Spurs 0-0 Palace
Report from the Lane
Sat 06 December 2014, 17:14|Tottenham Hotspur
It ended all square at the Lane on Saturday afternoon as neither side could find a breakthrough in what was a frenetic if ultimately frustrating London derby against Crystal Palace.
Both sides created plenty of chances and goalmouth action was plentiful at either end, but Hugo Lloris was in outstanding form to deny the visitors, while we failed to make the best of the opportunities that came our way.
There were two changes from the side which lost at Chelsea in midweek, with Eric Dier and Roberto Soldado coming in for Vlad Chiriches and Aaron Lennon, while it was a landmark game for Jan Vertonghen, the Belgian international making his 100th appearance in our colours.
We carved open the first chance of note in the seventh minute, when Christian Eriksen produced a delightful nutmeg to skip past Martin Kelly near the byline, but he hit the side-netting with his shot.
Palace then enjoyed a good period and created a number of opportunities, with Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha causing us problems down the flanks.
On 12 minutes, a corner was headed away by Ben Davies at the far post and James McArthur volleyed well wide from 20 yards, before Mile Jedinak’s free-kick from a similar distance hit the wall and came straight back to him, but Lloris was equal to his second attempt, saving low down to his right.
Bolasie’s corner was flicked just wide by Ryan Mason, attempting to clear the danger, and the Eagles’ winger then pulled out a clever trick to get past Eriksen on the byline, cutting the ball back for Joe Ledley who fired over from 12 yards.
We started to get a grip on the game shortly after, Kane’s effort drifting wide before Erik Lamela picked up possession on the right on 25 minutes, drifted inside and laid the ball wide to Davies on the other flank, but his low cross was fired over by Soldado.
Lloris was called upon to make a magnificent diving save to keep out Scott Dann’s goalbound header from a corner, while at the other end it was our turn to test the goalkeeper, Speroni saving Eriksen’s curling 25-yard free-kick. Seconds later, Eriksen got to the byline and clipped over a cross which Soldado headed over.
The chances continued to come for both teams, Soldado drilling an effort straight at Speroni from Dier’s nod down, while Zaha had the last opportunity of the half, beating Mason and Dier on the left and curling a right-foot shot just past the far post.
We made a change at the break, with Nacer Chadli replacing Lamela, and enjoyed some good possession in the early stages of the second half without creating any clear-cut chances, even though the game opened up and both sides took turns attacking.
It wasn’t until the 64th minute that either side had a meaningful attempt on goal, Soldado latching on to Eriksen’s neat flick but drilling wide.
A quick attack on 69 minutes saw neat inter-play between Paulinho – on as a substitute for Mason – Eriksen, Chadli and Kane, ending with the latter curling well wide, while Bolasie at the other end never troubled Lloris with a fizzing right-foot drive moments later.
With 12 minutes remaining, it was the visitors who so nearly snatched the lead when a corner fell kindly to substitute Jason Puncheon on the left corner of the six yard box and he smashed a shot against the crossbar before Vertonghen cleared the danger. Seconds later a ball over the top was drilled into the bottom corner by Puncheon, but the flag was up and the goal disallowed.
And it needed another superb save from Lloris to keep out Bolasie’s close-range shot after fine work down the flank from Puncheon, before Ledley skipped clear into the area but fired over with only Lloris to beat.
Suddenly it was our turn to go on the offensive, the introduction of Aaron Lennon for Soldado giving us a spark late on, and Chadli broke away down the left, cutting back for Paulinho whose shot on the turn was cleared away.
Bolasie’s shot was well blocked and Lloris saved low down from Puncheon as the visitors mounted some late pressure, but the deadlock wasn’t to be broken and both sides had to settle for the point.
Mauricio Pochettino said
“I’m disappointed and frustrated but at the end I think the result is fair,” said Mauricio.
“We created some chances but it was difficult. Crystal Palace are a physical team and we’re not fresh, we had a lack of creativity up front and it wasn’t easy for us.
“I’m disappointed with the result because here, we always want to get the three points. This was a good chance for us to get three points but it was difficult.
“We’ve played four games in nine games, had one day less (to prepare) after Chelsea. This is the schedule and we have to accept it but it’s reality.”
Spurs: Lloris, Dier, Vertonghen, Fazio, Davies, Mason, Bentaleb, Mason (Paulinho 66), Lamela (Chadli 46), Kane, Eriksen, Soldado (Lennon 83). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Rose, Kaboul, Stambouli.
Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Dann, Hangeland, Ward, Bolasie, Jedinak, Ledley, McArthur, Zaha (Puncheon 66), Chamakh. Substitutes (not used): Hennessey, Delaney, Bannan, Thomas, Gayle, Campbell.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Eriksen.
Referee: Lee Mason.