Spurs move back up to third with perfect homecoming

Wednesday 3rd April 2019 Tottenham 2-0 Crystal Palace

It was smiles all round at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium today as we celebrated moving into our magnificent £1bn home with a win against London rivals Crystal Palace.

Goals from Heung Min Son after 55 minutes and Christian Erisken ten minutes from time secured us the points on the night, after a spectacular opening ceremony which involved pyrotechnics, opera singers and a local choir.

The game marks our first league win since a triumph against Leicester on February 10th, and manager Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping this means a return to winning ways with Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on the horizon.

And, to cap off what for many Spurs fans will be seen as a perfect night, the three points moves us back into third place above bitter rivals Arsenal, though the Gunners still have a game in hand.

A long-awaited homecoming

Many fans could be forgiven for thinking that this night would never come, after a 689 day gap between our last home game on this site and this one.

But today’s game shows it was well worth the wait, with more than 59,000 filling the stands on what will go down as an iconic night in the club’s history.

The new stadium is undoubtedly one of the best in the world, with world-class facilities and an innovative stadium design making for an unforgettable matchday experience.

And there was a party atmosphere almost from the outset, with fans waving flags and a rousing rendition of ‘Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur’ from award-winning tenor and Spurs fan Wynne Evans getting proceedings underway.

But, despite a near-deafening wall of sound coming from the stadium’s new 17,500 South Stand, the action failed to live up to expectations in the first half.

Perhaps it was first day nerves, but we never really got going in the first half, and looked a little nervous in possession. The best chance of the half fell to left-back Danny Rose, who should have been more selfish and taken on a shot himself instead of attempting to square the ball to the waiting Harry Kane.

Son sets the standard

As the game wore on the tension in the stadium inevitably grew, but just ten minutes into the second-half forward Son Heung-Min finally gave the crowd something to cheer about.

It felt like a goal that’s been nearly three years in the making, with the South Korean cutting inside before firing a deflected shot into the back of the net. Despite being far from one of his finest strikes, it will go down as one of his most famous, earning him a place in Tottenham folklore for years to come.

Son’s goal saw the boys relax a bit and begin to play some of the exciting football for which we are known, with the indomitable Moussa Sissoko dictating play from the centre of the pitch. Palace, for their part, did try and affect the play when they did have the ball, but goalkeeper Hugo Lloris never looked in any real danger of conceding.

Christian Eriksen finally wrapped things up with a scrappy finish ten minutes from time following some good work by Kane, and by the time the final whistle went the sense of relief in the stadium was palpable.

Poch’s Verdict

“It’s a special moment, a special night. I feel and believe it is the best stadium in the world.

“We knew the game was going to be difficult and tough. You don’t know how we’re going to react but, playing the way we played in the first half, we were going to score.”

Spurs v Crystal Palace Man of the Match 

Moussa Sissoko gets our Man of the Match, dictating the tempo throughout, and keeping a cool head from the outset on what could have been a banana skin for Spurs.

There will be better performances at the new stadium, but christening our new home with a win was the most important task at hand, and the boys delivered. On top of a symbolic win at the new ground, a first win in five league games and a clean sheet are the perfect tonic ahead of some crunch games in both the Champions League and Premier League.


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