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Crystal Palace 0-1 Spurs – Match Report

Spurs recorded a hard fought 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday courtesy of Juan Foyth’s goal. In their fifth game in thirteen days, Spurs negotiated the tricky conditions at Selhurst Park to pick up another Premier League away win and go into the international break on a high.

Victor Wanyama made his first Premier League start of the season for Spurs and Dele Alli returned to the starting lineup as six changes were made by Mauricio Pochettino. There was also a start for Foyth, despite the young Argentine defender conceding two penalties against Wolves a week before, and the faith showed in him by his manager paid off. For Crystal Palace, Wilfried Zaha was sidelined with a hamstring injury with Jordan Ayew replacing him.

The game started in a nervous manner for Spurs, with Andros Townsend having an effort hit the side netting whereas Juan Foyth misplaced a simple back pass to gift Palace a corner kick. As well as that, Kieran Trippier went off with a groin injury midway through the first half to add to Spurs’ recent injury troubles.

But Spurs grew into the game and Dele Alli had a golden chance to open the scoring. After fantastic play by left back Ben Davies, Alli had the opportunity to convert his cross as he was unmarked at the back post. However he could not direct his header goalwards and instead the ball tamely went wide to let Roy Hodgson’s side off the hook.

Despite it being the fifth game for Spurs in thirteen days, they still played with an extremely high tempo and closed down at every opportunity. The press from Spurs nearly payed off, with Harry Kane winning the ball off Palace captain Luka Milivojevic deep in the opposition half. Kane burst forward and fired a shot from outside the edge of the area but goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was matched to it and beat the ball away.

Other than that, it was a quiet first half and both teams struggled to get a foothold in the match with the rain pouring down at Selhurst Park.

Juan Foyth Header Seals Win For Spurs

Crystal Palace started the second half the brightest and within ten minutes had an excellent chance to go ahead. James Tomkins had an opportunity from a Palace corner after he lost his marker at the back post but, despite getting a firm header in, he could not get his effort on target.

It was Spurs who had the next chance of the game, again from a corner, but this time they made their opponents pay. Erik Lamela’s delivery was met by Victor Wanyama, who had his effort blocked. As the ball spun up in the air the Palace defence were static, particularly Jordan Ayew, whereas Juan Foyth was the most alert. The twenty year old former Estudiantes man pounced on the loose ball to net his first goal for Spurs with a simple header.

Erik Lamela then had an opportunity to double the lead but was unable to get on the end of Dele Alli’s through ball after brilliantly bending his run to bypass the offside trap set by the Crystal Palace defence. The international break may in some respects be welcomed by Mauricio Pochettino as it will allow some players to recover in time for the next Premier League match with Chelsea, with Lamela another one of those who went off injured, this time with a head injury late on.

However it was Crystal Palace who had a strong finish to the encounter as they desperately sought to find an equaliser. Substitute Jeff Schlupp had a shot palmed away by Lloris before the Spurs goalkeeper saved a tame effort from Andros Townsend. In the end Spurs were thankful to their captain for ensuring that they left with all three points as Lloris did brilliantly to save from Norwegian striker Alexander Sørloth late on, denying him his first Premier League goal.

That was all Palace had left to throw at Spurs and it could have been two at the death after a Spurs counter attack. Moussa Sissoko set free Heung-min Son but the South Korean had his effort deflected behind by Martin Kelly. It did not matter in the end, as Foyth’s strike was enough to separate the two teams.

The result leaves Crystal Palace 16th in the table having failed to win in their last seven matches in all competitions. It also means Spurs are fourth in the table, four points ahead of fifth placed Arsenal and only Manchester City have won more Premier League games than them this season. Despite injury problems and a hectic schedule, Mauricio Pochettino and his players have done remarkably well to consistently get results in the Premier League, particularly when they have arguably not played their best football so far.

Crystal Palace v Spurs Lineups

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Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino

On Juan Foyth:

“He is an intelligent, smart player and he has the potential to be one of the best centre-backs in Europe. Of course he was very disappointed last week, he felt responsible but that’s the job of the coaching staff to work with a player and we laughed about the situation. To improve, you have to make mistakes and that is going to help him.”

“He has so much potential and only needs time and games to improve. After last week we said ‘you need to forget that situation’ because it has happened and it can happen to footballers. His performance today was fantastic. He played so well. He needs to learn and keep improving but he is a very good prospect for us.” (BBC Sport)

Crystal Palace Manager Roy Hodgson

“It’s very hard when a team does so many good things in terms of their tactical approach, in terms of their discipline and work rate, and determination, but you end up losing the game 1-0 it is hard to take.”

“There are no words that can alter the situation. We can talk all we like, but you can cut your work short by just quoting everything I said against Chelsea and Arsenal and we can save a lot of trouble, because it’s the same.” (football.london)

Crystal Palace v Spurs Attendance

Selhurst Park: 25,685

Crystal Palace v Spurs Man of the Match

For his goal and clean sheet Juan Foyth is our man of the match. The Argentine defender bounced back after giving away two penalties against Wolves last week by being the match winner for Spurs on Saturday. Hugo Lloris was also one of Spurs’ best players because of a number of key saves which kept them in the tie and Moussa Sissoko was hugely impressive in a central midfield role.

What’s Next for Spurs?

As mentioned Spurs now have a two week break until their next game because of the international break. Then they have two massive games in quick succession at Wembley, firstly against Chelsea on Saturday 24th November and then Inter Milan in the Champions League on the 28th.


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