We can still escape the drop, say Fulham
Tottenham halt Cottagers late charge to avoid relegation with 3-1 win, but Felix Magath insists the west Londoners can still produce a Houdini act
Agencies in London
Fulham manager Felix Magath insists they can avoid relegation despite Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur that leaves them third from bottom of the Premier League with three matches remaining.
Consecutive wins over Aston Villa and Norwich City had given the west Londoners hope that they could produce a late relegation escape act, but the loss leaves them on 30 points, two behind 17th-placed Norwich City who host leaders Liverpool on Sunday.
German Magath, Fulham's third manager of the season after Martin Jol and Rene Muelensteen were both sacked, said getting a point at White Hart Lane would have been a bonus, but it was their home matches against Hull City and Crystal Palace that would determine their top-flight status. Their other remaining match is away at Stoke City.
"If we had got any point here, it would be an extra point for us. We have to win our home games," Magath told BT Sport.
"We have two left, so we can manage it. We can stay up."
Brazil midfielder Paulinho opened the scoring for Spurs after 35 minutes before Steve Sidwell, who also missed a 75th- minute penalty, equalised soon after.
Harry Kane netted for the third consecutive match, after half-time, and defender Younes Kaboul added a third goal on 62 minutes to keep Spurs in sixth spot with 63 points.
Sidwell had an opportunity to get his team back into the game with 13 minutes remaining after Christian Eriksen had been penalised for handball. But Sidwell saw his penalty parried by Hugo Lloris.
For Spurs, it was the first time this season they had won three consecutive home matches and maintained their push for a Champions League place.
However, that remains unlikely for Spurs, who are four points below fourth-placed Arsenal, having played a game more, but they are now six points above Manchester United in the battle for a Europa League berth.
"It's all about points at this stage of the season. We've had enough good performances this season and not got anything out of it," said Spurs manager Tim Sherwood.
"I didn't think it was a horrendous performance. It wasn't fantastic, but we managed to score three goals. This team will always score goals … it's just that we have to stop conceding them."
Cardiff City moved above Fulham on goal difference by drawing 1-1 at home to Stoke City.
Marko Arnautovic gave Stoke the lead from the penalty spot in first-half injury time, but Peter Whittingham equalised with a penalty after Steven Nzonzi tripped Fraizer Campbell.
An ice-cool stoppage-time penalty by Wilfried Bony gave Swansea City a 2-1 victory at Newcastle United that took the Welsh club six points clear of the relegation zone. Bony had earlier scored with a header to cancel out Shola Ameobi's 23rd-minute opener for Newcastle.
Aston Villa spurned a chance to put clear daylight between themselves and the bottom three after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Southampton.
A 59th-minute Mile Jedinak penalty saw Crystal Palace win 1-0 at West Ham United.
Reuters, Agence France-Presse