Juan-nil at Palace!
Crystal Palace 0-1 Spurs
Sat 10 November 2018, 19:25|Tottenham Hotspur
Juan Foyth was the unlikely match-winner on just his second Premier League start as we registered another important victory on the road on Saturday evening.
The 20-year-old central defender, who only came in for his top-flight debut in the 3-2 win at Wolves last week, did his own job superbly well at the back and, crucially, was there at the right time at the other end to head in the decisive goal mid-way through the second half as we registered our fifth consecutive 1-0 triumph over the Eagles and our seventh away win in eight in the Premier League.
That wasn't the full story, though, as we had goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to thank for preserving our lead in added time with a vital save from Alexander Sorloth when he probably should have scored. James Tomkins and Andros Townsend also had chances in the second half while Heung-Min Son had an opportunity to finish it off on the break in the closing moments, only for Martin Kelly to deny him with a last-ditch challenge from behind.
The teams, both of which wore Poppies on their jerseys and observed a minute's silence before kick-off on this Remembrance weekend, each went into the game with surprise absentees because of hamstring problems, Palace missing their danger man Wilfried Zaha and athletic centre-back Davinson Sanchez out for us.
Backed by a vocal home following, Palace made a confident start and it needed a big defensive effort from everyone to prevent them from taking the upper hand in the driving rain - it was Lucas Moura who got back in the 13th minute to make a vital header in our six-yard box to nick the ball off the head of Cheikhou Kouyate after James McArthur had knocked Townsend's high ball back across from the right.
We soon began to display our attacking intent with Moussa Sissoko beating four players as he cut into the box from the left side, denied by a good block from Mamadou Sakho, and Dele venturing forward from a deeper midfield role to cushion a header wide from Ben Davies' cross in a good chance for us on 28 minutes. Harry Kane stung the palms of keeper Wayne Hennessey from range while, like fellow full-back Davies, substitute Serge Aurier was sending in some useful deliveries from the right, but Lucas frustratingly found himself underneath the ball and wasn't able to get a meaningful header on goal.
Palace caused us problems with a couple of corners early in the second half, Lloris fumbling one before getting back to swipe it away and Tomkins heading wide at the back post from another.
But we always looked in command and duly took the lead from a corner of our own on 66 minutes. Erik Lamela swung the ball in, Kane met it with a thumping header which was well blocked at close range by Luka Milivojevic and Foyth reacted quickest to head in the second ball as it looped up in the air. The young man's celebrations after his first career goal said it all, with the rest of the team quick to congratulate him.
The job wasn't done, though. Lamela was played clean through the middle but couldn't get Dele's pass under his spell while Palace continued to force us into conceding corners - 10 in total throughout the match - as they tried desperately to score a long-overdue goal from open play at home. Lloris shone brightest in the latter stages, though, beating out Jeffrey Schlupp's fierce 20-yarder and then getting low to save Townsend's shot-on-the-turn from 10 yards out. His best save came in the 91st minute, though, as after Milivojevic's shot was blocked in the box and landed perfectly for Sorloth with a clear view of the goal, Lloris made himself big to deny the Palace substitute.
The superb Sissoko sent Son scurrying forward on the counter a minute later but as he shifted the ball into the middle and shaped to fire past Hennessey, Kelly slid in from behind to divert the ball just wide of the post.
There can be no doubt on the balance of play that we'd deserved to take the lead mid-way through the second half but, as the clock ticked into injury time, Palace could have levelled.
It was one of those chances that fortune played a role in providing as Milivojevic's piledriver from just outside the area was blocked in the box and the ball fell kindly for Sorloth, left of centre, with the whole goal to aim at.
Thankfully, our captain was on hand to produce the key moment, Lloris making a good stop at his near post to keep our lead intact.
Mauricio Pochettino praised the team's resilience as we defended our lead in the latter stages of a rain-drenched evening in south London.
"That is football, it’s always about suffering," he said. "Hugo was fantastic and I’m so pleased with the performance of the whole team. That is the way to be, fighting with the hope that we’re fighting for big things at the end of the season.
"The character and the personality of the team is fantastic. Today, we were playing in a difficult period because in 13 days we’ve played five games and to come here and show that personality is fantastic. That pleased me most."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Crystal Palace 0-1 Spurs
Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins (Kelly 59), Sakho, Van Aanholt, McArthur (Sorloth 70), Kouyate, Milivojevic (c), Meyer (Schlupp 67), Townsend, Ayew. Substitutes (not used): Guaita, Ward, Riedewald, Puncheon.
Spurs (4-3-1-2): Lloris (c), Trippier (Aurier 24), Alderweireld, Foyth, Davies, Dele, Wanyama, Sissoko, Lamela (Winks 83), Lucas (Son 71), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Dier, Eriksen, Llorente.
Goal: Spurs - Foyth 66.
Yellow cards: Palace - Tomkins 40; Spurs - Winks 86.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.
Venue: Selhurst Park, London.
Weather: Heavy rain, 11 degrees.