finish the weekend in fifth.

Muniz’s double took his top-flight tally to seven goals in his last seven appearances on a day where the Cottagers shone in west London.

Sasa Lukic scored his first goal of the season as Marco Silva’s side bounced back from last week’s 2-1 defeat by Wolves at Molineux.

Fulham looked to strike an early blow through the in-form Muniz, who was freed into a pocket of space. After his initial shot was blocked by Cristian Romero, Andreas Pereira’s rebound narrowly missed Guglielmo Vicario’s right-hand post.

The hosts’ momentum continued and after Romero was called into action again to block Pereira’s close-range attempt, Muniz proved to be a handful when he outmuscled Radu Dragusin with his back turned to goal, setting the tone for a physical encounter.

Willian was enjoying himself. The experienced 35-year-old, who had a knack of scoring goals against Tottenham in his Chelsea days, looked to punish them again but his first-time effort was stopped by Vicario who got down quickly to keep the scores level despite a one-sided opening period in favour of the hosts.

Spurs rode the storm and began to create chances of their own.

Destiny Udogie exploited space to run in down the left and his cutback found James Maddison on the edge of the area. The England international’s body position suggested he was going for the far post but he opted to go near, dragging his effort wide instead of the open net which Fulham keeper Bernd Leno left unoccupied.

Fulham’s efforts deserved a goal and they got just that. The electric Antonee Robinson broke away and he delivered a perfect ball to the dangerous Muniz before the Brazilian forward performed an intricate touch and powered home into the left-hand corner.

The Cottagers had played the perfect game up to this point and it continued after the break when they doubled their lead.

Fulham’s full-backs had been allowed space all game and this time it was Timothy Castagne’s turn to maraud forward. The right-back’s cross met the thigh of Lukic who had made a late surge into the box and the ball fizzed past the helpless Vicario for a second time.

Muniz’s spectacular run of form took another turn. The forward was well positioned in the box to scrap for the loose ball and claim his brace before he was serenaded with a standing ovation when he was substituted minutes later.

Joao Palhinha thought he added a fourth but referee Robert Jones deemed the strike offside after an interference from Raul Jimenez.

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