Tottenham Hotspur rallied in the second half to overcome a spirited Crystal Palace side, and seal a 2-0 win on Saturday at White Hart Lane to make it four wins from their last five.
Jason Puncheon missed a first half penalty for Palace, as the visitors threatened often in the second half but Spurs’ extra class oozed through after the interval. Christian Eriksen opened the scoring after a long ball found him in plenty of space to finish powerfully. Then new Toronto FC signing Jermain Defoe jumped off the bench to make it 2-0 and seal the victory 24 hours after announcing he’ll be joining Major League Soccer.
With the win Tottenham move into fifth and just six points off the top of the league. While Palace sink to the bottom of the table and remain on 17 points.
Crystal Palace started brightly as Yannick Bolasie and Marouane Chamakh linked up well down the flanks to give Spurs plenty of problems.
In the 7th minute referee Michael Oliver pointed to the penalty spot for a foul on Chamakh by Moussa Dembele in the box, but Jason Puncheon wasted a glorious opportunity as he shanked his effort off target. A real let off for Spurs.
Despite that penalty miss Palace weren’t put off and often got the ball wide to cause Tottenham problems. Puncheon forced Tottenham ‘keeper Hugo Lloris into a save at the near post and the chances kept coming for the Eagles as Chamakh raced clear but his ball to Bolasie was over-hit.
In the 30th minute Aaron Lennon’s cross almost found Spurs forward Adebayor who attacked the ball but just missed out. Then in the 33rd minute Spurs youngster Bentaleb smashed an effort that hit the woodwork and somehow bounced across the line and out.
Despite being under pressure for most of the first half, a long ball forward after the break found Adebayor who nodded the ball down for Eriksen who took two touches and blasted an effort in the top corner to make it 1-0. Tottenham were buoyed by the opening goal as Adebayor went close on several occasions following dangerous balls whipped into the box from wide areas.
Spurs did make it 2-0 in the 72nd minute, as substitute Jermain Defoe cleaned up after the ball found him in the box and the Toronto FC bound forward finished clinically. After that goal Tottenham saw out the game superbly as they knocked the ball around and made Palace run themselves into the ground to try and get back into the game.
That never looked like happening after Spurs opened the scoring, as Tim Sherwood’s side extended their unbeaten run to five games.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker (Naughton, 48), Chiriches, Dawson, Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Dembele, Eriksen (Chadli, 76); Adebayor, Soldado (Defoe, 58)
Goals: Eriksen (51), Defoe (72)
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Parr, Bolasie (Williams, 69), Ward, Jedinak, Puncheon (Guedioura, 82), Jerome (Gayle, 69), Chamakh