Spoils shared at Selhurst Park - match report and debrief
Crystal Palace 1-1 Spurs
Sun 13 December 2020, 16:20|Tottenham Hotspur
It ended honours even at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon as we stretched our Premier League unbeaten run to 11 games in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
Harry Kane had fired us ahead with a long-range effort in the first half and we held firm until the 81st minute when Jeffrey Schlupp poked home from close range. We almost snatched a late win but were denied twice by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, who kept out Kane’s header and then produced a truly world-class save in the 92nd minute to tip over Eric Dier’s free-kick.
Both goalkeepers had earlier made good saves in the first half as well, Hugo Lloris getting a strong hand low down to his right before Guaita twice kept us out, denying first Tanguy Ndombele and then Kane as we started to step up the pressure.
And that pressure told in the 23rd minute, Heung-Min Son helping the ball on to Kane some 30 yards from goal and although there didn’t seem much on, the England man took aim and his effort swerved and deceived Guaita, who could only palm the ball into the net.
Eberechi Eze hit the post shortly before half-time as Palace sought an equaliser and they pushed us back in the second half, enjoying much more possession and sending in a string of corners and free-kicks. We dealt with the majority of them, but when Lloris was unable to hold onto Eze’s teasing centre with nine minutes remaining, Schlupp pounced to prod the ball home and deny us the win – and a fifth consecutive clean sheet.
The point was enough to send us back to the top of the table, but Liverpool can go above us when they play later on Sunday.
Guaita display denies us win
While there was frustration at not picking up the win having held out for so long, it was the performance of Palace keeper Guaita that ultimately denied us all three points. He was arguably at fault for our goal, being deceived by Kane’s shot which did swerve but perhaps not really enough to beat the Spanish stopper, but he more than made amends with some excellent saves.
Even before we took the lead, he had twice kept us out. Five minutes before our opener, Serge Aurier’s cross flicked off Patrick van Aanholt and fell kindly to Ndombele who swept towards goal but Guaita stuck out a strong hand to keep the ball out. Moments later Sergio Reguilon cut onto his right foot and fizzed just over the bar, the ball taking a deflection for a corner, from which Kane won a header but Guaita denied us again. We were pushed back after the interval and Palace went close a number of times, Schlupp blazing high and wide and Christian Benteke heading over having found a yard of space from a corner, before they grabbed an equaliser through Schlupp.
But we went on the attack in the closing minutes to try to find the winner and it was only the heroics of Guaita that prevented us from taking all three points. With four minutes left, substitute Ben Davies’ cross hit the crossbar, the rebound fell to Aurier who drilled goalwards, Kane getting a good connection on the edge of the six-yard box but Guaita somehow got a strong hand to keep it out.
And he saved his best until last, flinging himself across his goal to tip away Dier’s free-kick which looked for all the world as if it was heading for the top corner.
Son and Kane combine again
It might not have been the most creative assist of his career, but Son’s pass to Kane before he slammed the ball home for our opening goal still counts!
It means Kane and Son have now combined for 12 goals this season, with the Premier League record just 13 set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton in 1994/95. In total, our strike duo have combined for 32 goals in the competition, four short of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard’s record.
Meanwhile, Kane’s goal was his fifth against Palace with all of them coming at Selhurst Park.
Jose Mourinho made one change to the team that started against Arsenal last weekend, Ndombele coming in for Giovani Lo Celso.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'The players wanted to do their best all the time'
Speaking after the 1-1 draw, Jose told us: “At half-time, I could predict what would happen in the second half. I asked the players, ‘don’t accept the low block, don’t accept their dominance’ because in the end it would be a corner, a rebound, a second ball, and we had to not accept that situation. I want to believe that we didn’t do better because of Palace, because they pressed, and they didn’t let us have the ball the way we had it in the first half. I want to give them credit, because I believe the players wanted to do their best all the time, and they showed that in the last 10 minutes. It’s just a pity they didn’t score before they did, because that would have given us more time to change the result.”
Crystal Palace 1-1 Spurs
Palace (4-4-2): Guaita, Clyne, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Schlupp, Milivojevic (c) (Riedewald 74), McArthur, Eze (Townsend 89), Zaha, Benteke. Substitutes (not used): Butland, Ward, Tomkins, Batshuayi, Ayew.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon (Davies 85), Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Ndombele (Lo Celso 67), Bergwijn (Dele 85), Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Doherty, Rodon, Lucas.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 23; Palace – Schlupp 81.
Yellow cards: Palace – Milivojevic; Spurs - Sissoko.
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Venue: Selhurst Park.
Weather: Light rain, moderate breeze, 10 degrees.