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Crystal Palace v Spurs, 04.01.23

PREMIER LEAGUE
WEDNESDAY 4TH JANUARY, 2023
(8pm)
CRYSTAL PALACE 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4(0)

Scorers:-
Kane, 48,53
Doherty,68
Son, 72

Attendance:- 25,132

Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- Stuart Burt, Scott Ledger
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
VAR:- Mike Dean
Assistant VAR:- Gary Beswick.

Teams:-
Palace (4-2-3-1):- Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Ward (Capt.); Doucoure, Schlupp (sub Mateta,61); Olise (sub Edouard,73), Eze (sub Hughes,74), Zaha; Ayew

Subs not used:- Johnstone; Tomkins, Richards; Milivojevic, Ebiowei, Riedewald

Booked:- Schlupp (foul on Gil)

Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Romero, Dier, Lenglet (sub Davies, 86); Doherty (sub Emerson Royal,78), Skipp (sub Sarr,66), Hojbjerg, Perisic (sub White, 86); Gil (sub Sessegnon, 77), Kane, Son

Subs not used:- Forster; Sanchez, Tanganga; Spence

Booked:- Skipp (foul on Ayew), Gil (foul on Ayew)

Spurs give Palace what four!

Crystal Palace v Spurs, 04.01.23

Thanks to Cassim Patel for the picture

Spurs astounded Palace and probably most of their travelling fans with a superb second half performance in which they scored four goals, including two excellent goals by Harry Kane who moved ever closer to Jimmy Greaves’ record. Son Heung-min scored his first Premier League goal since September, to put the seal on a very important win after a third goal scored by Matt Doherty.

Spurs were missing the injured Richarlison, Bentancur and Kulusevski, along with the suspended Bissouma. Eric Dier came in for Ben Davies and Oliver Skipp replaced Bissouma, making just his third league start of the season. Once again there were no attacking options on the bench for Antonio Conte.

Spurs started the game five points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, and another added pressure was the fact that Harry Kane is currently sitting on four yellow cards, at risk of missing the arsenal game if he had been booked. Thankfully, that did not happen.

The game was preceded by a tribute to Palace’s former goalkeeper John Jackson, who died last week aged 80. I had not heard this news and well remember Jackson from the days when Palace were first promoted to Division One and when he played in what was an infamous FA Cup defeat for Spurs in January 1970. Palace also paid tribute to all former players and fans who had passed away over the last year. West Ham co-chairman David Gold (whose death was announced today) was also remembered.

Spurs kicked off and started quite brightly, winning an early corner on the right following Skipp’s pass into the box for Kane, who had slipped the ball to Bryan Gil to his right. The corner was hit all the way across the area and came to nought. Gil was playing on the right side with Son to the left, but also floating into the centre as Kane often dropped deep. Gil had a left-footed dipping shot held by Guaita.

Spurs exerted a little pressure on the home side and after a move involving Son, Kane, and Skipp, Hojbjerg had a shot cleared for a corner, which also came to nothing. Son is still wearing his protective mask following that pre-World Cup injury.

After that bright start for spurs, Palace dominated the rest of the half, having more possession and more shots on goal. Zaha couldn’t quite reach a cross from the right by Olise, and a shot from outside the area was blocked by Dier. Olise’s follow-up was well over the target.

Hojbjerg switched the play to the right wing, passing to Doherty, whose cross was headed well wide by Kane. Skipp lost a midfield challenge which allowed Zaha a run down the left. He passed inside to Ayew, and Hugo had to change direction slightly before making a good save low to his right. Hugo held the ball with his second touch here.

Palace won successive corners, as Spurs struggled to clear their lines. A left-footed hammerdrivefrom25 yards by Andersen passed just wide of Hugo’s left post. Olise cut into the Spurs area leaving Hojbjerg behind and also beating Lenglet with a shot which was deflected wide for another corner.

At the other end, Son took a pass from Hojbjerg and tried an audacious shot (or was it an intended cross?) which ballooned wide of the target. On another counter-attack Kane got the ball to Hojbjerg, who didn’t have the pace to take it forward; hesitated and lost the ballas he tried to pass back.

Skipp was booked for a foul on Ayew after being sold little short by Perisic’s pass. Referee Michael Oliver had allowed “play-on”, which he did in Spurs’ favour in the second half. As had been heard on new Year’s Day there was a chant of “Daniel Levy, get out of our club”, but this was quelled by more positive chanting by the away support.

Kane pushed the ball out to Doherty who returned a good cross. Harry’s right-footed attempt was blocked.

Palace had looked the team more likely to win and I was not too hopeful for the second half. Skipp was at risk of a second booking and Bryan Gil was not making much headway. Conte made no changes but sent his men out early, presumably after some good ear bashing.

Palace had kicked off and Romero’s touch was not good when trying to deal with a high ball by palace skipper Ward. Ayew’s resulting shot was deflected for a corner, after which Ward had a powerful right-footed effort blocked.

Only a minute had passed but Spurs attacked following a long clearance by Hugo. Hojbjerg moved the ball onto Kane who fed it to Doherty inside the box on the right. Doherty could have hit a low cross back, but hit a poor shot wide.

It wasn’t long before Spurs had the lead, and it was a super goal. Gil was central and passed to Perisic on his left. Perisic lifted a lovely cross to the back post where Harry rose and headed powerfully down into the net to the left of the goalkeeper. Kane had a second goal within five minutes, which was of even better quality. “One of our own” hit the ball to Gil on his right and indicated where he wanted the return. He got what he wanted and scored with a perfectly placed right foot shot into the far corner of the goal across Guaita.

Another attack followed where Doherty broke forward and passed to Kane. Harry hit a pass across the area (I think for Hojbjerg) but Palace cleared. This attack followed Mr. Oliver allowing play to continue when Schlupp had fouled Gil in our half. Schlupp was booked after the play and was soon replaced by Mateta.

Palace had been badly stung, and apart from occasional attacks, offered nothing like the threat we saw in the first half. Doucoure passed from the centre to Olise whose right-footed shot passed wide across goal. Hojbjerg took the ball off Zaha’s feet with a good tackle just outside our area. Zaha wanted more, but only got a corner. Mateta headed well over after the corner was taken.

Skipp was replaced by Pape Sarr, who gave a good account of himself in front of the back three. Son had a clear one-on-one with the Palace keeper after Kane’s quick ball, but Son failed with his shot and would have been relieved to see the offside flag which had been raised.

Celebrating our third goal, 04.01.23

Thanks to Andy Park for the picture

Spurs went three up in the 68th minute. Kane demonstrated strength on the ball and control out towards the left flank before coming inside and passing to Son who was towards the right of the area. Son might have had a shot but was forced wide before he passed the ball back into the centre where Doherty scored with a left foot shot. Both Son’s pass and Doherty’s shot took slight deflections, but they all count! Doherty winded Ward with another shot hit powerfully and blocked by the defender at very close range.

Zaha had a chance at the other end but pushed his right footed shot wide of Hugo’s left post. It was 4-0 in the 72nd minute when Son hustled a defender for Harry Kane’s ball forward. Son came out with the ball and beat Guaita with a low left-footed shot.

Conte was able to make a number of substitutions, one of which at last granted Harvey White a Premier League debut. Lloris had to make a couple more saves – one from Ayew, diving to his right. The other was with his legs from Zaha. Harry Kane was looking for a hat-trick, but Andersen just managed to clear the ball off his toes.

This was a great morale-boosting win to take forward to Saturday’s FA cup tie, and more importantly into our next league game on Sunday 15th January which is the little matter of the North London Derby. Hopefully, we will have Bentancur and Kulusevski fit for that one!

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