|DATE||Saturday 14th September 2019|
Just before the international break, we drew 2-2 at Arsenal.
Going into the match, we would have been happy with a point, but
coming out of it, it was a disappointment. 2-0 ahead, the home
team came back to level the score, but we played well, with a number
of injuries meaning it was a bit of a makeshift side.
To a certain extent, it was easier playing against Arsenal, who came at us and we hit them on the break, so this game against Palace will be different. It is likely to be more like the Newcastle game, even though the Eagles come to the Lane in fourth place. Having few chances at ld Trafford, they still managed to frustrate Man U and came away with a last gasp winner. Ostensibly, the Palace squad is the bulk of last seasons. Having sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka early in the window for 50 million, they spent only 2.5 million on making Jordan Ayew's loan from Swansea City permanent, along with the free transfers of Stephen Henderson (goalkeeper - Nottingham Forest), Gary Cahill (defender - Chelsea) and James McCarthy (midfielder - Everton). They added Victor Camarasa from Real Betis on loan; a rugged midfielder with a good shot, who was at Cardiff City last year and was linked with a move to us in the summer transfer window.
Having set up to made it difficult for Tottenham in the first match at the new stadium back in April, they were undone by a goal from Heung-Min Son (who enjoys playing against them) and a second from Christian Eriksen. Their tactics are likely to be seen here quite often this season, as sides try to nullify our attack, but it something Spurs need to find a way around.
With Cahill joining the Palace squad, it strengthens their back line, although the loss of Wan-Bissaka makes their right-back position a little weaker. Kelly and Ward are fairly much standard choices, with Tomkins playing in the centre of a back four. The main threat will probably be Wilfried Zaha, but much depends on what sort of day he has. He can cause damage with his dribbling and when he is on his game provides ammunition for the forwards, with the ability to go it alone if he gets away from defences. However, his decision making with his final ball is not always the best and maybe the price put on his head was too much for clubs to pay when his end product is not always the best.
There are other dangerous players in the Palace side, with Max Meyer being a clever player, who is technically very good. His stature sometimes does not make him to most dominant player, but he cannot be underestimated. Our former winger Andros Townsend is another who can be effective and as he showed at Manchester City last season, when he gets a shot on target, it can be devastating. Milivojovic is the ball-winner in their midfield and he does have a habit of diving into tackles, so may be one to give away free-kicks in dangerous areas, but he generally shores up the midfield when van Aanholt and Schlupp push up from full-back.
Up top, Benteke gets a lot of criticism, but the unadventurous style Palace played last season probably didn't do him any favours. Zaha can provide crosses for the big man, who was deadly when he played for Villa, but has since gone off the boil. Wickham is a physical centre-forward who Hodgson might prefer to disrupt the Spurs back-line, but Ayew is more likely to start and he will be keen to start repaying the fee Palace paid for him.Spurs have their own problems. If Kyle Walker-Peters is not fit to return at right back, that means Serge Aurier will come in for his first start of the season or there has been speculation that Eric Dier might slot in there. With Davinson Sanchez out and having had a torrid first half at Arsenal in the right back position, Pochettino may go for the established player in that place in Aurier.
There will be a return for Ndombele and it will be good to see him back to allow him to acclimatise to the Premier League. Eriksen will feature and Poch may start with son, as he has a good record against Palace.
Don't expect a classic, but
hopefully, Spurs will be able to move the Palace players around
enough to make some space to exploit.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Crystal Palace 0|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Giovani lo Celso is out until October and Davinson Sanchez has an ankle injury, ruling them both out of Saturday's game, but Eric Dier, Kyle Walker-Peters, Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon were all back in training this week.
