Supporters made their long-awaited return to Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace hosted Tottenham Hotspur and the sound of chanting finally rippled across SE25 once more.
- Roy Hodgson names the same XI that defeated West Bromwich Albion 5-1
- Spurs enjoy much of the possession as Palace launch several attacks through Wilfried Zaha
- Vicente Guaita makes a pair of remarkable saves before Harry Kane steers a 25-yard shot home
- Palace look to respond and push Spurs back for a spell around the 40-minute mark
- Half-time: Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Palace are dominant for large swathes of the second-half
- They enjoy chances through Christian Benteke and Jeffrey Schlupp but cannot open their account
- The Eagles finally clinch their equaliser as Schlupp fires home on the end of a wicked Eze free-kick
- Full-time: Crystal Palace 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Perhaps lifted by the vociferous encouragement of 2,000 south Londoners, the Eagles kicked-off on the front foot; immediately pressing Spurs back before conceding a counter. From here, the Lilywhites steadfastly refused to be moved back again and spread the ball from left to right for a lengthy spell in the final third.
Palace fired back with a pair of their own counters: Wilfried Zaha on both occasions denied by the visiting defence as he probed from the left-wing.
The Ivorian then launched his third and clearest chance after driving a shot goalbound, but Hugo Lloris was alert enough to hold the ball at the second attempt.
Zaha’s effort epitomised the game's early exchanges having arrived after a period of Spurs possession. Playing mostly without the ball at their feet, Roy Hodgson’s men still appeared dangerous going forward.
Another opportunity came and went as Eberechi Eze lofted a cross-field pass onto Zaha’s instep, but the No.11’s swiftly taken shot flew high and hard into the sparsely populated Whitehorse Lane.
After dominating match reports against West Bromwich Albion, Palace’s frontline would not twice enjoy all the limelight and Vicente Guaita pulled off two superhuman reflex saves to deny Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane from a handful of yards each.
The Spaniard's reactions were as dazzling as his teammates’ display last week but he was undone shortly after by a tamer effort; Kane’s speculative shot dipping and bending awkwardly low to the turf and finding the net after a complex flightpath.
Guaita was again called into action to smother Steven Bergwijn’s threatening run before uprighting himself to block Ndombele’s strike barely a second later, but the game was not all Spurs’. Instead, Eze and Patrick van Aanholt thudded close-range free-kicks into the wall and Zaha, Nathaniel Clyne and Luka Milivojevic had crosses charged down.
At this point, the Eagles were knocking loudly on Spurs’ door; hunting their deserved equaliser with resolve. They came within inches when Eze’s cutely-placed ball clipped the bottom of the post with Lloris’ dive well behind.
Such was their pressure that, by half-time, the Eagles will have felt aggrieved not to be at least level, but the home side could take courage from their display over the 45 minutes.
The second-half started with slightly less intensity than the first, and this was only heightened when play stopped to allow Zaha treatment early on. Gritting his teeth, the Irovian rejoined action shortly afterwards and appeared still-energised for the attack.
Such was his involvement that, 10 minutes into the second-half, he finished a smart passing move between Benteke and Eze with an overzealous shot.
With the fans echoing his name across Selhurst, Benteke then climbed to head into Lloris’ arms and appeared alert as the spearhead to Palace’s attack.
In a reversal of the first-half’s initial roles, the Eagles pinned Spurs to the edge of their box, dictating play and applying pressure firmly on their guests. The north Londoners defended with competence, however, and their southern counterparts were restricted mainly to landing soft efforts into Lloris’ palms.
A clearer chance to pull level fell to Jeffrey Schlupp in a tight space, the Ghanain knocking over the bar with a reflexive shot from 10-yards. As at the end of the first-half, Palace were again imposing themselves on their opposition and seemed almost certain to beat Lloris.
Stomachs grew tighter on the Selhurst terraces as Palace’s offensive zeal appeared to leave them exposed going back, but the home side enjoyed so much possession in their opponent’s half that defensive concerns seldom arose.
Conversely for the Liylwhites, Benteke fired a header narrowly over the bar on the end of Eze’s corner and, in a mirror-image, landed a second into Lloris’ hands - his misfortune typifying Palace’s frustrations.
Eze’s deadball prowess caused Spurs ceaseless trouble and finally his involvement from a wide free-kick clinched Palace’s leveller. Whipping a challenging ball into the heart of the box, Eze set-up a sudden scramble which Schlupp cannoned home from, wheeling away to celebrate his success at home to Spurs for the second season running.
Kane clipped the wall and earned a corner with the visitors’ first second-half chance and Palace’s challenge flipped: guard the back. This task became ever tougher as Spurs thwacked the crossbar and forced Guaita into yet more reactionary work.
The home side held on with aplomb however, Guaita flying to guard his goal against Eric Dier's stinging free-kick; his save another on an afternoon of largely sensational goalkeeping.
Guaita's determination to take a point from the league leaders ran throughout his team and, by the final whistle, each Palace player could hold their head high in front of 2,000 exuberant supporters for a truly commendable performance.
Palace: Guaita, Van Aanholt, Kouyaté, Cahill, Clyne, McArthur, Milivojević (Riedewald 74), Schlupp, Eze (Townsend 89), Zaha, Benteke.
Subs not used: Butland, Ward, Tomkins, Ayew, Batshuayi.
Spurs: Lloris, Reguilón (Davies 85), Alderweireld, Dier, Aurier, Højbjerg, Sissoko, Bergwijn (Alli 85), Ndombele ( Lo Celso 66), Son, Kane.
Subs not used: Hart, Doherty, Rodon, Moura.