Tottenham will be thanking their lucky stars after pulling back level against Fulham to keep themselves in the Carabao Cup, and Ange Postecoglou may well feel grateful towards Kenny Tete. The Cottagers star was forced off the pitch temporarily while his side were leading, leaving the west London side down to 10 men. And when he came back seconds later, Spurs had equalised at Craven Cottage.
The Brazilian notched his first goal of the season after heading home from Ivan Perisic’s cross, despite the best efforts of Kevin Mbabu on the line.
The 26-year-old pulled off his trademark pigeon celebration in front of the away supporters as he made it 1-1 in the London derby.
But that wasn’t the reason behind Fulham’s complaints. While play continued at Craven Cottage, Marco Silva’s men had been temporarily reduced to 10 men while Kenny Tete ran off the pitch. And in that time, Spurs managed to pull themselves level.
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Bizarrely, Tete was ordered off the pitch by the referee after it emerged that his boot had been wrecked in a challenge during the game.
But the rules state that the match cannot be stopped for such an issue, so he decided to sprint down the tunnel to find another pair.
And when he returned, he found his team-mates had failed to keep Spurs at bay after Richarlison cancelled out Micky van de Ven’s comical own goal early in the first half.
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Fulham were left furious at being reduced to 10 men while the game continued, just as they were when Calvin Bassey was down injured against Arsenal and the Gunners made it 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
But just like they did on that occasion, Fulham would have the last laugh.
As the game ended on 90 minutes with the scores deadlocked at 1-1, a penalty shootout began. And while Tete clearly found the right shooting boots, Davinson Sanchez missed his spot-kick.
That proved to be crucial as the hosts scored all five of their penalties to dump Postecoglou’s men out of the competition.
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