CRYSTAL PALACE TEAM NEWS :
|Premier League||Kick off 15.00|
|Tottenham Hotspur 4 (4)||
Son 09m 50s
Winks (foul on Zaha) 45+2
Rose (foul on Zaha) 50
Vertonghen (foul on Ayew) 53
Eriksen (foul on Zaha) 60
Ayew (dissent) 61
Ward (foul on Moura) 89
Milivojevic (foul on Lamela) 90+1
|Crowd : 59,812||Weather : Warm, sunny|
|Referee : Craig Pawson (Sheffield)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Ian Hussin; Mr. Richard West|
|Fourth Official : Michael Salisbury|
|Video Assistant Referee : Jon Moss||VAR Assistant : Eddie Smart|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 5 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Crystal Palace :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Roy Hodgson|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : ManBetX|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : Puma|
What was expected to be a tough assignment against Crystal Palace, who were sitting in fourth place and beat Manchester United at Old Trafford last time out, saw them blown away 4-0 with a stunning first half performance including three goals in 23 minutes, two of which were scored by the outstanding Heung-Min Son.
Spurs took the kick-off and went for Palace from the start. The ball was worked between Lamela and Eriksen to Sonny inside the left-hand corner of the box and he struck a bobbling shot to the keeperís near post, which Guaita got behind but looked as though he might fumble, so Lamela followed in. The keeper went down holding his head although there didnít seem to be too much contact and the attempts at time-wasting begun. However, they didnít last for long, as Toby Alderweireld struck a perfect long, straight ball that dropped over the head of Mamadou Sakho, leaving Son to control the ball behind him. The Korean took the ball to his left and as Gary Cahill dived in to try and block a shot that curled into the far corner, Son hit a left foot shot that went in at the near post with the keeper flat- footed. He didnít hit this one sweetly either, but the direction and the early take was enough to confound Guaita from around 10 yards out and give Tottenham the lead in the 10th minute.
Palace had a good opportunity when Spurs left Kouyate unmarked from a Milivojevic free-kick and he volleyed the ball back into the goal-mouth, but there were no Palace players there to benefit. When Spurs had the ball at the back, they were under little pressure and Toby had all the time he needed to find Kane in space, with his ball into the box from the left side only just too far ahead of Son. Harry then had a shot curl wide after Winks and Eriksen had created the chance for him.
It took 20 minutes for
Palace to have a direct effort on goal, with the ball dropping to
Jordan Ayew from Andros Townsend's blocked shot and he got it on
target, but Lloris took it easily at head height. When Ayew
committed another foul (he had already taken Winks late and
committed other niggly fouls) in front of the East Stand, Jan
Vertonghen took a quick free-kick to Sissoko, who moved forward with
the ball through the middle of the pitch and played it in to Sonís
feet. Sweeping the ball wide to Serge Aurier, moving in the right
wing, the ball was just out of reach of the stretching van Aanholt,
and the Spurs defender drove the ball low into the goalmouth, but
before it got there van Aanholt had got back. In trying to
block the cross at the near post, he only succeeded in getting a
touch on it and deflected it into the net leaving Guaita stranded in
the middle of his goal.
The initially noisy Palace
fans had now been silenced and the South Stand was in full voice as
Tottenham continued to press hard and force Palace backwards.
Rose closed Zaha after being dispossessed and the ball came off the
Palace winger last to earn a corner, which was won by Winks when it
came in, which was strange for the smallest man on the pitch, but he
couldn't keep his header down. Schlupp had a shot that was
deflected wide for a corner, but Palace were more occupied in their
own half. Winksy had another effort, but dragged it wide.
Two minutes before the break, Zaha had his one moment of impact when he beat Rose and shot at goal, but Hugo was behind it and it caused little concern for him. And it was the Palace winger who was fouled by Winks two minutes into added time at the end of the first half, that was the first of many yellow cards for Spurs players for offences against him. Most of them were fouls, but the main ability Zaha seems to have is to turn a foul into a booking with his dramatics after contact. As a player he is an enigma. Skilful no doubt, confidence to take people on and can finish, but that is all too rare. The price put on his potential sale in the summer was far too much for any club to invest when the final product is so erratic. He would never fit into a Pochettino side, as too often, he allowed players to run off him and expected other players to do the dirty work. The crowning moment came near the end of the game, when the ball went off behind the goal, but Palace had been awarded another foul against him. The ball boy returned the ball to where the offence took place, which meant it rolled away from Zaha, who had moved towards where the ball had gone off. He sarcastically applauded the ball boy and having had scuffles with mascots and assistant referees in the past, it is only a matter of time before he picks on a ball boy to vent his frustration.
