Dead-ball Dane: How Christian Eriksen orchaestrated Spurs’ Victory over Fulham


Tottenham closed the gap on fourth placed Arsenal to four points with a resounding 3-1 win over relegation strugglers Fulham.

Their hopes of finishing in the top four are extremely slim with just three games left to play while Arsenal and Everton both have four left.

Their season is effectively over but a Europa League qualification place is still on the cards. Tim Sherwood will need his big players to perform for the remaining games so the club can qualify for European competition again.

One of those players is Christian Eriksen, who against Fulham, was fantastic. The Dane assisted the first and third goal during the 3-1 win at White Hart Lane and was majestic in midfield. He pulled the strings throughout and created five chances in all.

Signed for just £12 million last summer, Eriksen was seen as a bargain and slowly this season, he took on the mantle of Tottenham’s most creative and consistent performer. Against Fulham, he showed it once more.

Eriksen Attempted Crosses

Eriksen Attempted Crosses vs Fulham

Eriksen completed two of his seven crosses, both of which became the assists for Paulinho to open the scoring and Younes Kaboul to round it off in the second half.

Eriksen Pass Map vs Fulham

Eriksen Pass Map vs Fulham

The midfielder also completed 46 out of his 55 passes, which equates to an accuracy of 84%. Quite impressive when you think that he’s passing the ball around dangerous, populated areas of the field. He often drifted centrally from the left-hand side of the pitch, where he’s been situated under Sherwood this season.

Eriksen Heat Map

Eriksen Heat Map, detailing on-the-ball actions

In a flat 4-4-2, Eriksen has drifted in from the wing to great effect, scoring some important goals like against Manchester United at Old Trafford and when Spurs came back from 2-0 down to Southampton to win it late on, 3-2, thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson.

His pass map and heat map show perfectly how and where he was influential.

Christian Eriksen, who was a star in Holland with Ajax and is now becoming one in England, also helped out off the ball today as Fulham put up a decent fight in their bid to avoid relegation. The Cottagers needed a win to move out of the drop zone and were almost ready to upset the Spurs fans when Steve Sidwell equalised one minute after Paulinho opened the scoring.

Eriksen made two clearances as well as two interceptions. He also won his only headed duel but did not compete in a single tackle. He was rumoured to have a poor attitude and low work ethic but his running off the ball and hard work paid off in a superb performance.

He was dangerous with the ball at his feet, too, completing his only take-on not far from the penalty area.

The only dampening moment of his afternoon was the handball he committed to concede a second half penalty. Fortunately for the Dane, Hugo Lloris saved Sidwell’s well-hit penalty to keep the scores at 3-1.

It was a commanding performance from the Eriksen who has become the club’s star man. With so much money spent last summer, Eriksen has become their best piece of business and will continue to keep improving. Fulham simply couldn’t handle him this afternoon.

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