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

Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Sport
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea players celebrate Demba Ba's goal and Gus Poyet
sportLive coverage of today's final game between Chelsea and Sunderland
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit