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Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Crystal Palace
SPURS returned to Premier League winning ways, getting the job done inside the opening half as Crystal Palace were brushed aside by four unanswered goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
There was a notable nervousness amongst the home crowd. Unconvincing displays, coupled with disappointingly dropped points against Newcastle United and Arsenal, has seen the North Londoners slip off the pace. Nevertheless, on their return from international duty, Mauricio Pochettino had used his time wisely, pep-talking his squad in a bid to get them back on track.
“It was very good to talk today for nearly one hour and refocus again on our objective,” the Argentine explained in the lead-up to the game.
“To be clear in our minds, to think that the most important is the collective and start to put outside individual situations, all together again and try to create a dynamic and be strong and start winning games. That’s the most important thing for us now.”
Visitors, Crystal Palace, travelled across the capital seemingly in a good place. A notable league success over Manchester United at Old Trafford had been somewhat checked by a Carabao Cup exit to Colchester United. However, the Eagles were sitting fourth in the table with everything in the proverbial garden seemingly rosy.
But it took just ten minutes for the home side to respond to their manager’s rally cry. Heung-Min Son cut in onto his left foot before striking low beyond Palace stopper, Vicente Guaita, and via the inside of an upright.
Spurs, with the wind in their sails, swiftly made it two. Serge Aurier drove in low – Unlucky Palace defender, Patrick Van Aanholt deflecting between the stranded Guatia and the post, much to the South Londoners anguish
Palace was already on the ropes and their troubles deepened when Son crisply met Aurier’s pinpoint centre sending the home crowd into raptures only seconds after they’d retaken their seats.
It was already far from over as a contest. Nevertheless, Spurs were in no mood to let up. Indeed, the Lilywhites ensured that Palace’s miserable afternoon continued. Son and Harry Kane combined down the right – teeing up Erik Lamela – the Argentine arriving to fire number four with the minimum of fuss.
After the interval, Lamela was a whisker away from a telling touch after Eriksen had threaded through the eye of a needle, while Son’s audacious angled effort – seizing on hesitance between Guaita and Van Aanholt – drifted into the side netting as the South Korean continued his bid to bag the match-ball.
With the game long-since won, Spurs appeared to have taken their foot off the gas – drawing and animated and frustrated reaction from Pochettino, who was prowling his technical area, menacingly.
Wilfried Zaha passed up a couple of late efforts for Palace – tamely finding Hugo Lloris’s gloves from good positions. Meanwhile, Tottenham’s second-half performance will have disappointed both their fans and the manager. However, the message sent out during those opening 45 minutes suggested the North Londoners aren’t too far away from their old selves.
Tottenham Hotspur returns to Premier League action on Saturday, September 21 when they take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium (12:30pm)
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Danny Rose (Ben Davies 76’), Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Heung-Min Son, Harry Winks (Tanguy Ndombele 67’), Harry Kane (Lucas Moura 85’), Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko, Christian Eriksen, Serge Aur
Booked: Harry Winks (foul), Danny Rose (foul), Jan Vertonghen (foul), Christian Eriksen (foul)
Goals: Heung-Min Son 10’, 23’, Patrick Van Aanholt (own-goal) 21’, Erik Lamela 42’)
Crystal Palace: Vicente Guaita, Joel Ward, Patrick Van Aanholt, Luka Milivojevic (Capt), Chiekhou Kouyate (James McCarthy 76’), Jordan Ayew (Christian Benteke 71’), Andros Townsend (Victor Camarasa 85’), Wilfried Zaha, Mamadou Dakho, Jefferey Schlupp, Gary Cahill Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey (GK), James Tomkins, Max Meyer, Jairo Riedewald
Booked: Jordan Ayew (foul), Joel Ward (foul), Luka Milivojevic (foul)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Ian Hussin and Richard West
Fourth Official: Michael Salisbury
Reaction to follow….