|CRYSTAL PALACE 0 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4 (0)|
|Date : – Wednesday 4th January 2023||Kick off : – 20.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Selhurst Park|
|Crowd : – 25,132|
|Referee : – Michael Oliver (Durham)||Linesmen : – Mr. Stuart Burt; Mr. Scott Ledger|
|Fourth official : – Graham Scott|
|VAR official : – Mike Dean||VAR Assistant : – Gary Beswick|
|Weather : – Dry, mild|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Sainsburys end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 5 minutes
|CRYSTAL PALACE||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|None||Kane 47m 32s|
|Kane 52m 49s|
|Doherty 67m 41s|
|Son 71m 56s|
|Schlupp (foul on Doherty) 61||Skipp (foul on Ayew) 42|
|Gil (foul on Ayew) 77|
|CRYSTAL PALACE||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|13.||Vicente GUIATA||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|17.||Nathaniel CLYNE||17.||Cristian ROMERO|
|16.||Joachim ANDERSEN||15.||Eric DIER|
|6.||Marc GUEHI||34.||Clement LENGLET ( 33. Ben DAVIES 86)|
|2.||Joel WARD (c)|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY ( 12. Emerson ROYAL 78)|
|28.||Cheick DOUCOURE||4.||Oliver SKIPP ( 29. Pape Matar SARR 66)|
|15.||Jeffrey SCHLUPP ( 14. Jean-Philippe MATETA 61)||5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG|
|14.||Ivan PERISIC ( 42. Harvey WHITE 86)|
|7.||Michael OLISE ( 22. Odsonne EDOUARD 73)|
|10.||Eberechi EZE ( 19. Will HUGHES 74)||11.||BRYAN Gil ( 19. Ryan SESSEGNON 77)|
|11.||Wilfried ZAHA||7.||Heung-Min SON|
|9.||Jordan AYEW||10.||Harry KANE|
|21.||Sam JOHNSTONE||20.||Fraser FORSTER|
|26.||Chris RICHARDS||6.||Davinson SANCHEZ|
|5.||James TOMKINS||24.||Djed SPENCE|
|44.||Jairo RIEDEWALD||25.||Japhet TANGANGA|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Manager : – Patrick Vieira||Manager : – Antonio Conte|
|Kit Supplier : – Macron||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – Cinch||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Mukuru||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch
|Colours : –
||Colours : –
Worn with white socks
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|After Sunday’s disappointing defeat, this 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park came as a refreshing relief. A stodgy first half, with both sides having a couple of chances but with much of the play untidy and not amounting to a great deal of excitement. It hadn’t taken long for a minority of the Spurs crowd to start chanting “Levy Out”, which continued through the comprehensive win although they were mostly drowned out by songs of support for the team.
Ben Davies had been dropped to the bench with Eric Dier reinstated in the middle of the back three, Bryan Gil retained his place in the side with Dejan Kulusevski still out injured and Olly Skipp came in for the suspended Bissouma, but otherwise the team was the same … hopefully not actually in the way they played last time out.
Kicking off, Tottenham started well and Sonny put Bryan in, but his shot was blocked away for a corner, but that came to nothing, although Bryan had another shot that had all the pace taken off it and it flew gently straight at keeper Guaita. Spurs were looking more comfortable on the ball, looking to spread it around, especially out to the right wing, where Matt Doherty was picking up pockets of space that Palace hadn’t looked to fill. It was the Irishman who put a good cross in from the dead-ball line, but it was just too high for Harry Kane and ended up being recycled for Hojbjerg to have a shot that was deflected wide.
Palace came back into the game, as Tottenham failed to effectively clear the ball from their own penalty area. Olise started to get involved, with a cross just too high for Zaha as he came in towards the back of the goal and then Doucoure’s shot was blocked, before a number of attempts to get the ball away failed to move the ball very far upfield and the former Reading man fired a shot over Hugo Lloris’ bar. Harry had a lot to do to score with a header from Doherty’s cross, as he was 12 yards out, but he did get it on target although lacked power to panic the keeper. However, it was the keeper at the opposite end that made a vital intervention. Zaha produced a typically mazy run down the Palace left and pulled a low ball back to the penalty spot, where Ayew’s touch lost Clement Lenglet and he hit a lot shot back across himself to Hugo’s right. Going the other way, the Spurs skipper managed to get an arm down to keep the shot out and then smothered the ball. It was a very good save and dispelled the rumours that some pundits sound out that he is past his best.
