Victor Wanyama’s header eight minutes from time was enough for Tottenham Hotspur to condemn the Eagles to defeat at White Hart Lane.
Palace looked set to claim a deserved point after travelling across the capital and had some great opportunities to take the lead throughout the contest, however the Kenyan took his as he was on hand to turn in a flicked-on corner late in the game to deny Alan Pardew’s men a point.
Things began brightly for the visitors and the game was just a minute old when Scott Dann picked out Andros Townsend on the left with a raking pass and the ex-Spurs man also produced a wonderful pass to find Wilfried Zaha in the area. A good touch by the winger killed it dead and allowed him to tee up Jason Puncheon, but drive was straight at Michel Vorm.
There was a major scare for the Eagles on 11 minutes when Spurs won a corner and Erik Lamela’s delivery was headed goalwards by Toby Alderweireld but it struck Wayne Hennessey and away from danger, and Vincent Janssen saw a curler drift well wide not long after.
Another Lamela corner allowed Wanyama an opportunity to attack the ball but just like Spurs’ other summer signing Janssen it was well off-target, as was another man who moved during the transfer window as Townsend bent a shot high and wide on a Palace foray forward.
But the action was soon at the other end again and the Eagles were saved three times by Hennessey as he pulled off a triple save. Harry Kane took aim from 30 yards and saw his effort clip Damien Delaney, causing the Palace custodian to scuttle across his goal and keep it out, but Jansen was first to the rebound and seem destined to score but the Welshman denied him before then also snuffing out a second attempt by the Dutchman.
Pardew introduced Yohan Cabaye at the half and the midfielder went close five minutes later when he took aim from 25 yards out with a bending shot that flashed over the top, but once again Spurs came straight back at Palace and Kane got on the end of cross with a diving header but the ball skidded just wide.
Cabaye then should have one better on the hour mark when Townsend weaved his way around the edge of the area and fizzed a low delivery across the box to pick out the Frenchman but he lashed his first-time shot over the bar.
Midway through the second half Spurs had another golden chance to take the lead when the freshly introduced Dele Alli played a beautiful first-time pass into the path of Janssen who broke clear and went one-on-one with Hennessey who rushed off his line. The striker lifted the ball over the keeper, however he watched it sail wide of the mark.
The England man then rippled the top of the net with a swinging blast from the edge of the area, but with seven minutes to go Spurs managed to get themselves in front. Lamela’s corner was flicked on by Kane and Wanyama was quickest to react and bullet a header past Hennessey.
Scrambling to restore parity, Jason Puncheon saw a half-volley blocked after Zaha had burst down the flank and Joel Ward could only turn a near-post corner wide as the Eagles were forced to wait for their first point of the campaign.
Tottenham: Vorm, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Wanyama, Lamela (Carroll 90), Janssen, Eriksen (Alli 68), Kane (Onomah 90). Subs not used: McGee, Davies, Carter-Vickers, Mason.
Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney (Tomkins 82), Souare, Ledley (Cabaye 45), Puncheon, Zaha, Lee (Mutch 82), Townsend, Wickham. Subs not used: Speroni, Kelly, Mutch, Anderson, Ladapo.