Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Match Report - Crystal Palace v Spurs, 10.01.15
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Crystal Palace v Spurs, 10.01.15


Crystal Palace scorers:-
Gayle, 69 (pen)
Puncheon, 80

Spurs scorer:-
Kane, 49

Attendance:- 24,193

Referee:- Anthony Taylor
Assistants:- G. Beswick & S. Ledger
Fourth official:- K. Friend

Palace (4-3-2-1):- Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney (Capt.), Kelly; Bannan (sub Guedioura, 46), McArthur, Ledley; Puncheon, Gayle (sub Campbell, 87); Murray (sub Zaha, 74)

Subs not used:- Hennessy; Mariappa, Hangeland; Thomas

Booked:- Bannan (foul on Dembele), Dann (foul on Kane), Puncheon (Dissent), Guedioura (foul on Dembele), Campbell (foul on Lloris)

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose; Stambouli (sub Soldado, 75), Dembele; Townsend (sub Capoue, 69), Eriksen, Chadli; Kane

Subs not used:- Vorm; Kaboul, Davies; Lennon, Paulinho

Booked:- Townsend (foul on Kelly), Stambouli (foul on Guedioura), Fazio (pushing Campbell, after he fouled Lloris)

Spurs revert to under-achieving

Due to my public transport failure to reach London, this report has to be based upon my viewing of the TV recording of the game. I have now missed two out of three competitive Spurs games for the first time in many years, I am sure.

I alluded to the various factors which could cause Spurs problems in my match preview. They came to fruition, as Alan Pardew’s “Eagles” soared, and Spurs fans had to travel home feeling very sore about a return to sub-par performances from their team and several players. We were missing Bentaleb (Africa), and Mason and Lamela through injury. We went into this game as second best in the Premier League on current form, whilst Palace were strugglers on form. Their new manager and the exuberant support of the home crowd ultimately spurred Palace to victory, despite Harry Kane giving Spurs an early second half lead. There were other factors such as a newly re-laid pitch, and the windy weather conditions, but that affected both teams.

Spurs actually dominated early possession, but there was little product as a result. Dembele had an early shot, which carried no real power, and passed low and wide past Speroni’s right post. Chadli and Kane had been involved in the build-up. Eriksen also combined with Chadli with a good move through the middle, with no end result.

A Palace free kick after 6 minutes was touched to Bannan, who fired well outside the target. Alan Pardew was already being greeted with "Super Alan Pardew" chants, and must have been so pleased to have fans that genuinely liked him!

Chadli became a fair target for the home crowd, after going down dramatically in the box, when he felt he was about to become the meat in a Palace sandwich, but the referee correctly did not give a penalty, and might have booked Chadli for simulation. A Harry Kane shot after a successful exchange with Townsend was easy for the keeper. Andros Townsend had an unfortunate day on the whole, as several moves ended at his feet. Eriksen and Chadli again advanced through the middle with a swift passing move, and Harry Kane had the ball in the box, but was quickly blocked by no less than three players. Pardew had targeted him for such close attention throughout the game.

The pre-match publicity suggested that Palace were to form up in a 4-3-3, but Puncheon and Gayle supported their midfield whenever Spurs were in possession, leaving Murray alone up front. Spurs best chance of the half came after a good move started with a pass by Vertonghen to the centre, ending with Kyle Walker's low cross met in the centre of the area by Eriksen, who should have hit the target with his shot, but pushed it wide of the post.

McArthur had Palace's first real chance with a header from the edge of the box, which passed over, after the ball had been fed from the left. Dembele made a decent run down the left, and his cross was met by Chadli's head, winning a corner. Lloris was then called into dramatic action as McArthur threaded a ball for Murray, who should have lifted his shot, but fired low, allowing Lloris to save with his legs. Stambouli made a good recovery deep on the left, after he had lost an initial battle. I personally saw plenty of encouraging signs from both Stambouli and Dembele. Danny Rose was making some strong tackles, and Vertonghen and Fazio looked strong. Chadli was also working hard up and down the pitch, on either side.

Palace fans were shouting for a penalty when Gayle went down after a nudge, but any foul was outside the box anyway, and Mr Taylor saw no foul either.

Palace had some early pressure after the break, winning a couple of corners, one of which Lloris struggled to punch clear. Spurs responded firstly with another good move through the middle, which sadly ended with Townsend's failed back-heel inside the area. They were soon in the lead though, as Chadli got a touch and Harry Kane managed to score with his right foot. The shot went through Kelly's legs, and left Speroni with no chance.

Spurs made the mistake of trying to sit on their laurels though, and Palace came at them in determined fashion. Lloris made a great close range save from Gayle, before Mr Taylor awarded the home side a penalty when Ledley went down under Stambouli's challenge. There is an argument that Stambouli got the ball first, but we lost the decision, and lost a goal as Gayle beat Lloris from the spot.

Pochettino replaced Townsend with Etienne Capoue, allowing Dembele further forward. A more impactive substitution was by Pardew, when he put on Zaha for Murray.

A powerful run by Kane was blocked by three Palace defenders, before Dembele found Capoue on the right, whose cross was headed by Kane, but from an offside position anyway. Stambouli, who by now had been booked, was replaced by Soldado.

Palace claimed a handball against Kyle Walker, who had turned and anticipated the flight of a cross into the area, and involuntarily touched the ball with his elbow. No offence was the decision, and the touch was probably outside the area anyway.

Spurs did pay a penalty though, and Walker was involved, as both he and Eriksen were bamboozled by Zaha who twisted his way through the two, crossing for Puncheon to score the winner inside Lloris's left post.

Spurs tried to get back on terms, with Eriksen having a shot deflected after Dembele's pass, and Harry Kane hitting a 25 yarder straight at Speroni, after another Dembele assist. Kane then had an exchange with Soldado, and went down in the box under challenge from Ledley, but this decision also went Palace's way. A good ball by Eriksen for Soldado was well cleared by Delaney for a corner. In the 6 minutes of added time, Lloris had to make two saves from Zaha, whilst Capoue tested Speroni with a curving long range effort.

It's tight at the bottom, with Palace climbing out of the bottom three with this win. Just five points cover the bottom 9 clubs, which include Everton. Spurs thankfully are well clear of that battle, but they could have gone fourth for at least a day with a win, but once again, it was a case of under-achievement. We have a busy time ahead, with the FA Cup replay against Burnley first up on Wednesday.

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