Zaha was his usual mixture of electric dribbling, diving and whingeing … mainly the whingeing. There is little doubt that he possesses the skill, but his final product is so woeful that if this was a supposed audition for any interest we had in him, then he wouldn’t make a Conte team on a regular basis. More effective in attack was captain Joel Ward, who put in a dangerous cross that Spurs cleared to Joachim Andersen, who shifted the ball onto his left foot and from 25 yards out he swung a left foot at it and it swerved away from Lloris’ left-hand post, fading a foot or two wide, but from our position looking along the line, could have been in as it bounced back out off the advertising boards.
That was 30 minutes into the match and it was in the middle of the period of Place building pressure, without Tottenham unable to relieve it. Skipp caught Ayew on the ankle near the halfway line, with play allowed to continue, although it came to nothing much to Zaha’s protests, although the Spurs midfielder got a deserved yellow card for the foul. At half-time it was 0-0 and while it was not convincing by either side, there was enough to hint that there could be more to come in the second half. Certainly more promising than the couple of Spurs supporting youngsters who took a number of penalties between them, with only one finding the net and that was probably only after the abuse handed out to the Palace mascot by the Spurs section of the crowd after he saved one that had been on target.
When Palace kicked off the second half, a high ball caught Romero under it and his mis-control let Ayew into the box from the left side and as he looked ready to shoot, Dier produced a well-timed block. A block to Ward’s shot following the corner kept the ball out and then Hugo claimed the next corner at the far post. Tottenham’s response was quick and a move that involved some passes on the stretch came to Kane, who spread the play right to Doherty and he continued his run into the box before blazing a shot high and wide to the near post. Harry was annoyed that Matt hadn’t pulled the ball back for him, as he had held back form the in-running defenders. However, that angst turned to joy in the 48th minute. When Guehi’s clearing header to a long ball fell in the centre circle, Hojbjerg dived forward to head forward to Son in the middle of the Palace half. The ball was passed right to Bryan, who was coming infield from the inside right channel, jinking left with three defenders around him, he played the ball wide to the left wing and Ivan Perisic took a touch and stood up a cross to the far post. Harry looked outnumbered, with Ward jumping at him and Schlupp not making much of a challenge, Kane rose to get over the ball and head it powerfully into the net past Guaita, who didn’t really get close to the cross and was falling back as the header flashed past him. The noise from the Spurs fans under the tin roof of the Arthur Wait Stand was turned to cheers as we took the lead in a match for the first time since Everton at home on 15th October and it was a classic piece of positioning by Harry to be able to squeeze the ball home inside the post.
The relief was obvious among the Tottenham part of the crowd and the much-hyped Holmesdale Fanatics, who had been reduced to banging drums were even quieter after this, as many Palace fans were left to sit and watch the horror unfold. Having been beaten last time out at home by Fulham and having had two players sent off, they were probably hopeful of a result against “crisis club” Tottenham, but that wasn’t to be the case.
Just after Ayew had beaten four or five Spurs players down their right wing to set up Doucoure, who put a shot from 25 yards out way over the bar, Lloris’ goal-kick was cleared by Hojbjerg got to the ball and shinned it right to Doherty. In acres of space, after a few exchanges of passes with Kane, the ball was played all the way back to Dier, whose forward pass picked out Doherty’s run into the middle of the pitch, just outside the box. Guehi took him out, much the way that Matt was cleaned out on Sunday without getting a free-kick with the same result, as no free-kick was given for such a blatant body-check without getting the ball. So, play continued with Harry collecting the ball and pushing it out right to Bryan. He had two men in front of him and expecting him to take them on, they stood off him, which allowed the Spanish winger to slip a pass between them to Kane in the box. It is a piece of play we have seen before where Kane takes a touch to kill the ball and fires an early shot that catches the keeper out as it flashed across him and into the opposite side of the goal. Two goals in five minutes had changed the face of the game and Palace had a lot to do to get back into the match.
Bryan Gil was working hard off the ball as well as one it and he intercepted a weak pass from Schlupp, who then barged him over without any intent to get the ball back. Oliver, who had a very good game, allowed play to continue as Doherty was on his bike down the right. Kane ran across him and received a pass that he took into the box and pulled back, with it going behind Gil’s run and found Perisic at the far post, but his shot was blocked by Andersen, only for an offside flag to be rightly raised against Kane, but about half an hour too late. Schlupp was shown the yellow card for his assault on Bryan and then got hooked off with Mateta coming on to supposedly add more beef to the Palace attack. Palace did show a little bit of life, with Olise putting one wide and Zaha wanting a penalty (surprise, surprise) when Doherty did well to tackle him as he tried to trick his way past.
