Fulham next for Spurs after trip to Villa Park postponed

Tottenham Hotspur striker Carlos Vinicius beating Marine goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant to score the opening goal of their English FA Cup third round match at Rossett Park. The Brazilian player added two more for a first-half hat-trick as Spurs clinched
Tottenham Hotspur striker Carlos Vinicius beating Marine goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant to score the opening goal of their English FA Cup third round match at Rossett Park. The Brazilian player added two more for a first-half hat-trick as Spurs clinched a 5-0 win over eighth-tier Marine on Sunday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Tottenham's Premier League match at Aston Villa tomorrow has been postponed as the Covid-19 outbreak at Villa Park has not subsided, with Spurs now set to play London rivals Fulham in that slot instead, the league said yesterday.

A separate outbreak at Craven Cottage last month led to their scheduled game against Spurs being called off but it will now be held at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Jose Mourinho's men were due to travel to Villa Park but the hosts asked the league to rearrange the fixture due to a number of players and staff either testing positive for Covid-19 or self-isolating.

The situation resulted in the omission of their entire first team during their 4-1 home loss to Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup last Friday.

"Aston Villa's match against Tottenham Hotspur... has been rescheduled following a decision by the Premier League board," the league said in a statement, adding that the revised date for the game will be decided later.

Fulham were also initially due to play local rivals Chelsea at Craven Cottage on Friday but will now play them on Saturday.

Everton's match at Villa has also been rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday.

According to Football London website and the Daily Mail, Fulham officials are said to be "distinctly unhappy about the late nature of the decision".

Five top-flight games have now been postponed this term, with only one match rearranged.

On Sunday, Spurs ensured they did not succumb to the biggest FA Cup shock in history as Carlos Vinicius scored a first-half hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of eighth-tier Marine in the third round.

The 161 league places separating Mourinho's men and the visitors had been the biggest gap between opponents in the 150 years of the FA Cup.

The gulf in class was clear as Spurs' fringe players took their chance to shine, with Lucas Moura and 16-year-old academy product Alfie Devine, coming off the bench for his debut for the club, also getting on the scoresheet.

With all games staged behind closed doors, Marine could not fully benefit from what would have been their biggest single match-day revenue at Rossett Park, even though they did sell 30,697 virtual tickets to the game at £10 (S$18) each.

But Spurs still gave the hosts a memento in remembrance of the tie with a complimentary delivery of new jerseys.

The club tweeted: "The players are unable to swop shirts after the game due to Covid protocols, so we've provided Marine with a whole set of fresh shirts as a souvenir of today's historic match."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2021, with the headline 'Fulham next for Spurs after trip to Villa Park postponed'. Print Edition | Subscribe