SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER, 2019
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4(4) CRYSTAL PALACE 0(0)
Son, 10, 23
Van Aanholt (o.g.), 21
Referee:- Craig Pawson
Assistants:- Ian Hussin & Richard West
Fourth official:- Michael Salisbury
VAR:- Jonathan Moss
Assistant VAR:- Eddie Smart
Spurs (4-4-2):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose (sub Davies, 76); Lamela, Sissoko, Winks (sub Ndombele, 67), Eriksen; Son, Kane (sub Lucas Moura, 85)
Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Dier; Dele, Wanyama
Booked:- Winks (foul on Zaha), Rose (foul on Zaha), Vertonghen (foul on Ayew), Eriksen (foul on Zaha)
Crystal Palace (4-5-1):- Guaita; Ward, Cahill, Sakho, van Aanholt; Zaha, Kouyate (sub McCarthy, 76), Milivojevic (Capt.), Schlupp, Townsend (sub Camarasa, 85); J. Ayew (sub Benteke, 71)
Subs not used:- Hennessy; Tomkins; Meyer, Riedewald
Booked:- Ayew, Ward (foul on Lucas Moura), Milivojevic (foul on Lamela)
Spurs on fire - Palace destroyed.
Crystal Palace, who beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in their last home game, and who have better recent form than Spurs, were destroyed by the most scintillating first half performance that I can recall for a considerable time by Mauricio Pochettino's men.
I don't know what the recipe was for such an emphatic scoreline, but almost the most negative thing Spurs did was to kick off backwards at the start of the game, and this has become standard practice for most teams now. There was none of the slow "tippy-tapped" passing in their own half; plenty of attacking football, and a most refreshing display of urgency and desire by the home side. It was most refreshing and must have taken Roy Hodgson's men by surprise.
I would argue that Spurs were set up in an attacking 4-4-2 with Lamela and Eriksen either side of Sissoko and Winks, whilst Son Heung-min was partnering Harry Kane, although Son had the more supporting role and appeared on the left and right of "Our Harry".
Palace started in a 4-5-1 formation but both Zaha and Townsend on the flanks were on a position to attack on the flanks, given the opportunity. To be honest, that did not arise until Spurs were already a street ahead of their South London opponents.
The game was played in warm September sunshine and "White Hart Lane" started the game in full voice and had plenty to smile about before long. I did notice before the game plenty of South-East Asian fans around the stadium, no doubt drawn by "Sonny". They would be very pleased with their man's two-goal performance, and many carried plenty of Spurs shop goods, which is obviously good for business!
Palace must have won the toss and turned us round, because Spurs kicked off and played towards the South Stand in the first half. The "White Wall" would be well pleased. Within the first minute after that kick-off, Winks fed Sissoko who headed the ball back to Harry (Winks) whose shot was well wide of the mark. That move was immediately followed by an exchange between Eriksen and Son towards the left of the area. "Sonny"'s shot was held by Guaita.
Toby Alderweireld was active in support of the attack with his well-placed passes (please give him a two-year contract Spurs), and one such pass was over the shoulder of Harry Kane who latched onto the ball but hit it into the goalkeeper's hands.
A foul by Sissoko, too close to the right of the Spurs area, led to a free kick by Palace skipper Luka Milivojevic, whose kick passed dangerously across the Spurs area and might have even hit the far post, but referee Craig Pawson had found an infringement in Spurs' favour.
Son's opening goal came in the 10th minute and followed one of those accurate and penetrating Alderweireld passes. The ball was picked up by Son towards the right of the area. He turned inside and beat Guaita with a left foot shot just inside his left post.
After a throw-in by Alderweireld, Harry Kane sent a ball intended for Son but the Palace keeper was there first. Eriksen slipped a ball to Kane after 17 minutes, but Harry slightly screwed his shot wide of Guaita's left post.
Palace did respond with an attack and Lloris comfortably held a shot by Ayew. Palace had found space down the Spurs left in the build-up to this shot on goal. Spurs went two up in the 21st minute and the goal was announced in the stadium as a goal by Serge Aurier. Son, in a central position, had fed the ball out to Aurier on the right and he had seemingly fired in from a sharp angle, but it turns out it was an own goal, deflected in by left back Van Aanholt.