Having been booked and having only just returned to the first team, Skipp was replaced by Pape Matar Sarr. Spurs were moving the ball around with a bit of a swagger now and while the ball went back, a ball forward Perisic was cleared by a Guehi header, but Lenglet headed it back down the left and Harry out-muscled Clyne (who I hadn’t realised had been playing until then), coming inside past Andersen. He square passed the ball to Sonny, inside the D. The Korean took the ball to his right and Ward did well to prevent him having a clear shot on goal, so he took one more touch that took him too wide to find the goal, so he steadied himself, put the ball through the legs of Clyne looking for Kane at the near post, but the ball hit the defender’s heel. It only directed the ball ten yards form goal to Doherty, who measured his left-foot shot wide of Guaita and into the net off the keeper’s right hand to find the bottom corner. 68 minutes on the clock and 3-0 to Spurs. Being a second half team was certainly paying off tonight !
Before long it was 4-0 and the Palace fans were headed for the exits even though there was still 18 minutes left. Kane had already played Doherty in on the right inside the box and while he sliced his first shot, he recovered to hook the loose ball powerfully at goal, but it hit Ward full in the chest. The ball went out to the right touchline, where Hojbjerg picked it up, but the referee had stopped the game for treatment to the Palace defender. It wasn’t a head injury, we were in a promising position and yet the game was halted. When he got up without needing treatment, we were given a drop-ball, but had to play it all the way back to our own keeper and when play moved on, Zaha was provided with a shooting chance that he put wide, not getting any curl on the shot. As it was, it didn’t matter too much. Lenglet lifted a ball into the centre circle, where Harry Kane glanced it on and Bryan was there to pick it up. He returned the ball to the striker who lofted a forward ball that Guehi and Son were under. The Palace man got it all wrong, allowing it to bounce off his head run on for Son, who drilled it past Guiata to the keeper’s right with his left foot. His joy at getting back on the Premier League score-sheet since his hat-trick against Leicester was clear to see and his celebrations with team-mates and fans will hopefully lift any anxiousness he may have in front of goal.
There was still 16 minutes left and substitutions were made by both sides. Palace to try to regain some pride and for Tottenham to rest players ahead of a busy January. Bryan got a booking that could be classed as harsh compared to some of the Palace tackling, as he pulled someone back, which was fair enough, but some of the challenges on Hojbjerg and Royal went without a card.
Palace did stir themselves to make Hugo save diving to his right to push a shot from Ayew wide, then made a good stop with his foot after Zaha had swapped passes with Edouard to put a low shot in on goal from about eight yards out. Harvey White and Ben Davies were given a few minutes at the end of the match and when a corner was cleared, the ball ran to Sarr, who tried a volley from outside the area, but skewed it well wide. When Eduoard looked like he might be through at the end, it was Pape who tracked back to nibble the ball away form him as he got to the edge of the box.
The whistle came as a relief to the home players, who were left being supported by about a third of their fans who were there at the start. The ones that were left didn’t even boo their team. What sort of supporters are they ? Not want the chairman sacked, while Tottenham’s “supporters” were still wanting Levy out at 4-0. Great if you love the team and hate the club, but the bad feeling that was evident amongst the opposing elements in the Spurs section can transmit to the pitch and while the players were focussed on the game, any potential signings that Levy might want to make could be adversely affected by the views of a minority of the crowd. There are a lot of games to be played and the loss against Villa had been coming regardless of what Levy was able to do about it. So, people say it’s been 22 years without a trophy, but it wasn’t too long ago that Spurs were in the Second Division, but many of the fans probably don’t recall that and as it is now closer to the end of the Second World War than today, it is something that has probably been consigned to history.
Why not look at the positives ? Bryan put in an energetic performance, which one bloke behind me was questioning why he was in the team in the first half and then raving about his second half performance. I’m a bit more balanced in my views and feel that he has the technical ability and probably needs more experience. Pape Matar Sarr looked composed on the ball and played with a smile on his face, so could be another to come through in time. Both these young men have been rumoured to be ready to be sold by Tottenham, but I can’t see that happening. The partnership of Son and Kane was back on form and their goals complemented their all round play, while at the opposite end, Lloris made a couple of very good saves with Romero, Lenglet and Dier all solid in front of him, while at times Eric was pushing higher into midfield to press and take the ball forward.
It was a return to how we were playing before the World Cup and just have to translate our second half form to the first half. Let’s not forget that this was only Palace we were playing and the next two Premier League games will shape where the rest of our season goes. Well, that and the transfer window.
|Everton||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||4|
|Mancashter United||3||AFC Bournemouth||0|
|Woolwich Wanderers||0||Newcash United||0|
|Leeds United||2||West Ham United London||2|
|Aston Villa||1||Wolverhampton Wanderers||1|
|South Coast Big Club||0||Nottingham Forest||1|
Premier League Table 2022-23
|8||Brighton & Hove Albion||17||8||3||6||32||25||27||+7|
|17||West Ham United London||18||4||3||11||15||24||15||-9|
|20||South Coast Big Club||18||3||3||12||15||33||12||-18|