Tottenham 1 Crystal Palace 0: Three talking points as Hugo Lloris stars
Three talking points as Tottenham Hotspur edge past Crystal Palace
Eriksen’s return proves crucial
Christian Eriksen’s creativity in an advanced midfield role eventually proved the key which unlocked Crystal Palace’s stubborn defence. The Dane had been missing from Tottenham’s starting line-up for over a month since picking up a knock against Stoke City, and it was his introduction in the 66th minute which proved to turning point in this game. Spurs have struggled to find a replacement Luka Modric since selling him to Real Madrid in 2012, but Eriksen is currently the best man to fill the playmaker role for Mauricio Pochettino. The 23-year-old played all 38 games in the Premier League last season, racking up 10 goals in the process, and his return will be hugely important as Spurs look to move up the table after their uninspiring start to the season.
A quality goalkeeper wins games
Speaking after the game, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew publicly criticised his goalkeeper Alex McCarthy for letting Son Heung-min’s shot through his legs to give Spurs the win. Pochettino however was quick to hail his shot-stopper Hugo Lloris as ‘world-class’. The difference in quality between the two keepers proved all important. With the game scoreless, Lloris produced a stunning save from Bakary Sakho. The Mali international’s powerful half-volley was destined for the far corner of the net until Lloris dived full-length and deflected it on to his post. Minutes later Spurs counter-attacked Palace who had over-committed men forward and McCarthy let Heung-min’s shot squeeze under his body. Had Palace gone a goal to the good, Spurs may have let their heads drop and subsequently lost the game.
Pardew’s risky formation didn’t pay off
Tottenham 1 Crystal Palace 0:
On paper the Eagles attacking quartet of Yannick Bolasie, Wilfred Zaha, Bakary Sakho and Jason Puncheon looks to have the pace and trickery to threaten most defences. By beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge three weeks ago the South Londoners alerted the rest of the league to the danger they possess. Spurs had a game plan and were clever enough to make sure they didn’t fall into the same trap as the Champions. Eric Dier, and the highly impressive 19-year-old debutant Delle Alli, stifled Palace’s attacking threat by dominating possession and winning the aerial battle. Pardew was forced to withdraw Zaha at half-time in a tactical switch, but his replacement Fraizer Campbell had arguably even less impact on proceedings. Although they hit the post twice, Palace never really looked like scoring as Spurs dominated what in truth was a fairly uninspiring game.