In no time (well, alright it was two minutes later), Harry Winks hit a ball to Aurier on the right wing. Aurier's deep cross was met by Son beyond the back post and fired home with a left foot shot which beat Guaita to his left. 3-0 up in 23 minutes? When did that last happen?
"Sonny" got very close to a pass soon after the goal too. Either Eriksen or Kane had been the provider here. Harry Winks had a header go wide from a Lamela corner, but Palace tried to find a response with Schlupp having a shot deflected wide for a corner at the other end. The Palace fans were not enjoying their second visit to "The Lane". Another shot, this one by Van Aanholt, following another corner, was well blocked by the Spurs defence.
Winks had a shot go woefully wide at the other end, before Lamela scored what was a great team goal. Moussa Sissoko had won the ball in typical style in his own half, before sending it to Son, who was in a central position. "Sonny" gave the ball to Harry Kane, moving deep towards the right of the area, before hitting a low cross beyond the 6 yard box for Lamela to convert the cross for a 4-0 lead.
There was time for Hugo Lloris to hold a left footed shot by Zaha, and for Harry Winks to get a (perhaps harsh) booking for a foul on Zaha before the interval.
Inevitably, with a midweek Champions League trip to Athens coming, Spurs' second half performance did not have the same degree of passion. Palace did kick off, but Spurs soon had the ball, in the opposition half with Winks picking up and hitting a shot (not at full strength) which was saved by Guaita. Whereas Winks had been booked just before the break for a foul on Zaha, Mr. Pawson decided not to show a card to harry Kane, who committed a similar offence on the same player, who incidentally drew more fouls than any player in a Premier League game since Harry Kane against Chelsea last November.
Danny Rose was next in the book for stopping Zaha in his tracks, and he (Danny) wasn’t happy about that. Gary Cahill (signed on a free having been released by Chelsea in summer) met Milivojevic’s free kick with a header that was saved by Lloris. Hugo also had to be alert to a following attempt by Jordan Ayew in the next Palace attack. Jan Vertonghen was next into Mr Pawson’s book for a foul on Ayew in the Palace half. Jan had out his hand up to draw attention to the apparent injury to the Palace player, but got no compassion from the referee.
Christian Eriksen crossed into the area from the left and the ball nearly reached the lively Lamela, but once again Guaita got to the ball first. “Sonny” gave Sakho a hard time down the right flank and got almost the bye-line before hitting an adventurous shot which hit the side netting. Harry Winks was replaced by Ndombele. Both players were warmly applauded. Lamela had been waiting to take am corner, which was held by the goalkeeper.
Son and Kane attacked in tandem before the ball was fed to Danny Rose, whose cross was met by Aurier on the other side. Aurier hit a shot which was deflected and won another corner. Ayew was replaced by Christian Benteke, once considered quite lethal in his early Villa days, but these days something of a pussycat. Sonny fed Lamela on the right who hit a low cross which passed across the area and did not lead to a shot. More substitutions followed and the game was petering out to its conclusion. Palace did have a few efforts. One by Zaha after 86 minutes was easy for Lloris.
Palace’s right back ward saw yellow for a foul on Spurs sub Lucas Moura as he advanced towards the Palace area, but Eriksen’s free kick was easy for Guaita. Eriksen had another free kick in added time, but this passed over the target.
Spurs have lifted themselves to third place overnight, with Everton, Arsenal and West Ham yet to play this weekend and capable of overtaking us. It was a crucial win though for Spurs against a team capable of spoiling any opponent’s day out. Just ask Manchester City about their game at Norwich today! 9they lost 3-2).
This was our first game not televised live in the UK this season, and actually our first Saturday 3pm kick-off at "White Hart Lane" since Saturday 28th January, 2017, when we beat Wycombe 4-3 in an FA Cup Fourth Round game. "Sonny" came to our rescue that day with the winning goal in the seventh minute of added time! Our last league game at N17 to kick off at 3pm on a Saturday was as long ago as December 3rd 2016, when we won 5-0!
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