Tottenham 2 Crystal Palace 0 match report: Departing Jermain Defoe adds the gloss

Striker, who will soon move to Toronto, comes off the bench to put the game out of Palace’s sight

White Hart Lane

The young apprentice Tim Sherwood had the better of another experienced old sorcerer in Tony Pulis and it may well have been that his half-time talk contributed significantly. Whatever was said by Sherwood and his whole bus garage full of coaches, Tottenham turned the game round after a first half in which a missed penalty was only one of the opportunities that Crystal Palace spurned.

Sherwood even saw two of his substitutes play a key role in the goals, the second coming from Jermain Defoe in the week his move to Toronto was confirmed. It will not take place until the end of next month, which would seem just as well given the lassitude of a tired looking Roberto Soldado. Emmanuel Adabayor was better, rousing himself like so many team-mates – though not Soldado – in a much better second half, when the 19 year-old Nabil Bentaleb, given his chance recently by Sherwood, continued to impress and Aaron Lennon and Danny Rose finally threatened down the flanks.

Until then Palace had been the better side and Pulis’s face was a picture of frustration as Jason Puncheon leant back and casually hooked an early penalty way over the bar. He knew that there might not be many more chances for the division’s lowest scoring side.

 

“The results have concertinaed everyone closer together,” Pulis said. “I felt we played really well first half and I was disappointed not to come in with a lead. At times we dominated the game and we played some good football.”

Sherwood admitted that he had been forced to spell out a few harsh truths at the interval. “I’ll always take desire over ability all day long,” he said afterwards. “It’s about showing character when you’re not having it your own way. We were taken a little bit by surprise by Palace but in the second half we matched them for desire and effort and our quality shone through.”

On the opening day of season Ian Holloway had been furious about the handball decision that gave Spurs their winning penalty at Selhurst Park. Here, with both sides under new management, Palace were the beneficiaries of an equally generous decision in only the seventh minute. Mousa Dembélé was adjudged to have fouled Chamakh as they chased a pass from Damien Delaney.

Puncheon’s penalty had some talking of the worst from the spot this season and others making comparison to Chris Waddle’s in the 19990 World Cup semi-final. At least Waddle’s was struck with some venom; Puncheon could hardly have been more casual, Pulis claiming that he changed his mind about where to put it in the run-up.

Cameron Jerome hit a shot that bounced just in front of Hugo Lloris and Chamakh might have done better from a right-wing corner before Bentaleb offered some hope amid growing rumblings from the home crowd; his curled effort from 25 yards hit the inside of a post and bounced across goal.

The improvement in the second half was striking. Early on, Rose and Soldado set up a chance for Christian Eriksen, who seemed to have delayed his shot too long, then had it deflected for a corner. Five minutes into the half he was more urgent in latching onto a long ball forward by the substitute Kyle Naughton that Adebayor did well to flick on. Eriksen shot hard and fast and relief flowed round the ground.

Defoe, seeking a first League goal of the season to add to nine in other competitions, replaced Soldado and immediately drove a left-footed shot just past the far post. In the 72nd minute, he was given onside in picking up Lennon’s pass and evaded the left-back Jonathan Parr to shoot high into the net.

Palace, now subdued, made three changes but offered nothing more until added time when from a series of corners Mile Jedinak and Chamakh, twice, put headers off-target.

“I need to get a couple of players in and we have irons in the fire,” Pulis said.

Line-ups:

Tottenham (4-4-2): Lloris; Walker (Naughton,47), Dawson, Chiriches. Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Dembélé, Eriksen (Chadli,75); Adebayor, Soldado (Defoe, 56).

Crystal Palace (4-4-1-1): Speroni; Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Parr; Puncheon (Guedioura,81), Ward, Jedinak, Bolasie (Williams, 68); Chamakh; Jerome (Gayle, 68).

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Man of the match: Bentaleb (Tottenham)

Match rating: 6/10

News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'