Patrick Vieira secured his first competitive victory as Crystal Palace manager in emphatic style against Tottenham Hotspur, leading the Eagles to a 3-0 win.
He handed debuts to Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise, and was well rewarded when the former bagged a brace in just eight minutes.
He spoke with Palace TV to explain his side’s approach to the game, saying: “I’m really happy, really happy because of the performance of the team. I think the process today was excellent. In every part of the game we were good. At the end the players got rewarded because of the performance.
“From the first minute we wanted to put pressure on because we knew the fans would be behind the players. We managed to put them under pressure and this is what we were looking for. We managed to win the ball high, we put them under pressure and at times we played some really good football. So at the end we got rewarded with the goals we scored.”
Palace were lifted by having a full Selhurst Park behind them for the second time this season, with the watching south London faithful celebrating their first competitive win in person since the pandemic started.
Vieira was full of praise for those in attendance: “It sounded like it was more than 25,000! I think it’s a lot of credit to them [the fans] as well. It was really challenging, a difficult game for us but the energy came from the fans as well and that gave us more strength to keep going.
“When we see players in the last 15-20 minutes making a run, it’s the energy that the fans can bring to the players. I think this energy between the fans and players was fantastic today.”
Finally, the Palace manager focused on Edouard’s performance, revealing what he told the forward before handing him his debut:
“The international week helped those players who arrived quite late and he learned a lot about the way we want to play and learned about the teammates. Today was really good for him to score those two goals. He took the hard work from Christian [Benteke] in the first 70 minutes and then obviously at the end there was more space and that allowed him to score those goals. The team performance will be something I’m really happy with.
“[My instructions were]: keep doing what Christian was doing. Keep putting a lot of pressure on the back four and the two centre-halves and there will be more space and he’ll have chances to score the goals. We knew he’s capable of scoring goals because he’s been doing it with Celtic and when you work well, you work hard, you get rewarded.”