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Spurs v Crystal Palace, 02.03.24

Many thanks to Declan Mulcahy for this report:-

Saturday 2 March 2024, 3:00pm
Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur (0) 3 Crystal Palace (0) 1

Spurs scorers:-
Werner, 77
Romero, 80
Son, 88

Palace scorer:-
Eze, 59

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1)
13 G Vicario; 12 Emerson Royal, 17 C Romero, 37 M van de Ven, 38 D Udogie; 8 Y Bissouma (18 G Lo Celso 90), 30 R Bentancur (22 B Johnson 63); 21 D Kulusevski, 10 J Maddison (29 P Sarr 82), 16 T Werner (5 P-E Hojbjerg 82); 7 H-M Son (c) (44 D Scarlett 90+1)

Subs not used:- 40 B Austin, 6 R Dragusin, 33 B Davies, 4 O Skipp

Booked: Bentancur (58 foul on Eze)

Captain's armband to Romero when Son was substituted

Crystal Palace (3-4-2-1): Oliver Glasner
1 S Johnstone; 2 J Ward (c), 16 J Andersen, 26 C Richards; 12 D Munoz, 20 A Wharton (19 W Hughes 71), 8 J Lerma, 3 T Mitchell; 9 J Ayew (22 O Edouard 71), 10 E Eze (11 M Franca 66), 14 J-P Mateta

Subs not used:- 30 D Henderson, 5 J Tomkins, 17 N Clyne, 29 N Ahamada, 52 D Ozoh, 48 L Plange

Booked: Lerma (50 foul on Maddison), Johnstone (75 time-wasting)

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Attendance: 61,339

Referee:- John Brooks
Assistants:- Lee Betts, Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth official:- Darren England
VAR:- Rob Jones
Assistant VAR:- Harry Lennard.

Late surge sees Spurs home

Spurs v Crystal Palace

Thanks to Gary Smith for this picture

Spurs totally dominated possession in this match. However Crystal Palace went ahead just before the hour mark from a free kick. With fifteen minutes left the possibility of a first Palace away win at Tottenham since November 1997 loomed. In the final fifteen minutes Spurs finally converted their dominance into goals though the win was not as easy as the score might suggest.

Spurs made three changes from the team that disappointed against Wolves two weeks ago. Udogie returned from injury to replace Davies. Bentancur came in for Sarr and Werner replaced the injured Richarlison with Son taking on the striker role.

Oliver Glasner was taking charge of only his second match as Crystal Palace manager having replaced Roy Hodgson. His first game was a 3-0 home win over Burnley. The only change in the team saw Eze return from injury to replace Edouard.

Glasner had managed Eintracht Frankfurt last season. They had been in the same group as Spurs in the Champion's League. Frankfurt lost 3-2 in London which was also the aggregate score as the teams had played out a goalless draw in Frankfurt.

Spurs dominated possession from the outset. Palace had clearly come to prevent Spurs from scoring while relying counter-attacks for their opportunities.

Spurs best opportunity in the first half came when Werner received the ball from Son just inside the Palace half. He ran clear with only the goalkeeper to beat. Johnstone forced him to move wide to the right and then went to ground to save Werner's shot with his feet. It was a good opportunity and Werner should have done better. It was the only shot on target by either side in the first half.

Spurs were unable to create good opportunities despite their dominance. Maddison did set Son up but his shot was blocked. Maddison also sent a nice pass into the opposing box but Werner was unable to connect.

Palace created some chances. Ayew ballooned the ball high from the edge of the box. Mateta looked as though he was in the clear but van de Ven made a fine recovering tackle. Vicario made two good saves one from Munoz and the other from Ayew though the latter was subsequently ruled offside.

A few Spurs players needed treatment during the first half. Van de Ven sustained a leg injury early on. Vicario collided with Munoz while saving his shot and was treated for several minutes. Towards the end of the half Maddison also needed attention. All three recovered after being treated.

There were no changes at the break.

Early in the second half Spurs were attacking down the right and a Palace player was injured. It wasn't a head injury so Spurs continued to press. Lerma was evidently frustrated because Spurs didn't put the ball out of play and committed a crude foul on Maddison for which he was justifiably booked.

Palace had a couple of opportunities. A poor clearance from Romero allowed a Palace shot which Vicario saved. Then Eze was in a dangerous position on the edge of the Spurs box. Bentancur fouled him and was booked.

His effort was in vain. In preparation for the free-kick Palace lined up some players to the right of the Spurs wall. As Eze took the kick the Palace players moved and he scored with a shot to the right corner of the goal.

Earlier Kulusevski had crossed from the right to create a chance for Son who hit a post.

When Spurs went behind Postecoglou brought on Johnson for Bentancur and switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Werner on the left, Johnson on the right and Maddison and Kulusevski playing through the middle.

The change produced dividends. Werner passed to Son who set up Johnson but his effort was high.

With the clock running down and Spurs still behind at last they began to create better chances. Johnson on the right twisted Andersen inside out. Andersen should have done better. Johnson's cross reached Werner unmarked to the left of the box. He scored his first goal for Spurs with a shot. Hopefully this will increase his confidence.

A few minutes later it was Maddison's turn to cross from the right. Romero rose above Ward to head the ball home. Again the Palace defender should have done better.

Spurs weren't finished and with minutes remaining the ball broke to Son just inside the Palace half on the left. He made a fine run unopposed into the Palace box before beating Johnstone, who had earlier been booked for time-wasting, with a shot. This solo effort was the pick of the goals.

Maddison had his best game since returning from injury. Johnson again made an impact as a substitute.

Spurs scored for the 38th consecutive Premier League match, the equivalent of an entire season. Only one team, Arsenal, has a longer record and Spurs need a dozen or so more games to match their record.

Spurs have a vital game this weekend away to Aston Villa. They need to obtain a result at Villa Park in the quest for fourth position. A win for Villa would leave them eight points ahead with Spurs having eleven games remaining and a game in hand over Villa. However even if Spurs don't finish in fourth position they could still qualify for the Champion's League in fifth position though the extra place in the competition can't be taken for granted.

. Spurs record in recent London Derby League matches

. Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
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