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Boxing Day points secured against 10-man Palace - report and reaction

Spurs 3-0 Crystal Palace

Sun 26 December 2021, 16:55|Tottenham Hotspur

There was Boxing Day delight once again at Spurs as we enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over Crystal Palace thanks to goals from Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son.

It’s a day we certainly relish playing on, as we made it 15 consecutive Boxing Day games without defeat with this result at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – winning 12 of them – the longest run of any team in the top four divisions of English football.

Our entertaining first-half display got the goals it deserved just after the half-hour mark, with two in quick succession as Kane fired us ahead from a Lucas cross before the Brazilian showed great determination and athleticism to climb above Joachim Andersen and power home a header two minutes later.

Palace’s task was then made all the more difficult in the 37th minute when Wilfried Zaha picked up his second yellow card – both for fouls committed on Davinson Sanchez – and was sent off.

With the man advantage, we were able to take control of the game after the interval and, apart from a brief spell of pressure from the visitors, we were comfortable throughout the half, adding to the scoreline when Son converted via another Lucas assist with 16 minutes remaining.

Game on and job done!

There had been some doubt as to whether the game was even going to take place as Crystal Palace were hit with a COVID-19 outbreak – but it went ahead and we got on with the job in hand of extending our unbeaten run in the Premier League to six games since Antonio Conte’s appointment.

Palace manager Patrick Vieira was absent from their dugout having contracted the virus but his replacement, assistant manager Osian Roberts, saw his side fashion a chance inside the opening minute when Jordan Ayew fired over the bar from 15 yards. In truth, that was pretty much as close as they came to scoring all match as we prevented them from having a shot on target and our defence enabled birthday boy Hugo Lloris to have a fairly quiet afternoon.

Our first chance came on three minutes as Lucas squared to Son 25 yards out, he took a couple of touches to line up a shot and sent in a left-foot curler which Butland dived to his right to push away for a corner. We were looking really dangerous in possession and almost went ahead on 25 minutes following a quick counter, Sergio Reguilon delivering a cross from the right but Lucas’ glancing near-post headed drifted just wide.

The first goal duly arrived on 32 minutes when Emerson Royal sent Lucas scampering away down the right, he had the speed to reach the ball before Andersen and sent over a low cross which Kane side-footed past Butland. And two minutes later it was 2-0 after another devastating attack, Lucas leading the charge through midfield and finding Kane who moved it wide to Royal, he stood up a cross into the box and Lucas climbed above Andersen to power a header home.

It then got worse for the visitors when Zaha was sent off. Already on a yellow for an earlier foul on Sanchez, he tussled with the Colombian again down in our right-back slot and then shoved him to the ground after losing the ball, leaving referee Jonathan Moss no option but to show a second yellow. That led to a fairly uneventful second half as we kept possession for long periods against the 10-men of Palace and even when the visitors did have a brief period of pressure in the final third, we did enough defensively to make sure they didn’t get any clear sight of goal.

At the other end, there was a throwback to the old Darren Anderton and Teddy Sheringham corner routine, this time involving Son and Kane with the latter’s effort just clearing the crossbar, before we rounded off the scoring on 74 minutes. We’d had a chance when the excellent Oliver Skipp played a pass to the back post, Reguilon knocked a ball across goal but Son missed it from six yards out, however we kept the ball and attacked again down the right, Lucas enjoying time and space to pick out Son who this time touched home past Butland.

Late chances saw Lucas fire over from Skipp’s pass before Sanchez tried to get in on the act in the final minute, controlling Reguilon’s cross but he couldn’t control the shot and fired wide in what was the last action of the contest.

Kane’s Boxing clever!

With his 10th goal of the season in all competitions, Kane continued his run of scoring in every top-flight Boxing Day game in which he has played. He’s now scored in all six fixtures he’s played in on 26 December and now has nine Premier League goals on this day, level with Robbie Fowler.

As previously mentioned, we are now unbeaten in 15 league games on Boxing Day (W12 D3) since a 2-0 loss at Portsmouth in 2003/04. It’s the longest ongoing unbeaten run on this day by any side within the top four tiers of English football.

Team news saw Antonio Conte make three changes from the midweek win over West Ham in the Carabao Cup as Royal, Japhet Tanganga and Son came in for Matt Doherty, Ben Davies and Steven Bergwijn.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'When we scored the first and second goals, it was more simple'

Head Coach Antonio said afterwards: "We started the game a bit slowly - despite this, we created chances, but when we scored the first and second goals, it was more simple. We took confidence and I think we could score more in this game. I’m happy for our strikers, because they scored and I’m happy for Steven Bergwijn because when he came in, he played very well, the same for Bryan Gil and Tanguy (Ndombele)."

Highlights on Spurs TV

Spurs 3-0 Crystal Palace

Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Sanchez, Dier, Tanganga, Royal, Skipp, Hojbjerg (Ndombele 79), Reguilon, Lucas, Son (Bryan 76), Kane (Bergwijn 64). Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Doherty, Rodon, Davies, Winks, Dele.

Palace (4-3-3): Butland, Ward (c), Tomkins, Andersen, Mitchell (Fergsuon 82), Gallagher (Schlupp 76), Kouyate, Hughes, Ayew, Edouard (Mateta 63), Zaha. Substitutes (not used): Matthews, Guehi, Kelly, Riedewald.

Match data

Goals: Spurs – Kane 32, Lucas 34, Son 74.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Sanchez; Palace – Zaha, Tomkins.

Red card: Palace - Zaha.

Referee: Jonathan Moss.

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Light rain showers, light winds, nine degrees.

Attendance: 40,539.