OPPONENTS Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Sunday 26th July 2020
PREVIEW No preview produced.
PREDICTION Crystal Palace    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
Spurs will be missing Tanguy Ndombele, but with Eric Dier back from suspension, the squad is at full strength.

Luka Milivojevic is fit to return to the Crystal Palace team after a knee injury , but the Eagles will be missing the injured Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins, Patrick van Aanholt and Gary Cahill, while Christian Benteke is suspended.


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TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)

Premier League Kick off 16:00
Crystal Palace  1 (0)  
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (1)

Schlupp  52m 22s


Kane 12m 31s

Crowd :   0,000 Weather :  Cloudy, heavy rain halfway through the second half and then some sun
Referee :  Andre Marriner (West Midlands) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Neil Davies; Mr. Graham Kane
Fourth Official :  Tim Robinson Replacement Official :  Michael Webb
Video Assistant Referee :  Andy Madley Video Assistant Referee Assistant :  Simon Beck
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Holmesdale Road end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 7 minutes.
McCarthy (pull back on Son) 17
Mitchell (foul on Moura) 49
Kouyate (foul on Sissoko) 79


Alderweireld (foul on Ayew) 61
Dier (foul on Ayew)  90+1


Crystal Palace : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
31  Vicente GUAITA

  2  Joel WARD
  8  Cheikhou KOUYATE      
6  Scott DANN  (c)
39  Tyrick MITCHELL      

22  James McCARTHY      
18  James McARTHUR  (  4  Luka MILIVOJEVIC  85)
15  Jeffrey SCHLUPP    (44  Jairo RIEDEWALD  70)
10  Andros TOWNSEND

  9  Jordan AYEW
11  WIfried ZAHA

Unused subs: 
34  Martin KELLY
35  Sam WOODS
37  Nya KIRBY
40  Brandon PIERRICK
41  John-Kymani GORDON

    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

24  Serge AURIER
Eric DIER      
33  Ben DAVIES

  8  Harry WINKS
7  Moussa SISSOKO  (29  Oliver SKIPP  79)

27  Lucas MOURA  (  6  Davinson SANCHEZ  90+3)
  Heung-Min SON  (
20  DELE Alli  79)
18  Giovani LO CELSO  (23  Steven BERGWIJN  60)

10  Harry KANE 

Unused subs: 
39  Japhet TANGANGA
11  Erik LAMELA

Manager :  Roy Hodgson Manager :  Jose Mourinho
Sponsor :   ManBetX Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

Tottenham managed to do just enough to qualify for the Europa League, earning a point here and thankful that Chelsea beat Wolves 2-0 to see Spurs jump over the Midlanders to finish sixth, which looked unlikely only a couple of weeks ago.  Harry Kane's first half strike was cancelled out in the second period, with Palace having the best of the half and went close to snatching a win near the end.

With the only change to the Spurs side seeing Eric Dier re-instated in defence, they set up as normal, while Palace’s injuries showed their lack of depth in the squad as Kayoute slotted in the middle of defence rather than his customary midfield position.

In the third minute, Aurier’s challenge on Zaha left him on the floor wanting a free-kick, but Marriner waved play on and Spurs broke away. Although Moura’s cross from the right failed to find Son in the middle, it was headed out to Lo Celso, who struck a shot straight into Guaita’s midriff. McArthur’s shove on Son was penalised and from the free-kick Sonny tried a 25 yard shot, but dragged it well wide. He took the next one for another McArthur foul, but it was headed out for a throw-in. We lost it, won it back in our left back position and then broke on Palace, but Moura couldn’t pick out Harry Kane in the area.

It looked like being a fairly open affair after the first ten minutes action, with Spurs realistically needing to win and Palace having nothing to play for, except pride. But a pass out to Davies on the left from Dier set the Welshman away, although he took a heavy touch, allowing Townsend, who had tracked his run, to have possession. His clearance came back and Lo Celso won the ball in a challenge with a Palace defender and picked out Kane, just inside the 18-yard line to the left. He took the ball inside with his left foot and then struck it early with his right to leave Guaita stretching for the ball that went all the way along the turf and inside his right hand post. It was another classy finish from the Spurs and England striker and an early goal was what Spurs needed.

There was an early booking for McCarthy, when he pulled Son back inside our own half as Tottenham looked to break away. Moura did break away from Palace youngster Mitchell, but it failed to produce a decent chance and it left Palace the opportunity to move forward, as Winks had to smash a tackle off McArthur with the ball travelling into the Spurs half. Tottenham were happy to hit on the break and Winks was a yard away form landing a cross on Harry Kane’s head when the striker had started the move with Son 50 yards further back down the pitch.

