Muniz scores twice as Fulham stops Tottenham reaching top four of Premier League

AP , Saturday 16 Mar 2024

Fulham striker Rodrigo Muniz scored twice as Tottenham missed out on the chance of moving into fourth place in the Premier League after losing 3-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Rodrigo Muniz
Fulham s Brazilian striker #19 Rodrigo Muniz (L) shoots to score the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage in London on March 16, 2024. AFP

 

Muniz’s double came either side of Saša Lukić's first goal of the season and took the Brazilian's top-flight tally to seven goals in his last seven appearances.

Fifth-place Tottenham would have climbed above Aston Villa into fourth for one night at least. Villa visits West Ham on Sunday.

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.

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

Destiny Udogie exploited space to run 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 scored the opener in the 42nd when left back Antonee Robinson broke away and delivered a perfect ball across the face of the area to the dangerous Muniz. The Brazilian forward took a touch and powered home a finish into the left-hand corner.

The Cottagers doubled their lead when right back Timothy Castagne marauded forward and sent in a cross that hit the thigh of Lukic, who had made a late surge into the box. The ball flew 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 second in the 61st before he was serenaded with a standing ovation when he was substituted minutes later.

Joao Palhinha thought he added a fourth but it was ruled out for offside due to interference from substitute Raul Jimenez.

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