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It was a resolute performance in which Mauricio Pochettino‘s side refused to grow discouraged despite a man-of-the-match performance by Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. In truth, it could have been 2-0 or 3-0 at halftime if not for the Welsh no. 1.
Instead, Tottenham, stuck to the plan, kept themselves a clean sheet and found the goal they needed for the the victory, their first of the 2016-17 Premier League season. After the game, Pochettino was full of praise for his players, most notably Wanyama and Vincent Janssen, both of whom made their White Hart Lane debuts on Saturday — quotes from the BBC:
“It’s important to win the three points in the first game at home. I think we fully deserved it, I am happy with the performance, we played very well.
“I was always confident, full credit to the team because they fight to the end. We created a lot of chances in the first half and sometimes it is hard to keep going in the second, you can feel the frustration, but their energy was fantastic.
“I am happy for Victor Wanyama, it’s important to score and feel the love of the supporters, and I am happy with Vincent Janssen, he was fantastic and created a lot of chances. I am happy with the way he works and fights, the supporters see he is a fighter.”
As for Dele Alli, who started the game on the bench with Janssen taking his place in the starting lineup, Pochettino revealed that the 20-year-old English midfielder dealt with a nasty illness for much of the week. Upon entering Saturday’s game, Alli used his first touch of the game to set up a one-on-one chance for Janssen, who skewed his shot wide.
“Dele Alli had some problems, he was ill for three days this week and not 100%. We have a lot of games with the Champions League this season and we have to manage them to be in a better condition for the season.”