Alan Pardrew left the Selhurst Park pitch blowing kisses on his first game back as manager, as Tottenham Hotspur were blown away. Mauricio Pochettino’s side could muster none of the vibrancy from their 5-3 win over Chelsea, but the life undeniably returned to the Crystal Palace stands, as Jason Puncheon’s 80th-minute goal gave them an uplifting 2-1 win.
The returning club legend provided a fine response to going behind, but questions will be asked of referee Anthony Taylor after a series of controversial decisions.
Pardew made three changes to the team from the FA Cup win over Dover, but there still wasn’t too much change from the style under Neil Warnock - or indeed the new manager’s own approach at Newcastle United. Much of the first half was reminiscent of many Pardew matches at St James’s Park, as Palace looked content to sit deep, constrain the space around their box, and catch Spurs on the break.
Crystal Palace 2 Tottenham 1 player ratings
Crystal Palace 2 Tottenham 1 player ratings
1/22 Julian Speroni - 5/10
Made some questionable decisions in the Palace goal.
2/22 Joel Ward - 6
Combined well with his teammates to keep Tottenham's forwards under wraps.
3/22 Scott Dann - 7
Dominant in the air, and a threat from set-pieces.
4/22 Damien Delaney - 7
Up against the lively Kane, the centre-back battled to the final whistle.
5/22 Martin Kelly - 7
Another impressive performance from the makeshift left-back.
6/22 Joe Ledley - 9
An excellent energetic display from the midfielder who showed his worth in both penalty boxes.
7/22 Jason Puncheon - 8
Sometimes masterful, sometimes erratic, his tenacity was rewarded with a fine winning goal.
8/22 James McArthur - 6
A steady performer in the Palace midfield.
9/22 Barry Bannan 5
A few decent set-pieces, but was subbed at half-time having failed to make an impact.
10/22 Dwight Gayle - 7
His pace and eye for goal caused continual problems for the Tottenham defence.
11/22 Glenn Murray - 6
A physical presence in attack before his late substitution.
12/22 Hugo Lloris - 7
Bailed out his defence on a few occasions. but could do little with the two goals.
13/22 Kyle Walker - 5
An asset going forward, he remains unfocused in defence.
14/22 Federico Fazio - 5
Struggled against the pace of Palace's attack.
15/22 Jan Vertonghen - 5
His influence is waning in the Tottenham defence.
16/22 Danny Rose - 6
Determined throughout, he let his frustrations spill over towards the end.
17/22 Benjamin Stambouli - 5
His eagerness to dive into challenges backfired when conceding the penalty.
18/22 Mousa Dembele - 6
A bag of tricks on the ball, he failed to offer a protective defensive layer.
19/22 Andros Townsend - 5
Another inconsistent performance from the wide man.
20/22 Christian Eriksen - 6
Great composure on the ball, but will be remembered for missing a gilt-edged first half opportunity.
21/22 Nacer Chadli - 6
Fortunate to escape punishment for a blatant dive in the penalty area in the opening period.
22/22 Harry Kane - 7
His talent and belief continue to grow, epitomised by his well-taken opening goal.
At the same time, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were nowhere near as energetic as in their last league game, the momentous 5-3 win over Chelsea. Whereas that was characterised by Spurs’ hell-for-leather pressing, this was much more prosaic.
It ensured the opening period wasn’t the most arresting, but Spurs still should have taken the lead from a 17th-minute open goal.
Kyle Walker’s cross from the right was deflected off Damien Delaney, and seemed to be sitting up for the onrushing Christian Eriksen. With the Dane steaming in a little too quickly, though, he could only manage an off-balance swipe that went past the post. His body position meant it wasn’t quite a sitter, but it still should have been 1-0.
Palace finally had a chance just as good as that in the 36th minute, but Hugo Lloris spread his body superbly to block Glenn Murray for a one-on-one. That was probably a combination of bad miss and great save, given the striker at least had it on target.
That ensured there was a bit more life to the second half, as Harry Kane quickly showed his recent killer touch to put Spurs 1-0 up. In the 49th minute, the free-scoring forward slid the ball past Julian Speroni, although he did seem to be offside as he received the ball.
Palace could protest, but it meant Kane hit his 18th goal of the season in all competitions, and his sixth in the last six Premier League games. In the same time, Palace have only hit two, which has been part of their problem.
They did almost immediately get an equaliser but the excellent Lloris palmed away Dwight Gayle’s close-range effort.
Gayle got to make amends through a 69th-minute penalty, but there was debate about that too. Benjamin Stambouli lunged in wildly in the box, with Joe Ledley falling to the ground, but the only actual contact seemed to be with the ball.
Nevertheless, referee Taylor pointed to the spot, and Gayle picked his spot to make it 1-1.
Palace might have had another penalty minutes later for a Walker handball, only for appeals to be waved away, but they instead got another goal. The ball bounced around the Spurs territory before coming back to Jason Puncheon at the edge of the area, who drilled the ball into the corner of Lloris’s net.
By then, the atmosphere had certainly returned, along with an old hero.
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Kelly; McCarthur, Ledley, Bannan (Guedioura 45); Puncheon, Murray (Zaha, 74), Gayle (Campbell, 87)
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose; Stambouli (Soldado, 75), Dembele; Townsend (Capoue, 69), Eriksen, Chadli; Kane
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Match rating: 6/10
Man of the match: Jason PuncheonReuse content