SATURDAY 6TH MAY, 2023
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(1) CRYSTAL PALACE 0(0)
Referee:- Darren England
Assistants:- Dan Cook, Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth official:- Robert Jones
VAR:- Neil Swarbrick
Assistant VAR:- Sian Massey-Ellis
Spurs (4-4-2):- Forster; Emerson Royal, Romero, Lenglet (sub Dier,88), Davies; Pedro Porro, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Son (sub Danjuma, 89); Richarlison (sub Kulusevski, 79), Kane (Capt.)
Subs not used:- Austin; Sanchez, Perisic; Sarr, Bissouma; Lucas Moura
Booked:- Davies (foul on Olise), Lenglet (foul on Zaha), Forster (Unsporting conduct)
Crystal Palace (4-3-3):- Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Eze, Doucoure, Schlupp (sub Hughes, 74); Olise, Ayew (sub Edouard, 84), Zaha (Capt.)
Subs not used:- Guaita; Clyne, Richards; Milivojevic, Lokonga, Riedewald; Mateta
Booked:- Schlupp (foul on Skipp), Ward (foul on Davies), Ayew (foul on Richarlison), Zaha (Unsporting conduct), Andersen (foul on Kane)
King Kane secures win over Palace
On the day that King Charles III was crowned at Westminster Abbey, the current King of White Hart Lane Harry Kane scored the goal which secured a vital win over Crystal Palace. The team supported by future King William (Aston Villa) lost at Wolves today, so Spurs moved three points above "The Villans" who we meet next week. A win at Villa Park next week should be enough to secure us some form of European football, if only at Europa conference level.
I understand that William’s youngest son Louis is a Tottenham fan, so he will be very happy with this result. Louis sang "God save The King" with gusto at the coronation ceremony and today's match was preceded by the National Anthem. Most of the crowd stood and sang, although several people around me did not join in. Had it been an FA Cup Final (remember them?), I am sure everybody would be standing and singing in unison.
Kudos should be offered to interim coach Ryan Mason for his selection and strategy today. Ryan had the benefit of Emerson Royal returning to the team and Yves Bissouma was also on the bench. Even the Spurs pre-match line-up message gave no certainty about the formation. The BBC and hopefully Crystal Palace would have been suitably confused about our style. We played a 4-4-2 with Ben Davies at left back and Son in front of him with a responsibility to chase up and down the line, which he did to good effect. Pedro Porro played in front of Emerson and was effective in attack, getting the assist for Kane's goal.
"King Kane"'s goal put him ahead of Wayne Rooney into second place behind Alan Shearer in the all-time Premier League goalscorers' list. Harry also became the first player to score 100 such goals at home and away, as this was his 100th home goal. Football did, of course, exist before the Premier League and Jimmy Greaves the little matter of 357 league goals in his career – all in the top flight.
Palace kicked off and played towards the South Stand. There was early excitement when Kane headed to Richarlison who forced a save from Johnstone, but the offside flag was then raised. At the other end, Forster was soon required to slap away a Palace corner taken from the right by Olise. A cross by Ben Davies was cleared with two Spurs players hoping to meet the ball with a header.
Lenglet made an excellent defensive interception in the box to prevent Eze's ball reaching its intended target. At the other end, Son sent Davies forward, but that was put out for a Spurs corner. Pedro Porro took the corner from the left. Romero met the ball at the near post, but his header rebounded off the crossbar. The goalkeepers were not seeing much action and much of the game was compacted in the middle third.
Hojbjerg won a battle in midfield after son had failed to carry the ball forward. Pierre-Emile ran forward, and took an exchange pass from Kane before hitting a shot which passed just over Johnstone' bar.
Palace had a free kick taken by Eze which was blocked by the wall. Afterwards, Olise had a chance, but Forster saved his shot well, low to his right. Spurs won another corner, taken by Pedro Porro, again headed goalward by Romero. This resulted in another corner. Son and Kane broke forward after another Palace attack. A Pedro Porro cross intended for Son was intercepted at the expense of a further Spurs corner.
Son seemed to choose the wrong touch and turn when receiving another pass from Kane, allowing Palace to clear. The Spurs goal was scored in the first minute of first half added time. Kane had pushed a good ball out to the right wing for Pedro Porro, who lifted a nice cross towards the back of the 6-yard area where Kane rose to head beautifully and powerfully beyond Johnstone inside the keeper’s right corner. It was Kane’s tenth headed league goal of the season beating a record held by Duncan Ferguson.
Palace kicked off the second half. The weather was cool, grey and wet for most of the game. Zaha had an early shot go over the left corner of our goal, but after he found Eze with a subsequent pass the recipient pulled his shot wide across the goalmouth.
Referee Darren English had been reluctant to show a card in the first half, but Schlupp was the first recipient after a foul on Pedro Porro. Richarlison fed Pedro Porro, but he hit a left-footed shot well off target.
Zaha was seen on either side of the Palace attack at times, and he was in and outside Emerson after 58 minutes, but Emerson defended well and conceded a corner. Forster held a shot by Doucoure after this kick. Using his stronger right foot, Pedro Porro forced a save from Johnstone.
Kane needed treatment after a foul in the middle and Palace fans were starting to become irritated at Spurs’ ability to take time out of the game, upsetting the rhythm of the opposition in the process.
Palace broke out after a Spurs corner, and son tracked back really well to prevent danger. After a foul on Son, Pedro Porro had taken the free kick which passed just wide across goal. With fifteen minutes remaining, Son had a great chance running onto Romero’s excellent ball forward. Son tried to round the goalkeeper before shooting, but Johnstone made an excellent save getting his body in the way as he dived to his left.
Mr. England had "words" with Emerson and Ayew after a contretemps and it wasn’t long before Ayew became Roy Hodgson's second substituted player. Davies was booked for a foul on Olise, who took the free kick, met by Andersen at the back post. "King Kane" was our hero at the back this time to make the clearance.
The game now became quite niggly as Spurs were just trying to run down the clock. Lenglet fouled Zaha and was booked and also injured in the process. Spurs managed to drag out two substitutions (Dier and Danjuma) before the kick could be taken. Son was the other player to depart and had to walk around in front of the Palace support, who booed him all the way. Son shared a glare or two with them as he passed, I am sure.
In added time, Zaha tried to grab the ball off Forster as we sought to delay another free kick, and both players were booked.
The final whistle was very welcome. This was only our fourth league "double" of the season and we have kept clean sheets against Palace in both games. Indeed, Palace have now lost 8 away games against Spurs in a row (in the league). Their last such win was in November 1997. In terms of clean sheets, Spurs have their best record against Palace compared to any other team they have played 20 or more times.
· Spurs record in recent London Derby League matches
· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
· Read the preview for this game.
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats
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