Tottenham vs Crystal Palace match report: Dele Alli proves the difference as Victor Wanyama goal seals victory

Tottenham 1 Crystal Palace 0: Summer signing seals victory with second-half strike

Ian Winrow
White Hart Lane
Saturday 20 August 2016 17:03
Comments
Victor Wanyama leaps high to head in the only goal of the game as Spurs beat Palace 1-0
Victor Wanyama leaps high to head in the only goal of the game as Spurs beat Palace 1-0

A victory that appeared destined to elude Tottenham Hotspur finally came after the introduction of Dele Alli inspired the late rally that ultimately delivered Victor Wanyama’s first goal for his new club. This was a hard-fought win, but one that kick-started Spurs’ campaign and helped draw a line under the disappointing end to last season’s Premier League title challenge.

Wanyama, signed from Southampton this summer, headed home following a corner eight minutes from time, finally breaking the resistance of a Crystal Palace side who looked in desperate need of the services of Christian Benteke, who completed his £27m move from Liverpool just hours before kick-off.

Yet while the decisive contribution came from a new arrival, Pochettino’s side owed as much to the performances of Alli and Harry Kane who were both forced to accommodate the inclusion of Vincent Janssen for his first start since completing an £18.8m move from AZ Alkmaar. The Dutchman led the attack with Kane dropping deeper and Alli dropping to the bench.

As promising as Janssen’s display was, it was the appearance of Alli in place of Christian Eriksen midway through the second half that added dynamism to Tottenham’s play with the England midfielder immediately creating a good opportunity that Janssen fluffed badly before directing an effort of his own over the bar then winning the corner from which Spurs finally broke Palace’s resistance.

Tottenham players swarm Victor Wanyama after he scored what proved to be the match-winner

“I think it’s very important to recover this feeling because the end of the season was hard and was tough,” said Pochettino. “But today was good to forget last season now, to look forward. This is a different season, I am very happy with this squad. The second half we played well and created chances but the good thing was that the team fought until the end. They always believed they could win the game and deserved the victory.”

The potential of Kane and Janssen’s emerging partnership added to Pochettino’s sense of satisfaction. “Since I arrived here I have wanted Harry Kane to play with another striker,” said the manager. “And I think it was a good combination and it’s an important option to play for the future. It’s good to have these options. Dele was ill during the week and didn’t train on Tuesday and Wednesday. But this is normal, and this was a good opportunity to see the two strikers.”

Victor Wanyama celebrates with his Tottenham teammates after scoring the winner against Crystal Palace

A combination of Spurs’ wasteful finishing and Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey kept the score level before the home side took advantage of an injury that forced centre-back Damien Delaney off the pitch to score. Kane directed Erik Lamela’s dead-ball goalwards and Wanyama was allowed to move unhindered across the six-yard line and divert past Hennessey.

“It was a sickener really,” said Alan Pardew. “A corner where we were really being stretched, because they were good at corners today. And to lose Damo, it was unfortunate for James Tomkins, he had to go on cold and he got blocked in I think. I’ve seen it again and maybe him and Pape Souare should do better in that situation. It’s galling for us because the players have given everything.

“When you come to places like Tottenham you have to score when you have a good spell. And that’s the issue this team have. The signing of Christian of course is to try and address that and maybe one more in.”

Teams

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Vorm; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Eriksen (Alli 67), Dier, Wanyama, Lamela (Carroll 90); Kane (Onomah 89), Janssen.

Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Hennessey; Ward, Dan, Delaney (Tomkins 81), Souare; Ledley (Cabaye 46); Zaha, Puncheon, Lee (Mutch 81), Townsend; Wickham.

Referee: M Oliver (Northumberland)

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in