Bale and Kane combine to ground Eagles - match report and debrief
Spurs 4-1 Crystal Palace
Sun 07 March 2021, 21:15|Tottenham Hotspur
Two goals apiece from Harry Kane and Gareth Bale gave us our fourth straight win as we enjoyed a commanding 4-1 victory against Crystal Palace at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday evening.
Bale put us in front before the visitors equalised through Christian Benteke on the stroke of half-time, but we quickly opened up a 3-1 lead early in the second period through Bale and Kane, with the England striker securing the points with his second 15 minutes from time. As well as his double, Kane also assisted both of Bale’s goals.
We were on the front foot right from the start and deservedly went ahead in the 25th minute. Lucas Moura did superbly well to win the ball from Luka Milivojevic 30 yards from the Palace goal and find Kane down the left who rolled the ball across the six-yard box for Bale to tap home at the far post.
It was a commanding first-half display although the Eagles had a spell of pressure late in the half and we looked to have seen out the danger only for the visitors to score with 10 seconds of the period remaining when Benteke powered a header past Hugo Lloris. It was their first attempt on target and only the second touch in our box during the first period.
But we made a great start to the second half with two goals inside the opening seven minutes. Bale put us back in front on 49 minutes, beating Cheikhou Kouyate in the air to head past Guaita for his sixth goal in six games. And it got even better three minutes later with a fabulous Kane goal, hitting Matt Doherty’s pass with a first-time right-foot curler from 25 yards to the right of the area which dipped over the Palace goalkeeper and into the top corner.
The visitors almost reduced the deficit in the 69th minute when Wilfried Zaha struck the post with a low 20-yard drive but we wrapped up the points six minutes later when Heung-Min Son squared for Kane to nod into an empty net. It was a significant goal as it marked the 14th time the two players have combined for a Premier League goal this campaign, a new record for a single season in the competition.
Great response sees us home
Despite a particularly dominant first-half performance, a touch of frustration could have slipped into our play in the second period after conceding so close to half-time. But we refused to let that setback define the match and instead we got back on track quickly after the interval to give us the platform to go on and win the game.
A great start to the contest almost saw another early goal after Bale clipped a cross into the edge of the six-yard box which Son headed straight at Guaita. We were well on top, Lloris was barely involved in the match and Bale’s opening goal was no more than we deserved, with a nod to Lucas for his excellent pressing high up the pitch which created the goal.
It was a real blow when Benteke headed home Palace’s equaliser as we had been so dominant, but we didn’t wallow in that disappointment and hit the visitors with a quick-fire double at the start of the second half. Bale started the move for our second by switching play out to Sergio Reguilon on the left flank and he delivered a cross for Kane to head back across goal with Bale heading past Guaita. Kane’s strike shortly after was truly magnificent and we were back in control of the match.
Had Zaha’s effort found the back of the net rather than strike the post then it might have made for a nervy ending but instead, we added the fifth goal of the game. Substitute Erik Lamela found Son with a lovely clipped pass to the back post and the South Korean forward laid the ball on a plate for Kane, his 16th league goal of the season. Not only was that our fourth win in a row in all competitions – and the third time in those games that we’ve hit four goals – but it also saw us climb to sixth in the Premier League table and to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea.
Deadly duo strike again
While Bale and Kane will steal the headlines with their goals, it was another duo who wrote their names into the record books. Son was selfless in the 75th minute when he centred for Kane to score our fourth and as mentioned, that was the 14th time the two players have combined for a goal in the league this season – a new competition record.
Kane's second goal of the evening was our 100th goal in all competitions this season, making us the second club in Europe's big five leagues to reach that tally in 2020/21, after Bayern Munich (106).
Sunday evening’s victory saw us continue our good form against Palace as we are now unbeaten in our last 12 Premier League meetings with the Eagles (W10 D2), our longest ongoing run against any side currently in the division. Unusually, this was the first home win in the Premier League over this weekend of fixtures, with two matches still to come. In fact, we were only the third home team to even score in this round of matches after Burnley and Brighton, who only netted once apiece.
In team news, Jose made three changes from Thursday's win at Fulham, Reguilon, Harry Winks and Lucas coming in for Ben Davies, Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'Exactly what we needed'
Jose pointed to Benteke's equaliser as a key moment in the game, telling Spurs TV: "I think it was the best thing that could happen to us, to concede that goal, because if we go (in at half-time) at 1-0, the players would probably come with a feeling of we have the game under control and the second goal will arrive, then sometimes you can concede a goal in the second half and it’s too late.
"So probably it was good, because in the second half the players came with everything. The second and the third goals were fantastic goals and immediately, confidence is high, again in control and a very good victory. That’s nine points out of nine and exactly what we needed after a negative run."
Spurs 4-1 Crystal Palace
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Doherty, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Winks (Sissoko 70), Bale (Lamela 70), Lucas, Son, Kane (Vinicius 80). Substitutes (not used): Hart, Dier, Davies, Dele, Ndombele, Bergwijn.
Palace (4-4-2): Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, van Aanholt, Townsend (Schlupp 65), Riedewald, Milivojevic (c), Eze (Zaha 46), Ayew, Benteke (Mateta 74). Substitutes (not used): Butland, Dann, Wickham, Batshuayi, Kelly, Hannam.
Goals: Spurs – Bale 25, 49, Kane 52, 75; Palace – Benteke 45+1.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Doherty, Vinicius; Palace – Ayew, Cahill, Riedewald.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Partly cloudy, light winds, five degrees.