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Spurs v Crystal Palace - FA Cup Rd 5, 21.02.16

THE EMIRATES FA CUP FIFTH ROUND
SUNDAY 21ST FEBRUARY, 2016
(3pm)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0) CRYSTAL PALACE 1(1)

Palace scorer:-
Kelly, 45

Attendance:- 35,547

Referee:- Craig Pawson
Assistants:- Peter Kirkup & Ian Hussin
Fourth official:- Graham Scott

Teams:-
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vorm; Walker, Dier, Wimmer, Rose; Bentaleb, Dembele (sub Eriksen, 46); Son (sub Chadli, 67), Alli (sub Mason, 80), Onomah; Kane (Capt.)

Subs not used:- McGee; Trippier, Alderweireld; Winks

Booked:- Rose (foul on Zaha)

Palace (4-4-2):- Hennessy; Kelly, Dann, Delaney (Capt), Ward; Zaha, Cabaye (sub Jedinak, 81), Ledley, Mutch; Adebayor (sub Bolasie, 76), Wickham

Subs not used:- McCarthy; Mariappa; Lee Chung-yong, Gayle; Campbell

Booked:- Cabaye (foul on Rose), Bolasie

I'll try to do better on Thursday!

As some of you will be aware, I was unable to travel to London today, due to illness. Some of you will also be aware that the last domestic game I failed to attend was also against Crystal Palace in January last year, when we also lost. I'll try to do better and make it to London on Thursday, and I hope the team do better too!

I am very grateful to regular Spurs Odyssey reporter Ray Lo of the spurs-list for covering for me with this account of today's game:-

It was a cool windy afternoon; overcast with a hint of rain, The visiting fans occupied two thirds of the Park Lane end and made plenty of noise throughout the game. As expected Spurs made changes from the game in Florence with Alderweireld given a rest. Spurs lined up with Vorm in goal behind Dier and Wimmer with Walker at right back and Rose on the left. Bentaleb took Dier's place in the anchor role with Dembele alongside him. Ahead of them Alli returned, flanked by Son on his right and Onomah on his left in support of Kane up front.

Palace kicked off attacking the Paxton Road End but soon dropped into a defensive formation of two banks of four to make it difficult for Spurs to pass through them. Kane had a shot from the left blocked by Delaney in the first minute which led to a corner. Son took the corner which found Alli diving in to head at the far post and Cabaye clearing off the line.

With Spurs pushing forward they found Palace defending deep but clearing long for their front two to chase. This led to their first attempt on goal which came from a back header by Walker that almost caught out his own keeper. Vorm cleared the ball from under his crossbar for a corner.

Delaney blocked from Kane again with the ball going for a corner. Rose and Son broke from a Palace corner which was stopped by Ledley taking one for the team by fouling Rose as they got into the Palace half. The ref did not book him so he escaped to try again. Ledley got into the area but failed to reach a whipped-in cross from Wickham who had got behind.

Spurs were quickly up the other end where Son played in Alli who saw his effort hit the far post and then off the other post before being cleared. Hennessey had to save from Son as his shot was deflected on the way. Walker played in Onomah at the near post and he hit his effort wide of the far post. Walker had a go himself from over 25 yards seeing it fly wide. From a similar distance Kane took a free kick which he curled round the wall forcing Hennessey to save at the near post for a corner.

With all the pressure that Spurs put on the visitors' defence it was fate that they would concede. In added time at the end of the half Zaha got the ball on the edge of the area and drew in defenders before laying it into the path on Kelly outside him. The full back fired in at the near post to send the visiting fans wild and for them to go in with an unexpected lead.

Spurs made a change for the second half with Eriksen replacing Dembele taking position behind Kane with Alli dropping back . Kane had a couple of early chances firing wide on the first and being blocked on the second. Son then combined with Rose to play in Alli for a chance but he was barged off the ball by Delaney which the ref considered fair. Alli whipped in a ball from the right but both Kane and Onomah failed to make contact, as it was put out for a corner.

Bentaleb fired over before playing in Alli for a chance which he put wide. Walker played in Eriksen to draw a save from Hennessey. Spurs made their second change replacing Son with Chadli as Palace began to look more comfortable in holding onto their lead.

Delaney had a header cleared off the line from a corner before the ref finally felt he had book someone. Cabaye was booked for stopping Rose attacking down the wing. Adebayor left to cheers from the Spurs fans who had booed his every touch, and was replaced by Bolasie. Minutes later Mason came on for Alli and Cabaye took his time when replaced by Jedinak. Bolasie was booked after losing out to Walker in the corner as Palace began to find space with Spurs committed to attack. Ledley had an effort blocked for a corner. They had a goal by Wickham ruled out for offside when Bolasie got down the right. Vorm saved from Zaha in the last minute while Rose went into the ref's book for a foul on Zaha in added time.

Palace won the game playing to their strengths, stopping Spurs full-backs from getting down the wings and forcing them to play through the middle. The referee showed great leniency to the visitors with Ledley twice committing fouls that would usually be bookable. The changes to Spurs line up did seem to affect the way they played. On the bright side Spurs now have fewer games to play.

Ed's comment:- I've always hated going out of THE Cup, but it is now 25 years since we won what we used to consider "our" trophy. Mauricio Pochettino has made choices in his selection and rotation policy which suggest to me that he is prioritising the two remaining competitions we could win. Unlike the FA Cup, the Premier League and Europa League do offer a path into the Champions League.

The fact we would have drawn Reading (away) in the quarter-final makes the pain even harder to bear, but bear it we must, in the hope of going onto greater things.

COME ON YOU SPURS!

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

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