History made as we crown new stadium with victory over Palace
Spurs 2-0 Crystal Palace
Wed 03 April 2019, 21:43|Tottenham Hotspur
A new era at Tottenham Hotspur began in perfect fashion on Wednesday evening as goals from Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen made it a winning start in the first official game at the new stadium.
With an emotional opening ceremony taking place before kick-off to celebrate the inaugural match, the players ensured it was an occasion to remember with a fairly comfortable victory, made all the more important as it came off the back of five Premier League games without a win and pushed us back up to third in the table.
It was our South Korean forward who wrote his name into the history books as he scored the first official goal in our wonderful new arena in front of the stunning South Stand, breaking the deadlock 10 minutes after half-time before a deserved victory was secured when Eriksen swept home in the 80th minute.
Both sides had sights of goal within the opening few minutes, Dele heading at Vicente Guaita before Jeffrey Schlupp blazed over when perhaps he should have done better. It was mostly one-way traffic during the first period and all heading towards the Palace goal as we went close again on 17 minutes when Kieran Trippier’s pass into the area was met by Eriksen and although he scuffed his shot, it still needed a scrambled save from Guaita with Son waiting to pounce. Eriksen then failed to get on the end of a neat Dele pass, Harry Kane glanced a header which was easy for the Palace keeper and, on 37 minutes, Eriksen played in Son down the right of the area and his fizzing drive was just about kept out by Guaita.
A rare attack from the Eagles ended with Patrick van Aanholt dragging wide, while one of our clearest openings came right at the end of the period. Excellent work saw Moussa Sissoko win possession inside our half, Son slid a pass in to Danny Rose who was surging down the left into the area but for some reason he chose to pass to Kane instead of shoot and the ball was intercepted for a corner.
So it was all square at the break and it was the visitors with the opening chance of the second half when Michy Batshuayi curled just wide of Hugo Lloris’ far post from 25 yards. But 10 minutes after the restart the first goal at the new stadium duly arrived. After a scrappy spell of play, Eriksen won the ball back midway inside the Palace half and pinged a pass out to Son on the right. The striker attacked the defence with menace, cut inside a couple of challenges and, with the help of a slight deflection off Luka Milivojevic, fired past Guaita.
It should have been 2-0 in the 66th minute when Martin Kelly’s ball out from defence was blocked by Son and put Kane immediately in on goal, but the usually prolific frontman fired over the bar.
There was a poignant moment for Harry Winks shortly after, when he made his return after a month out injured, replacing Rose to make his 100th Spurs appearance and meanwhile, the game continued to follow the same pattern, with us pressing and Palace looking to hit us on the counter.
Son tested Guaita again with a rasping angled drive before we broke through again to double our lead with 10 minutes remaining. Son released Kane down the left flank, he twisted and turned James McArthur inside out and although he looked to have been fouled in the area, the ball ran to Eriksen who drove home from eight yards past Guaita and van Aanholt on the line.
Palace had a late flourish, van Aanholt’s cross-shot bringing a smart save out of Lloris before substitute Christian Benteke headed wide from six yards out and Wilfried Zaha forced our goalkeeper into another excellent stop. But we had the final chance of the game, Eriksen picking out substitute Lucas Moura with a fine cross-field pass, the Brazilian showing excellent control before rifling a shot which Guaita save well.
Son's goal gave us the breakthrough and allowed us to push on to win the game.
His strike took a deflection on its way into the net, but it was thoroughly deserved after a lively performance from the whole team.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino said: "It was an amazing performance, congratulations to everyone. I’m so proud, so happy and I want to say thank you to Daniel (Levy) for creating this amazing project - he can feel so proud and it was an amazing day with a lot of emotion. We can only say thank you to have the possibility the share this moment in the history of this amazing club. It's going to be remembered for all my life, one of the best days in our lives."
On Son's opening goal, Mauricio added: "It was amazing to feel the net again. The stadium exploded, it was a very happy moment and we’re so happy and proud to be here."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Spurs 2-0 Crystal Palace
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Sissoko, Dele (Lucas 82), Eriksen, Son (Wanyama 90+1), Rose (Winks 69), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Sanchez.
Palace (4-3-3): Guaita, Wan Bissaka, Tomkins, Kelly, Van Aanholt, Kouyate (Townsend 80), Milivojevic (c), McArthur, Zaha, Batshuayi (Benteke 81), Schlupp. Substitutes (not used): Ward, Dann, Meyer, Hennessey, Ayew.
Goals: Spurs – Son 55, Eriksen 80.
Yellow card: Spurs - Dele.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Partly cloudy, gentle breeze, six degrees.