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    Crystal Palace 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report

    By Tom Regan

    Dele Alli’s incredible goal helped Tottenham Hotspur come from behind to win 3-1 at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
    Mauricio Pochettino made one change from the XI that thrashed Sunderland 4-1 last weekend, with Son Heung-min replacing Erik Lamela.

    Alan Pardew was once again without the influential Yannick Bolasie, and his side have not won a Premier League game since he last played on December 19th.
    Spurs were the brighter force in the early stages but failed to cause Wayne Hennessy any major problems.

    The north Londoners were their own worst enemy in the third minute as Eric Dier failed to control a ball which put Wilfred Zaha up against Jan Vertonghen. The Belgian defender committed a foul but Jason Puncheon’s free kick sailed comfortably over Hugo Lloris’s goal.
    The Lilywhites responded well. Kieran Trippier’s cross led to a corner but nothing came of it. Toby Alderweireld then passed the ball to the typically dynamic Mousa Dembele, who fed Son, but the South Korean’s long distance effort passed low and wide of Hennessy’s left hand post.

    There was another nervy moment at the back for Tottenham when Lloris collected Vertonghen’s back pass. The French shot-stopper inadvertently gifted the ball to Zaha but thankfully the danger was cleared to spare Hugo’s blushes.
    After 482 minutes without scoring the Eagles were finally celebrating their first goal for a month on the half hour mark. Christian Eriksen was guilty of failing to clear the ball just outside the area, and Zaha took full advantage hitting a cross which Vertonghen could only deflect into his own net.

    Vertonghen’s Belgian companion Alderweireld tried to respond for Pochettino’s side with a neat side-step and low effort from 30 yards, but the ball drifted wide of Hennessy’s right post. Hennessy was then forced to save from Alli after being freed by Harry Kane.
    Following a Palace corner, Alderweireld stood firm to make a superb defensive block. At the other end, Dembele saw his shot blocked after good work from Trippier and Son.

    Zaha fired over the bar from the right side. Danny Rose was provided with a glorious opportunity following Eriksen’s fine ball, but his close-range shot was well saved by Hennessy. Son then fired wide after build-up play from Eriksen and Kane.
    Spurs made a strong claim for a penalty early in the second half. Kane played the ball through to Son who broke into the area and fired an effort which was surely handled by Pape Souare, but the assistant referee was having none of it.

    Dier picked out Kane with a delightful cross from the right, but Harry headed down and Hennessy comfortably held on.
    Dier was replaced by Nacer Chadli on 56 minutes and the tricky Belgian was involved immediately with Dembele and Eriksen, setting up Kane for a shot which was saved.

    James McArthur saw yellow for a foul on Son, then Eriksen’s ambitious long range free kick was easily saved by the keeper.
    The north Londoners had been knocking on the door, and on 63 minutes they got a deserved equaliser when Rose passed to Chadli, who crossed with pinpoint accuracy for Kane to head past the helpless Hennessy.

    Soare saw his good effort saved by Lloris. Connor Wickham should have seen red after a coming together with Vertonghen, but most worrying was that our outstanding central defender had injured his knee during the incident. Vertonghen hobbled off and Austrian international Kevin Wimmer came on to partner Alderweireld.
    Trippier was booked for blocking off Puncheon, and from the resulting free kick, Pardew’s side hit the crossbar twice in a matter of seconds through Scott Dann and substitute Mile Jedinak.

    The travelling fans were sent into raptures on 84 minutes with a simply stunning goal. Eriksen nodded down to Alli just outside the box after Kane’s cross from the right. The former MK Dons star took a touch, flicked the ball up over his own head, turned and smashed a fine volley low into the bottom corner. No doubt a contender for goal of the season and a goal that will be reminisced for years to come.
    Nabil Bentaleb came on for Eriksen to add some much needed assurance in front of his defence. In an exciting final few minutes the game became extremely open and Lloris had to save from Fraizer Campbell. Following Rose’s free kick, Alli showed yet more delightful skill but his shot rebounded off the bar.

    With four of the allotted five added minutes played, Chadli ensured that the Lilywhites would be leaving Selhurst Park with maximum points. Following a corner, Chadli collected from Alli and then showed great execution to curl the ball into the far right corner.
    This was a magnificent win for Tottenham who move five points clear of Manchester United who lost 1-0 at home to Southampton.

    Arsenal were also defeated 1-0 at home to Chelsea on Sunday which sees us just two points behind our bitter rivals and only five away from high flying Leicester who lead the division once more.
    Whether we want to admit it or not, we have to be considered as title contenders, but the top four should be the least of our ambitions right now.

    An FA Cup fourth round encounter at Colchester is next up for Pochettino’s side on Saturday, followed by a Premier League trip to Carrow Road to face Alex Neil’s bruised side after their devastating 5-4 loss to Liverpool.
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    Item Reviewed: Crystal Palace 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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