Aurier was doing well on Zaha on the Palace left and also made a good tackle on Schlupp as he looked like getting around him. It led to Palace’s fifth corner, which was recycled and Schlupp hit a low shot from 18 yards, but straight at Hugo Lloris, who held it low down.

Just after the half hour, Spurs worked the ball on the left and Son put in a cross that was headed out to Ben Davies inside the area, who struck a fierce shot that struck Kouyate and when the play moved into the next phase, Lucas Moura went on a run into the right hand channel and over-ran the ball as he entered the box. Or so it seemed, but he chased it as Guaita came out and took it around him to the keeper’s left and still had the presence of mind to be able to square it in front of goal, but it was cleared by Ward.

Palace’s main tactic was to hit the ball early down their left wing looking for Zaha. While this won the plenty of corners, they were not making the most of the set-  pieces. Once when Zaha got away, Sissoko was with him, but looked to push him outside the area, but Marriner was not interested, as Zaha went down too easily. Palace were keeping the ball in the Spurs half, but Spurs were organised at the back and went into the break a goal to the good.

Within a minute of the second half starting, Lucas Moura on a corner off Mitchell and Lo Celso fizzed it in, finding Toby at the near post, getting in front of his marker and putting his header just over the bar. Moura then turned Mitchell and got pulled back and the Palace man picking up their second yellow card, but the free kick was floated into Guaita’s hands. Spurs were still pressing and Sissoko nearly found Kane in the box, after Palace had turned over possession.

Palace won a corner off Aurier when Mitchell put him under pressure and a long ball to the far post found Dann, who headed it back into the goalmouth, Ayew mis-hit his attempt and it wetn through to Schlupp to sweep the ball into the net from six yards out, off the underside of the bar. With Chelsea winning, Spurs still needed a point and a goal for the home team here had finally come from one of many corners.

Spurs conceded another corner a couple of minutes later, when Dann won it as it came in, but under pressure from Dier, he put it over the bar. Palace were finding a bit more space going forward and Spurs needed to get back into the pattern of play they were working to in the first half. Just before 60 minutes, Davies played in a deep cross and Moura came onto it just inside the area, striking it on the volley, but a yard or two wide of the goal.

Palace hit the post, but not intentionally, as Ward crossed the ball and Lloris protected his near post as the ball bounced off the angle after it had deflected off Harry Winks. Spurs were finding it difficult to play the ball out as Palace built pressure on the Spurs penalty area. Every time Zaha went into the box, he was looking for a penalty by trying to draw the foul or looking for one by looking to contact the Spurs player rather than the other way around.

At the drinks break, Palace brought on Riedewald and Dele was ready, but didn’t make it onto the  pitch. Kane tried to break through the middle from just outside the box, having nut-megged Dann, but he was crowded out by two other defenders. As heavy rain fell, despite the sunshine, Tottenham struggled to hold onto the ball or work any meaningful moves. Sissoko pulled up holding his hamstring on the edge of the Spurs box, handing the ball to Ayew, who tried a left foot shot from the left, but it went well wide.

Dele eventually came on for Son in the 80th minute and Skippy replaced Sissoko. With six minutes left Spurs conceded a free kick on the Palace right, but Tottenham defended it away. Marriner was starting to hand out soft free-kicks, normally to Palace, making it seem like a non-contact sport. As Palace pushed forward, a break down in the move Saw Spurs break away to take the ball further away from their goal.

Three minutes of added time came up on the forth official’s board, as Palace had a free kick deep in their half. That brought another one 20 yards out on the Palace right and Dier got a yellow card for a  foul on Ayew. Dann won it at the far post, but he headed it wide when he should have got it on target at least.

The final whistle brought some relief, as the second half performance was a little disjointed and although they hung on for the point they needed, the late header from Dann could have left Tottenham heading home with nothing and highlighted some poor marking at dead ball situations.  That will need to be sorted out for next season – in Europe or at home.  Palace were good enough to have a fair share of possession and more than their fair share of shots on goal, but the fact that only two of them ended up on target backed up the fact that they have score only 31 goals all season.  For all Zaha's trickery and the rest of the team's hard work, there is very little end product and only because of the loose marking at a corner, when they scored, it was true to say that our defence rarely were panicked with the string of crosses that came in.