A female fan who had been coming to Tottenham since 1949 was given a gift and was interviewed at half-time before being introduced to Cliff Jones to make her day. That is as well as the team being 4-0 up at half-time, although she had probably seen Spurs pass up that advantage in the past, although they nearly went another goal ahead in the first 15 seconds of the second half, as a sloppy pass out of defence by Sakho from kick off saw Palace robbed of the ball on their side of the centre circle by Winks and his pass to Son was returned allowing him a shot from outside the box, needing Guaita to dive full length to his left to push wide for a corner.
Palace looked a little more offensive in the second period, with Townsend sending in a left wing cross that Rose put out for a corner, but it came off his knee and might have gone anywhere. The corner produced an effort on target, but it was as weak as most of the others, with Sakho winning a header a few yards out, but it was gently directed straight at Hugo. Rose was booked for a foul (you can guess on who) and Milivojevic's free-kick was met by Cahill, whose downward header surprised Lloris more than troubled him, bouncing up causing him to palm the ball away. The Eagles fans and players were sure they had won a penalty when Ayew backed into Alderweireld in the box and went down like a sack of spuds. He was furious and should have been booked for trying to con the referee, but that had to wait until the 61st minute when he picked on Winks (admittedly someone about his own size) for having the temerity to win a throw-in by being tackled by the Palace forward ! Booking came thick and fast as Pawson saw each as a caution rather than just a foul in a London derby. Vertonghen (on Ayew in the centre circle) and Eriksen (for a pull on you know who) were the victims, as Spurs ended up with four yellow cards, while Palace had got away with equally bad challenges and the referee's inconsistency frustrated players and fans alike.
Back on the attack, Eriksen almost picked out Lamela's run into the box, then another over-hit pass by van Aanholt back to Sakho saw Son out-pace him and as Guatia came out, Heung-Min tired to chip him, only narrowly failing to do s, but finding the side-netting instead from a narrow angle. Winks made way for Ndombele after putting in a 100% performance, with Spurs still going forward, as Lamela slightly over-hit a pass to SIssoko, who was bearing down on goal. They got closer when Eriksen and Son inter-linked to send Danny Rose into the box and he pulled a low cross that seemed to be behind every white shirt, but Aurier ran onto it at the far post and crashed a shot at goal that van Aanholt managed to block in front of the goal-line this time. Palace replaced the hard done by Ayew with Benteke and you figured that they would pepper the box with crosses to use his height, but they hadn't twigged that tactic. Davies came on for Rose, who had a good game frustrating Zaha when he switched wings and Ben immediately worked a move on the left with Eriksen, but the final ball was intercepted.
Lucas Moura came off the bench to give Kane a breather, having worked hard off the ball to make an important contribution despite not getting on the score-sheet. Palace substituted Townsend, who got a good round of applause from the Spurs crowd, but had put in the sort of performance that hadn't hurt the opposition, which was fine by me. Tottenham were turning it on and Aurier had earlier produced a back-hell when going forward and now one was returned by Eriksen to him, but his run into the box saw the ball bounce off him after a tackle for a goal-kick. Zaha made a long run with the ball, with Spurs players knowing they couldn't touch him, but from the edge of the box, he dribbled a shot along the ground that Hugo dealt with easily.
In the context of the game's bookings, Ward's on Lucas looked excessively forceful and was twice the fouls that the Spurs players had been booked for, so should have been a red, but Pawson just brought out a yellow. The right back was soon joined in the book by Milivojeic, who had an anonymous game in midfield, for a foul on Lamela, cynically clipping his ankles from behind. From that free-kick, Son wanted to take it for his hat-trick, but Christian fired it high over the bar. Benteke found himself in the clear in the Spurs box and looked to bend a left foot shot past Lloris, but instead scuffed his effort and it trickled to the Spurs captain.
Near the end of the game the Palace fans that were left piped up with a song denigrating our support. Well, it wasn't really necessary as they rampaged to an easy win. Little do the Holmesdale Hotheads realise that making a lot of noise wins no points. The Spurs fans responded with a song emphatically decrying the quality of their team.
