Written By: Lakshya Kamra
Tottenham came to Selhurst Park at 4th place and two points better off than Manchester United in 5th while Palace started in 8th position but had failed to find the back of the net in their last 5.
Spurs started brightly, looking comfortable in possession but Palace, who hadn’t scored in 8 long hours took advantage of a sloppy clearance by Vertonghen. McCarthy played in Zaha whose cross was deflected into the net by Vertonghen. This instilled further life into spurs but the only notable save of the half they got out of Hennesey was when Eriksen’s cross found Rose at the back post only for his thunderous volley to be aimed straight at Hennesey.
In the second half , Pochettino made an attacking change by bringing on Chadli for Dier and the change paid off when Chadli lifted the ball up and Harry Kane beat Hennesey with a towering header over Damien Delaney. Kane’s 13th goal of the season brought the game to life. Lloris was called upon to produce a fine save from Souare before Alderweireld blocked Delaney’s rebound. Palace continued to pressurize the spurs’ defense when a set piece delivery found Scott Dann whose header hit the crossbar before Jedinak hit the bar again with his volley on the rebound. A let off for spurs.
But then the tide turned in favour of the North Londoners when Dele Alli produced a goal of the season contender. Kane’s cross found Eriksen who headed the ball to Alli who controlled it before brilliantly flicking it over Jedinak and unleashing a first time volley into the back of the net. A moment of magic from the 19 year old. Roy Hodgson’s smile said it all. He might have added to the lustre of his first when he turned the defense inside out but his chip over the keeper came off the bar.
Palace’s last chance fell to Campbell who couldn’t get enough power behind his header to beat Lloris before Nacer Chadli put the game to bed by curling it from outside the area for 3-1.
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On both teams’ situations:
- Palace’s recent struggles have seen them fall to 11th place and out of the top 10 for the first time in a long time. Pardew needs to assess his attacking options soon and bring in some goalscorers especially with Bolasie out. They looked in contention for European places but now look out of sorts (and goals). They need to get back on track in a season which started with so much promise.
- Spurs are now 5 points ahead of United and 5 points off of leaders Leicester. Pochettino’s young side has got North London buzzing. There are some concerns as Vertonghen hobbled off with a knee injury. With no team leading the title charge , Spurs can take advantage. But questions remain whether they have enough to mount a title challenge. This might be Spurs’ best chance to finish in the top 4 for years.
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Image Source(s): The Independent, ESPN FC