Spurs still top after Selhurst stalemate

Crystal Palace 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Undoubtedly, Liverpool dropping points at Fulham – allowing Spurs to maintain their place at the top of the Premier League – would have taken the sting off a missed opportunity for Jose Mourinho’s men at Selhurst Park.

Nevertheless, with a notably changed mindset, the message coming out of Tottenham is an altogether more positive one, with their Portuguese chief ensuring little is given away as the season approaches the midway point and the mental battle is tweaked up a notch.

“We can look at it in two different perspectives, we have more points than three hours ago, so we add a point, but at the same time you play to win three points, so if you get one, you lose two,” Mourinho explained after Crystal Palace’s Jeffrey Schlupp had wiped out the Lilywhites early lead established by Harry Kane’s ninth goal of the campaign – courtesy of Heung-Min Son, of course..

“ If I look to the game I would say the first half where the feeling is we have to win it, so we lost the points, but then comes the thirty minutes in the second half where they deserve to equalise so you accept, because a point is fair, but then in the last ten minutes you should win it so you get the feeling you have dropped two.”

Both goalkeepers came under the spotlight during the contest. Palace’s Vicente Guaita perhaps should have dealt better with Kane’s opener from distance. However, the Spaniard produced several world-class saves to ensure his side a share of the spoils.

Meanwhile, Hugo Lloris couldn’t keep hold of Eberechi Eze’s dead-ball attempt, offering Schlupp the opportunity to level. Mourinho moved quickly to remove his captain from the firing line, adding: “My goalkeeper is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League so I would never be critical of the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, period.

“If I have to blame anybody I have to blame ourselves, the team. The ones that win, the ones that draw and the ones that lose. Some guys have the philosophy of they lost, we drew and I won but that’s not us.

“Us is everything – it about us. At half-time, I told the players exactly the opposite that we did in the second half, but if they didn’t it was because they couldn’t do it.

“It was because they were not able to do it. I give credit to Palace for that. I always say that even if you want to press high, if the ball is in the air you cannot press. There is nothing to press.

“They put the ball in the air, they started putting the ball in the box and creating lateral free-kicks and corners and rebounds, so the goal could arrive like it did.

“We have to blame ourselves for not being able to do what we did in the first half.

“In the last period of the game a reaction, of course, a reaction, a very good reaction and then the goalkeeper made a couple of amazing saves and that’s it.”

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Schlupp, Milivojevic (Capt) (Riedewald 74’), McArthur, Eze (Townsend 89’), Zaha, Benteke Subs not used: Butland, Ward, Tomkins, Batshuayi, Ayew.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon (Davies 85’), Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Ndombele (Lo Celso 67’), Bergwijn (Dele 85’), Son, Kane Subs not used: Hart, Doherty, Rodon, Lucas.

Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Simon Beck and Harry Lennard
Fourth Official: Tim Robinson
VAR: Simon Hooper
Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday


Brian Jeeves

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