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Match Reports

Report: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Crystal Palace

5 November 2017

Just as he had in this fixture two seasons earlier, Heung-min Son netted the only goal of the game to clinch victory for Tottenham Hotspur against Palace at Wembley.

Before they fell behind though, the Eagles had created the game’s most dangerous chances with Scott Dann seeing a header well saved in the first half, and in the second Wilfried Zaha rounded Paulo Gazzaniga but fired wide of an empty goal as they stunned their London rivals.

However, the derby day delights would be felt north of the river as Son popped up in the 64th minute to curl a shot from just outside the box around Julian Speroni to snatch all the points for Spurs, despite another brave showing from Roy Hodgson’s side.

Although seeing their opponents cruise to victory against Real Madrid just four days earlier, the Eagles more than matched their hosts for the majority of the game, causing them plenty of worries throughout. That began just a couple of minutes in when Mamadou Sakho was fractions away from connecting with a Zaha cross, but the ball flashed just past his head.

Palace’s gameplan of sitting deep, soaking up attacks and attempting to profit from set-pieces and counter attacks was obvious, but effective as Mauricio Pochettino’s team barely troubled Speroni. A bouncing Harry Kane effort and a miscued header from an unmarked Danny Rose was the best they could muster in the first half hour, but the left-back was being afforded too much space and he scampered down the flank once again on 34 minutes which led to Kane heading over.

But 60 seconds later the ball was up the other end of the national stadium in the form of a Palace corner which Dann diverted it goalwards, however Gazzaniga – making his first Premier League appearance in nearly two years – showed no signs of ring-rust by stooping low and flicking away what proved to be the best chance of the opening 45.

Hodgson would have been very satisfied with how his side looked likeliest to take a merited lead, and after the restart they would have further opportunities. Two minutes after play resumed, Andros Townsend picked up a loose pass on the halfway line and drove to the edge of the area to carve out a nice angle to fire into the bottom corner, but Gazzaniga managed to palm the ex-Spurs man’s arrowing attempt away for a corner, but on 57 minutes a golden opportunity went begging.

Another swift break saw Townsend play a perfect arcing pass into the feet of the galloping Zaha who took it around the stranded Gazzaniga, but with the goal gaping the winger couldn’t quite find the accuracy needed and threaded the ball past the far post.

Despite that scare, the best chances kept falling to the visitors, however having lost both Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm during the week to injury, Spurs’ third-choice keeper Gazzaniga was proving to be a more-than-able deputy as he beat away a Luka Milivojevic header after a corner deflected into the Serbian’s path.

But the cruel nature of football reared its ugly head again on 64 minutes as Tottenham netted with their first threatening attempt on Speroni’s goal. Rose was again handed space in the box and had a shot blocked, before the ball was recycled out to Moussa Sissoko on the right. He fed it back into the danger area where Cabaye could only clear to Son lurking in the middle of the D, who took a touch before stroking into the net to snatch an undeserved lead.

With 10 minutes to go the South Korean could have sealed the win when he escaped behind the Eagles’ backline and went one-on-one with Speroni but after deceiving the Palace custodian he stroked the ball into the side-netting, however despite some late pressure Hodgson’s team couldn’t quite make it a 5th November to remember as another strong showing didn't yield the points their performance deserved.

Tottenham: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Rose (Davies 90), Dier, Winks (Dembele 46), Sissoko, Son, Eriksen, Kane (Llorente 77). Subs not used: Whiteman, Trippier, Foyth, Nkoudou.

Palace: Speroni, Fosu-Mensah, Sakho, Dann, Ward (Sako 76), Loftus-Cheek, Cabaye, Milivojevic, Schlupp, Townsend, Zaha. Subs not used: Hennessey, Souare, Riedewald, Tomkins, McArthur, Puncheon.


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