Tottenham 1-0 Fulham

Bale 42′

Barclays Premier League – Sat 1st Jan 2011 – KO 15:00 – Ground: White Hart Lane

Spurs climbed into the Premier League’s top four with a 1-0 victory over London rivals Fulham.

It was Fulham who forged the first opening of the contest when Clint Dempsey failed to hit the target from the edge of the penalty area on 20 minutes.

And it took a further 10 minutes to summon a response with Mark Schwarzer keeping out a long-range shot from Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

But it was Spurs who finally broke the deadlock three minutes before the break when Gareth Bale met a Rafael van der Vaart free-kick to head the ball beyond Schwarzer for his 11th goal of the campaign.

Fulham fought back after the interval as Spurs appeared content to hold on to their one-goal advantage, and the hosts were nearly punished when Andrew Johnson found some space to test Heurelho Gomes and Michael Dawson was forced to clear under pressure from Dempsey.

Bale wasted a fine chance to put the game to bed when he blazed over from Vedran Corluka’s pull-back, and Aaron Lennon was also off target with a late chance, but those misses would not prove costly.