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Tottenham vs Crystal Palace a few quick thoughts

  • I was lucky enough to be at White Hart Lane yesterday afternoon in a ground that is slightly smaller due to the building work which is being carried out
  • I was right near the East Stand corner which is missing and even in the British Summer you felt quite exposed to the elements, I don’t think sitting there in the winter is going to be all that fun.
  • But regardless of the weather and structual design, the most important news is that Tottenham got a first Premier League win since April
  • After a draw at Goodison Park last Saturday, Mauricio Pochettino’s men added to that with a win over their cross city rivals Crystal Palace
  • Although the scoreline suggests a relatively tight game, Spurs were the dominant side and a draw would have been harsh on them
  • The biggest news before the game was the fact that Harry Kane would play behind new Vincent Janssen with Dele Alli dropped to the bench
  • I don’t think it was necessarily a tactical switch but more the fact that Alli complained of feeling unwell before the game and could only manage a role from the bench
  • That said it gave Tottenham fans a glimpse of how their side can play with two strikers on the pitch at one time, something which many have been craving for a while now
  • And Janssen looked impressive although it would have been good if he could have opened his account yesterday on his home debut
  • He missed arguably Tottenham’s best chances of the game but on the evidence of what he showed yesterday that goal won’t be too far away
  • Crystal Palace never really looked like scoring and it was more of a case of whether or not Spurs had enough to break the South London side down
  • Tottenham lacked spark in midfield with Christian Eriksen having a particularly quiet game by his own standards
  • The tempo of the game definitely picked up once Alli came on in place of the Danish international
  • And it was within just seconds of Alli coming on that he showed what impact he had
  • His excellent precision pass through to Janssen, saw the Dutchman played into a 1 on 1 situation with Wayne Hennessey but much to the frustration of the majority of fans in White Hart Lane he failed to take advnatage
  • Time was running out for Spurs now and you had to wonder where if at all a goal was going to come from
  • Step forward Victor Wanyama
  • He wouldn’t have been purchased for his goals but his contribution will certainly help
  • A Tottenham corner was whipped in by Erik Lamela with nine minutes to go, Captain Harry Kane won the first aerial battle in the box and his flick on teed the ball up perfectly for Wanyama to nod home from close range to give Tottenham a deserved lead
  • Now they just had to hold out for those nine minutes plus injury time
  • Referee Michael Oliver signalled for an additional five just to cause a bit of tension
  • And Palace then did have their best chance of the game as Connor Wickham’s effort from the edge of the box had to be dealt with by Michel Vorm.
  • A nervy moment for Spurs but that’s all they had to deal with all day
  • Palace can’t wait soon enough for the arrival of Christian Benteke, the badly need an attacking presence in their team
  • The returning Andros Townsend didn’t offer a great deal for Palace in what few attacks they had over the course of the game
  • Even after 15 minutes or so they looked almost happy to play for a draw and looking to squeeze as many minutes out of the game where possible
  • Negative tactics which bit Alan Pardew in the behind, especially when he had the temerity to moan about Spurs doing exactly the same when they went ahead
  • But Spurs will now be glad that they’ve got a first Premier League win of the season and the focus shifts to Liverpool next Saturday
  • It will be interesting to see how Mauricio Pochettino lines up his side for the arrival of Jurgen Klopp’s men
  • Someone will have to make way especially if they once again go with both Kane and Janssen up front but I guess it’s a nice problem to have and should stand them in good stead for the duration of the campaign
  • A routine win in the end for Spurs, while Palace are still looking for a first point
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