For what has been a very odd season on and off the pitch, it looked unlikely that Spurs would have European football of any nature, but, like him or not, Jose Mourinho has pushed the team up the table and succeeded in getting sixth place as the time during lockdown must have been well spent organising the team.  The early restart matches were dull, but results were achieved, then came the defeat at Bramall Lane and the bore draw at Bournemouth, only for a six game unbeaten run to take us into the top six.  Do we belong there ?  Well, if we can finish there after this of all seasons, perhaps yes.  The summer will determine how we move on from here, but let's hope that it is upwards, although other clubs are strengthening already.

A good point, but in future, it is games like this that we have to turn into wins if we want to challenge at the top of the table.

Sparky Marky

Match notes

500th match in the Premier League as a manager for Jose Mourinho.

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How the players did
Hugo Lloris Hugo had little to do and little chance with the goal.  Made some one routine save.
Serge Aurier A very good game by Serge, who has been criticised at times this season.  Dealt with Zaha very well and got forward on the right wing.
Toby Alderweireld Solid in the air and threw his body on the line when needed. 
Eric Dier Looked comfortable, but it was only against Palace's weak attack, although it did give him the opportunity to pick out some good passes and bring the ball out from the back.
Ben Davies Mainly had an attacking role to push Townsend back, but did cover well and link with Son on the left.
Harry Winks Determined, gritty and used the ball well.  Just what you want from Winks.
Moussa Sissoko All energy, Moussa broke up attacks and tried to get forward.  Had a shooting opportunity that he ended up leaving when he couldn't decide which foot to hit it with !
Giovani Lo Celso The 'fantasy' in the Tottenham team.  Always looking to open up the Palace defence, he might have had some fortune when setting up the goal, but his short ball gave Kane the opportunity to do what he does.
Heung-Min Son Didn't look a goal threat today, but worked hard for the side, getting back when Palace went forward..
Lucas Moura Worked tirelessly for the team up and back.  Almost produced a marvellous goal when his run took him past Guaita, but the angle was just too acute to get a shot on goal.
Harry Kane The supreme goal-scorer.  The quickness of his feet didn't give Palace a chance to set themselves before his shot hit the net.  A greats eason for him, even though he missed a third of it.
Stephen Bergwijn Strong on the ball and had a couple of runs with it.
Oliver Skipp Neat and tidy in the short time he was on the pitch.
Dele Alli Back after injury, he had a short run out.
Davinson Sanchez A late substitution to try and counter Dann's aerial presence from dead ball situations.
Paulo Gazzaniga Unused.
Jan Vertonghen Unused
Japhet Tanganga Unused.
Ryan Sessegnon Unused.
Erik Lamela Unused.


What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Woolwich Wanderers 3 Watford 1 Sunday
Burnley 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Sunday
Frank Lampard's Chelsea 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Sunday
Everton 1 AFC Bournemouth 3 Sunday
Leicester City 0 Manchester United 2 Sunday
Manchester City 5 Norwich City 0 Sunday
Newcastle United 1 Liverpool 3 Sunday
South Coast Big Club 3 Sheffield United 1 Sunday
West Ham United London 1 Aston Villa 1 Sunday



League Table  2019-20
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Liverpool 38 32 3 3 85 33 99 +52
2 Manchester City 38 26 3 9 102 35 81 +67
3 Manchester United 38 18 12 8 66 36 66 +30
4 Chelsea 38 20 6 12 69 54 66 +15
5 Leicester City 38 18 8 12 67 41 62 +26
6 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 38 16 11 11 61 47 59 +14
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 15 14 9 51 40 0 +11
8 Arsenal 38 14 14 10 56 48 56 +8
9 Sheffield United 38 14 12 12 39 39 54 0
10 Burnley 38 15 9 14 43 50 54 -7
11 Southampton 38 15 7 16 51 60 52 -9
12 Everton 38 13 10 15 44 56 49 -12
13 Newcastle United 38 11 11 16 38 58 44 -20
14 Crystal Palace 38 11 10 17 31 50 43 -19
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 9 14 15 39 54 41 -15
16 West Ham United London 38 10 9 19 49 62 39 -13
17 Aston Villa 38 9 8 21 41 67 35 -26
18 Bournemouth 38 9 7 22 40 65 34 -25
19 Watford 38 8 10 20 36 64 34 -28
20 Norwich City 38 5 6 27 26 75 21 -49

Position before match :  7th
Position after match :  6th

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