Excellent late strikes from Delle Alli and Nacer Chadli secured Tottenham Hotspur a 3-1 victory in a game where the scoreline didn’t do the Eagles any justice whatsoever.
Alan Pardew’s men had taken the lead when Jan Vertonghen deflected the ball into his own net but just after the hour mark Harry Kane continued his fine goalscoring run by converting a header. However Palace came back again and hit the bar twice in quick succession in the 82nd minute, but two minutes later Alli scored a goal of the season contender before Chadli added a late third.
The result was harsh on the Eagles who worked tirelessly during the game, but just lacked a little bit of luck in front of goal despite ending their five game wait for a league strike.
There was no shortage of early action and Jason Puncheon saw an early free-kick from the edge of the area flash over and after tipping over a wayward Kieran Trippier cross which was heading goalwards, Wayne Hennessey then watched a Son Hueng-min grasscutter from 25 yards creep past the post.
Spurs continued to cause the hosts plenty of problems in the opening 15 minutes and Toby Alderweireld steered a header narrowly wide of the mark before Deli Alli latched onto a neat chipped pass by Harry Kane but couldn’t get enough power onto his strike which was easily claimed by Hennessey.
But just after the eight-hour mark had passed without a Premier League goal for the Eagles fans to celebrate, they were soon in raptures having been given a helping hand to take the lead. Vertonghen gave the ball the away on the edge of the box and James McArthur shovelled it out to Wilfried Zaha. The winger put a low cross into the box and tempted the central defender to stick a leg out and promptly divert the ball past a helpless Hugo Lloris.
Spurs came straight back at Palace and a low cross by Alderweireld just evaded Kane before Hennessey again thwarted Alli, but the Eagles were hungry for a second and an exceptional ball by Yohan Cabaye found Zaha on the right, and he sat Danny Rose on his backside before flashing a blast over with better options waiting in the middle.
However a minute later the Spurs left-back found himself at the other end of the field in acres of space and when he was picked out at the back post he looked destined to score, but Hennessey pulled off a brilliant save to not just block the powerful effort but keep it in his grasp.
In a similar pattern to the first half the north Londoners dominated proceedings in the early moments of the second and Christian Eriksen saw a vicious strike from 25 yards swerve, dip and just miss the top corner of Hennessey’s goal by fractions and then the Welshman saved a diving header from Kane.
But the England striker made it count on 62 minutes when he equalised for the north Londoners. With Spurs pressing forward once again, Danny Rose saw a cross from the left blocked by Nacer Chadli, who then took possession and floated a delivery of his own into the area and Kane got above Damien Delaney to head the ball into the top corner and end Hennessey’s resilience.
Back came Palace though and Zaha forced Lloris into a brilliant one-handed stop when he looked certain to bend the ball around the French international after a Puncheon cross into the box caused problems, and from the resulting corner the ball came out to Pape Souare who lashed a right-footed drive towards goal which was parried by Lloris, and Delaney saw the rebound blocked by Alderweireld with the keeper prone on the floor.
Then with 10 minutes to go the Eagles struck the crossbar twice within five seconds. Puncheon put a free-kick into the area that was headed by Dann, and his looped attempt beat Lloris but not the bar, but the ball fell kindly to Mile Jedinak who hooked it back towards goal but it deflected off Trippier and onto the goalframe as Spurs scrambled the ball clear.
But it would be heartbreak for Palace when Maouricio Pochettino’s men netted a superb goal to take the lead with six minutes to go. After a Kane cross into the area found Eriksen on the left he nodded the ball into Alli’s path, and he showed outrageous technique to control the ball with his back to goal, chip the ball over Jedinak and volley past an outstretched Hennessey.
Fraizer Campbell was thrown on following that sucker punch and he forced Lloris into a late save which was comfortable for the Spurs skipper and Alli escaped again on the edge of the area and hit the crossbar himself in injury-time before Nabil Benteleb forced Hennessey to tip the ball over.
But Spurs would add a third with one of the last kicks of the game. Chadli took the ball from the left touchline and drifted into a central position, and then whipped a beautiful shot into the far corner to put an unfair gloss on the scoreline.
Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Zaha, Cabaye (Campbell 84), McArthur (Jedinak 77), Ledley, Puncheon, Wickham. Subs not used: Speroni, Kelly, Mutch, Lee, Chamakh.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen (Wimmer 74), Rose, Dier (Chadli 55), Dembele, Alli, Son Heung-min, Eriksen (Bentaleb 89), Kane. Subs not used: Vorm, Davies, Carroll, Lamela.