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Match Reports

Report: Crystal Palace 2-1 Tottenham

10 January 2015

Alan Pardew's return to Selhurst Park had a very happy ending as Palace came back from a goal down to beat in-form Tottenham thanks to goals from Dwight Gayle and Jason Puncheon.

After a stale opening 45 minutes, the visitors edged in front soon after the restart when Harry Kane found the net once again, but the game turned when the Eagles were awarded a penalty which Gayle converted before Puncheon netted the winner 10 minutes from time to register Palace's first league win in nine games.

The result lifts Pardew's side out of the bottom three and continues his fine start to life back in SE25, and his side dug deep to claim the victory against a decent Spurs outfit.

After the pre-match greetings towards the new manager had died down from the Selhurst faithful, Spurs controlled the early stages and kept possession well but could could only muster two tame efforts from Moussa Dembele and Kane which barely troubled Julian Speroni, but on 21 minutes they missed a guilt-edged chance to take the lead.

Christian Eriksen began the move when he laid the ball off to Andros Townsend, who did in turn to Kyle Walker. The full-back's low cross defected off Damien Delaney back into the red-hot Danish winger's path, but he somehow hooked the ball wide from just six yards out.

That let-off shook the hosts up and a minute later they were ruing their own missed opportunity when Gayle crossed from the left and the unmarked James McArthur headed the ball over, and soon after Glenn Murray went close with an awkward header from a Barry Bannan cross but couldn't angle it on target.

The striker, making his first league start for the Eagles since March, went very close to registering his maiden Premier League goal at Selhurst on 34 minutes. Martin Kelly won the ball 25 yards from the Spurs goal and it fell to McArthur who slotted in Murray who saw his one-on-one chance slip through Hugo Lloris' legs but it clipped the goalkeeper and went out for a corner. 

It remained goalless until half-time but three minutes after the restart Spurs grabbed the all-important opening goal. Nacer Chadli jinked around a couple of Palace defenders on the edge of the box and fed the ball into Kane, who replays suggested was offside. Nevertheless, he took a couple of touches to get the ball under control and then drilled the ball through the legs of Kelly to find the bottom corner and score his sixth in as many league games.

Palace nearly scored a quick-fire response when Puncheon floated a free-kick into the area and Scott Dann nodded it back into the mixer where Gayle was waiting to stab the airbound ball towards goal but Lloris showed good reactions to keep it out, and then an exact replica of that move saw the striker attempt a bicycle kick but he saw it clip Murray and cleared to safety.

But on 68 minutes Palace were handed a lifeline. Joel Ward found Adlene Guedioura who knocked the ball off for Joe Ledley, and the Welshman was brought down by Benjamin Stambouli, giving Anthony Taylor no choice put to award a spot-kick. Gayle stepped up and smashed the ball into the bottom left corner to level things up.

That lifted the crowd and the Palace players, and after plenty of pressure with 10 minutes they went in front. Pardew threw on Wilfried Zaha and he wriggled past two Spurs defenders to allow himself the chance to find Puncheon, and he whipped the ball first-time into the bottom corner from 18 yards to send Selhurst in delirium. 

In injury-time the win could have been sealed but after Zaha had burst into the box he fired straight at Lloris, and late on Speroni did well to save a difficult long-distance from Etienne Capoue as Palace held on for a vital three points.

Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward, McArthur, Ledley, Bannan (Guedioura 46), Puncheon, Gayle (Campbell 87), Murray (Zaha 74). Subs not used: Hennessey, Mariappa, Hangeland, Thomas.

Tottenham: Lloris, Rose, Vertonghen Fazio, Walker, Eriksen, Stambouli (Soldado 75), Dembele, Townsend (Capoue 69), Chadli, Kane. Subs not used: Vorm, Kaboul, Davies, Paulinho, Lennon. 

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