On this performance it was hard to see how Palace had beaten Manchester United (although that might say more about United than Palace) and how they will maintain their place in the Premier League. After reports of a bright new dawn at Selhurst Park, this uninspired display echoed those of last season, where their lack of attacking intent left them being dominated by other teams and they are not strong enough or well-organised enough on this showing to keep the goals out at their own end.
On the other hand, Tottenham did what they should do most weeks and go for it from the kick-off and with the high press, it gave Palace too many problems to cope with. It is the first time in a while that the pressing game has been so forceful and Palace were unable to cope. Our passing was crisp, the movement off the ball in the first half pulled Palace apart, leaving space to exploit and Spurs did that most effectively.
Perhaps the hour long thrashing out of where Spurs were going to go after the transfer window closed helped to shape the way we were going to approach matches. This was one that we needed to win after the Newcastle loss, but could have been problematical had Palace been on their game, but teams still have to be put away and the ruthlessness that Tottenham showed is something that has been missing in the past.
Son took the headlines with his two goal performance, but few players played poorly, despite the trolls online having a pop at their personal whipping boys. Aurier did well coming in at right back and Eriksen looked like he is getting his head down now that nothing will happen until January at least.
A good afternoon out with Sun, Son, Spurs and scoring. A perfect September day !
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|How the players did|
|Hugo Lloris||A relatively quiet afternoon for Hugo, as the weak shots Palace had were invariably at him and other than an Ayew snap-shot that he took above his head with comfort and a Kaouyate header he had to push out, it was only left for Lloris to start off the second goal with a pass out to Aurier.|
|Serge Aurier||If he continues to play like this, then there may not be any competition for the position, as he claimed last week. Strong and adventurous, this sort of performance is what we thought we were getting when he was signed. Now needs to do it week in, week out.|
|Toby Alderweireld||Another dominating performance by Toby, Winning the ball in the air, blocking shots and pulling out defence beating passes. His clapping the fans at the end was perhaps an indication that he is happy to be at Spurs ?|
|Jan Vertonghen||Solid as usual and refused to be intimidated by Ayew's antics. Basically, Jan was Jan !|
|Danny Rose||Whole-hearted performance again by Rose, who is making the left-back spot his own at the moment.|
|Harry Winks||Looking to add goals to his game, Winksy looked to move more into the last third of the pitch. Good work-rate and some tigerish tackling.|
|Moussa Sissoko||Transformed from a figure of fun to an integral member of the Tottenham team. Two strong runs lead to two goals. A very good all-round performance.|
|Heung-Min Son||What can you say when it comes to scoring against Palace ? Sonny was sharp, dynamic and influential in the goals he didn't score. A great all-round game.|
|Erik Lamela||Put in a shift getting forward and getting back. His tackling always puts your heart in your mouth, but his goal was reward for a really good game.|
|Christian Eriksen||Despite the disruption of a potential departure, Christian put in a really good performance, with some astute passing and linking play effectively.|
|Harry Kane||Crisis, what crisis ? No, he didn't score, but had few chances that spring to mind, but produced some fine passes and a fantastic first-time cross for Lamela's goal. Willing to contribute to the team performance by occupying defenders to make space for others.|
|Tanguy Ndombele||A subdued sub's performance. showed flashes of what is to come, but with the game won, it was just a case of getting some game time.|
|Ben Davies||Showed good determination against Zaha and won aerial battles and tackles.|
|Lucas Moura||Little time to make much impact., but was energetic.|
|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||1||Burnley||1||Saturday|
|Manchester United||1||Leicester City||0||Saturday|
|Norwich City||3||Manchester City||2||Saturday|
|Aston Villa||0||West Ham United London||0||Monday|
|League Table 2019-20|
|6||Frank Lampard's Chelsea||5||2||2||1||11||11||8||0|
|8||West Ham United London||5||2||2||1||6||7||8||-1|
|17||Brighton & Hove Albion||5||1||2||2||5||8||5||-3|
Position before match :
Position after match : 3rd
Position after the weekend : 3rd
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