Tottenham’s late show sinks Palace

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report 

Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Crystal Palace

Three goals in a frantic late spell saw Tottenham Hotspur come from behind, see off Crystal Palace and return to winning ways in what was a well-contested Premier League encounter in N17.

With time to reflect, it was perhaps easy for familiar frustrations to consume the Tottenham support. Nevertheless, Ange Postecoglou offered a pragmatic response to those pressing the panic button.

“The idea is to try to keep progressing our football and finish the season strong and keep developing our players in our game style so that we can see where that takes us this year but more importantly sets us up for years to come,” the Spurs chief explained.

Postecoglou has made three changes to the team beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers in N17 last time out. Destiny Udogie, Rodrigo Bentancur and Timo Werner were handed an opportunity, while Ben Davies, Pape Matar Sarr and the injured Richarlison missed out.

Werner passed up a glorious opportunity to open his Spurs account, and perhaps lift some of the pressure from his shoulders, after racing clear, delaying, and allowing Palace stopper Sam Johnstone to block after Heung-min Son had played him in. Meanwhile, Emerson Royal got caught in two minds. His low cross proved to be neither here nor there, much to the frustration of Son and James Maddison.

Werner wanted a penalty following a coming together with Daniel Munox, while Son’s first-time effort came back off teh foot of a post as the North Londoners turned the screw after the restart. Nevertheless, Palace, resolute and robust, otherwise comfortably rebuffed whatever the hosts had to offer.

But with their first genuine attempt of the contest, Palace forged ahead. Eberechi Eze’s brilliant free-kick simply fizzed beyond a fully extended Guglielmo Vicario, this after Bentancur had fouled the Palace playmaker twenty yards from goal.

Werner and substitute Brennan Johnson missed decent chances to restore parity. Son was a whisker away after a shimmy and a drop of the shoulder, but the Lilywhites’ lack of firepower was painfully evident as anxiety grew amongst the N17 audience.

But when Johnson wriggled clear and crossed from the right, Werner seized the opportunity to sweep home from close range. 

Palace had taken the big punch. Within three minutes, Spurs turned the game on its head. Romero arrived to glance home Maddison’s delightful ball, much to the relief of those of a Spurs persuasion.

The game was well and truly up for the visitors. Son added a third after dashing clear and cooly beating Johnstone with a confident finish.

The victory moved Spurs within two points of the top four. They return to Premier League action on Sunday, March 10 when they face Aston Villa at Villa Park (1pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Royal, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie, Bissouma (Lo Celso 90′), Bentancur (Johnson 63′), Maddison (Hojbjerg 82′), Kulusevski, Son (Capt) (Scarlett 90′), Werner (Sarr 82′) Subs not used: Austin (GK), Dragusin, Davies, Skipp

Booked: Bentancur (foul)

Goals: Werner 77′, Romero 80′, Son 88′

Crystal Palace: Johnstone, Munoz, Ward (Capt), Andersen, Richards, Mitchell, Lerma, Wharton (Hughes 71′) Eze (Franca 66′), Ayew (Edouard 71′), Mateta Subs not used: Henderson (GK), Tomkins, Clyne, Ozoh, Ahamada, Plange

Booked: Lerma (foul), Johnstone (time-wasting)

Goals: Eze 59′

Referee: John Brooks

Assistants: Lee Betts and Nick Greenhalgh

Fourth Official: Darren England 

VAR: Rob Jones

Assistant VAR: Harry Lennard

Attendance: 61,339

Brian Jeeves