And just like that the International Break is over, and the Premier League returns for Game Week 5.
Crystal Place have travelled to N17, for the first time since they opened the Tottenham Hotspur stadium back in April for the first Premier League match back in Tottenham. Last years home fixture against Palace for Tottenham came with a 2-0 win for the Spurs – seeing Son score the first goal in the new White Hart Line, before Eriksen scored the second. This time, the fixture comes earlier in the calender, and with Tottenham only winning 1 of their first four matches (3-1 against Aston Villa, 2-2 draw against City and Arsenal away, and a 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle), will Tottenham be able to secure the 3 points?
Let’s face it, todays game was always going to be tough against Crystal Palace – a team that has had a good form on the road, recently winning at Old Trafford. Spurs on the other hand, the first four matches have been a bit all over the place. There was only going to be one way for the Tottenham boys to get out of their rut, by getting them three points. That is exactly what Spurs did.
I predicted a 3-1 win for the Spurs lads today, however, they surprised me. As of late, we are used to Spurs being slightly sloppy, especially in the first half. We have seen a lot of side passes, and the intent hasn’t necessarily been there. Today, especially the first half, Tottenham really did surprise me.
First thing first, the Spurs starting XI was probably the strongest it had been in a while, with a quality bench including Lucas, Dele, Dier, NDombele, and Davies. Aurier returned to his Right Back position, and helped with two assists.
Son loves a goal against Crystal Palace, and right from kick off you knew he was out to get a goal or two. In fact, the whole of the Spurs team pressed from the start, and you just knew a goal was going to come. Ten minutes in, and Son hits the back of the net. A second was clearly coming, and if nothing to Shut Up the Palace fans who had their moments of loudness.
Eleven minutes later, and Spurs doubled their lead. Now, of course there was still moments of ‘Spurs please stop, what are you doing, please just get rid of the ball’. Of course that came from one of Hugo Lloris balls, but all is forgiven considering the clean sheet was kept. Originally the second goal was netted by Aurier, however, it later went down as an own goal from van Aanholt. Two minutes later and there was excitement again, as Son netted his second after an excellent Aurier cross.
Twenty three minutes and Spurs are 3 – nil up, well that was a shock. The Tottenham that we know and love from a a few seasons ago seemed to be back. There was press, there was intent, and the goals were coming.
42 Minutes – Lamela, the Argentine hit the back of the net and at 4 – nil before half time, some would think Spurs were Manchester City out there. Lamela’s goal came after a link up with Harry Kane.
The second half didn’t have quite the excitement, but a clean sheet was kept. You knew at points that Son wanted his hattrick, and Kane wanted to get on the score sheet, but the game was done, and the three points secured. Of course there were moments when Crystal Palace went on the attack, and did have a few chances to score – however, Zaha just likes to fall over and complain. The ref was also a bit card happy, especially towards the Spurs lads.
Palace did have some good chances, however, nothing came of any of it, with Lloris producing some quite simple saves. With the Belgium duo of Jan and Toby in central defence for Tottenham, everything seemed quite calm at the back.
For the first time in a while, this Tottenham Team seemed at home, and settled after the speculation over the transfer window. Everything seemed much more positive today.
In terms of players, Aurier was on it today. I thought he controlled bing right back, and clearly has strength compared to KWP, although he can still make some odd passes. Aurier, did however create two goals. Danny Rose also looked good as well.
In the second half Harry Kane played much deeper and was creating some good passes, and was getting more involved in the match. As for Son, it is Son and he just loves scoring against Crystal Palace. Lamela always concerns me, but also always seems to surprise me. Yes, I also get slightly anxious when he starts, but Erik does score, and will get into positions that Lucas or Dele perhaps wouldn’t. Toby and Jan also both had good games. Harry Winks and Sissoko matched up well, and helped to control the midfield and the play of the match. It was also nice to see Davies get some match time as well, after coming as a substitute for Danny Rose.
Let’s hope to see this Tottenham every week, now let’s look forward for the Champions League to start.
Tottenham Hotspur 4 – 0 Crystal Palace