LONDON (Reuters) – Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Dimitar Berbatov severely dented in his old club’s Champions League ambitions when he scored the only goal for Fulham in their 1-0 Premier League win at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
The former Bulgarian international struck after 52 minutes when he turned in a pass from Sascha Riether as Spurs, who were unbeaten for 12 matches before last Sunday’s 3-2 loss at Liverpool, were beaten for the second successive league game.
The home side, who also lost 4-1 to Inter Milan in the Europa League last week, looked a shadow of the team who had climbed to third place in the league after a run of excellent performances and are now in danger of collapsing in the run-in as they did last year.
Fulham, managed by former Spurs coach Martin Jol, defended well for most of the second half with Mark Schwarzer making two excellent saves from Jermain Defoe to keep their lead in tact.
Chelsea, who were playing West Ham United later, will climb above Spurs if they win, while North London rivals Arsenal also narrowed the gap on Spurs with a 2-0 victory at Swansea City on Saturday.
Earlier, Sunderland’s run without a Premier League win stretched to seven matches when they failed to beat 10-man Norwich City in a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.
Norwich were forced to play for more than an hour without goalkeeper Mark Bunn who was sent off for handling outside the penalty area but held on for a point to keep themselves well clear of the relegation battle.
After a quiet start there was plenty of drama in a 14-minute spell after Norwich took the lead in the 26th minute.
Kei Kamara, the first player from Sierra Leone to play in the Premier League, met a corner with a well-placed header that appeared to be going into the net before team mate Wes Hoolahan, standing on the line, headed it in.
Five minutes later, though, Norwich were reduced to 10 men when goalkeeper Bunn, rushing out to meet a poor back header from defender Michael Turner, was adjudged to have handled the ball outside the area and was shown a red card by referee Chris Foy.
Goalscorer Hoolahan made way for substitute keeper Lee Camp, who was picking the ball out of his own net nine minutes later.
The equaliser came after Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong handled in his area and Craig Gardner made no mistake with the 40th-minute penalty.
As well as Chelsea’s late game, FA Cup semi-finalists Wigan Athletic were playing Newcastle United at their DW Stadium.
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