FA BARCLAYS PREMIERSHIP
SATURDAY 22ND JANUARY, 2005
CRYSTAL PALACE 3 (0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 (0)
Johnson (pen), 77
Referee:- Mr. C. Foy
Palace (4-4-2):- Kiraly; Boyce, Hall, Sorondo, Granville; Routledge, Leigertwood, Hughes (Capt.), Soares (sub Borrowdale, 87); Freedman, Johnson (sub Andrews, 87)
Subs not used:- Speroni; Powell, Lakis
Spurs (4-4-2);- Robinson; Pamarot (sub Yeates, 71), Naybet, King (Capt.), Edman; Marney (sub Kelly, 82), Carrick, Mendes, Ziegler (sub Atouba, 43); Defoe, Keane
Subs not used:- Eyre (no. 48); Gardner
Booked:- Marney, Pamarot
Some things never seem to change. It's five and a half years since we played at Selhurst park, but the pitch still seems a bit rough, and the stadium hasn't changed much, although they have got plastic seats now in the Arthur Waite Stand. Oh, and maybe some hospitality boxes have surfaced above one of the stands. Spurs still have a pathetic record in London derbies, and they fail to sweep up points against opposition embroiled in a relegation battle, such as Palace, who have taken four out of the six on offer in our two games. Thus Dowie has definitely won the battle of the coaches, given a higher profile since Dowie's comments about Martin Jol, when "doing punditry" at Villa Park earlier this season, when we lost our last away Premiership fixture.
The early result between Southampton and Liverpool should have wound up both sides really. Palace because they needed this win more than ever, as Harry Redknapp's Saints put two past The Scousers. Spurs because that Liverpool defeat made the gap between 8th and fifth potentially smaller, with an anticipated win. Ultimately, hunger won the day, and maybe Spurs fell into the trap of expecting things to go their way today. Palace were never going to let it happen though, and let there be no doubt about the fact that the best side won on the day
Dowie had plenty of height at the back and in the middle with Leigertwood, and Soares on hand in the engine room, where Carrick and Mendes failed to get a hold at all. Defoe and Keane were unable to hold the ball up effectively, and once again the ball was being returned to Spurs defensive areas too quickly, as Routledge and Soares switched wings during the game, and Andy Johnson was partnered by Dougie Freedman. Yet Spurs had their first choice defence on hand, and the midfield was not far short of full strength, with young Dean Marney out on the right. Ziegler was my player of the first half for Spurs, and he was the one looking likely to make things happen. Sadly, he had to go off just before the break, with a hamstring injury, replaced by Thimothee Atouba, himself not yet full match fit.
Truth be told, Martin Jol was short of options today, as Kanoute is still injured, and Michael Brown was suspended for 5 cautions in the season so far. Brown's grit, stamina and determination might have held the Eagles at bay today, but before the game, Spurs fans remained confident, despite their lengthening injury list.
There were not too many clear cut chances in the first half, but I did spend a lot of time wondering about the officials' interpretation of the offside law. I counted at least five that assistant Mr Bone failed to spot - all in favour of Palace. It was his partner, Mr Massey that I felt missed the most crucial offside in the second half, when Palace went two up. Referee Mr Foy certainly seemed to be a "homer", but we have been well beaten, and I shouldn't moan.
Defoe had the first chance after 5 minutes, when he picked up a Carrick ball, but from the edge of the box, on the right side, fired over. Robinson had to make a decent save from Danny Granville's 15th minute free kick as Johnson had "won" a free kick about 25 yards out. Two minutes later after a good move, Robbie Keane fed the ball to Marney who forced a decent save from Kiraly, tending towards acrobatics that were not so necessary! Marney got booked almost immediately for a foul as Palace broke back. After 25 minutes, Ledley King had to make a saving tackle from Freedman after Boyce's cross had been messed up by Soares, but the ball was not properly cleared.
Palace skipper Hughes got a yellow card, not for his foul on Keane but for arguing the decision, and the kick was put forward 10 yards. Ziegler hit a good shot just outside Kiraly's left post. Ziegler suffered his injury when forcing a great save from Kiraly, after good work by Defoe and Keane. The corner was only half cleared and Marney's shot went straight to the keeper. Atouba replaced Ziegler, and just before the half-time whistle, Leigertwood hit a rising shot over the bar from fully 25 yards.
Atouba's strength was leading to one or two decent attacks from Spurs, and he, Keane and Mendes were involved in the move from the left, which ended with a Carrick shot wide of the mark. Defoe and Marney battled well to win back a Pamarot long ball, and then Atouba hit a cross/shot that was in no-man's land. That was almost the last effective attack by Spurs who then succumbed to a Palace onslaught. The first goal came from Soares' cross from the left (after Pamarot had not cleared properly), which was rifled home by Leigertwood off the underside of the bar. Then came a goal threaded through the middle, with Granville looking offside to me, along with one or two others. Granville hit past Robinson with glee.
Pamarot was replaced by Yeates and Marney took over at right back, but after 75 minutes Johnson won a penalty as he entered the box from the left, and anyone of Yeates, Marney or Mendes might have been the offender. Johnson's finish was convincing to say the least, and Palace had equalled their biggest win of the season, whilst Spurs suffered their worst. It might even have been four had Paul Robinson not stretched superbly to his right to save Freedman's 87th minute shot, put through by Johnson. Spurs had a half-hearted attempt in injury time as Yeates threaded a ball to Defoe, but the half-hit shot went into Kiraly's arms.
Wayne Routledge was jeered at various times by his own fans during the game. It was his final pass that created the second goal, but apart from that he didn't shine too much, and certainly not enough for me to get too excited at the prospect of Spurs signing him.
Palace remain just outside the bottom three, but bottom teams were winning today, and their fight continues unabated. Spurs remain in eighth place, and perhaps fans' aspirations should be re-aligned after this performance, which must certainly not be repeated next week at The Hawthorns, where the Baggies beat man City today!
· View our recent record in London Derbies here!
· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
· Palace gave Spurs "The Bird"
· Read the preview for this game.
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