Winning streak ends on frustrating afternoon at Palace
Crystal Palace 3-0 Spurs
Sat 11 September 2021, 14:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Our unbeaten start to the Premier League season came to end at Selhurst Park on an afternoon when everything went wrong for us against Crystal Palace.
Already missing a number of players including the likes of Heung-Min Son, Davinson Sanchez and Steven Bergwijn, we then lost Eric Dier to injury early in the game and Japhet Tanganga to a red card, just before the hour mark. We held out at 0-0 in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off until 14 minutes from time when Wilfried Zaha scored from the penalty spot. Substitute Odsonne Edouard then netted twice in the final six minutes to seal our fate.
Emerson Royal made his debut at right-back but we were dealt a blow early on when Dier picked up a knock in a challenge with Jordan Ayew and had to be replaced by Joe Rodon for his first appearance of the season. In terms of actual football, the first period was fairly uneventful, the only chance coming for the hosts four minutes before the interval when Conor Gallagher had a close-range shot blocked by Sergio Reguilon and then Hugo Lloris deflected the rebound wide.
Our first shot of the game came on 48 minutes, the lively Lucas Moura firing straight at Vicente Guaita and shortly after, Gallagher had another effort blocked by a combination of Reguilon and Rodon.
Tanganga was booked on 53 minutes following a foul on Zaha which led to a scuffle involving both players, and just five minutes later, the defender slid in to tackle Ayew but didn’t get the ball and referee Jon Moss pulled out a second yellow card, followed by the red.
The balance of the contest shifted Palace’s way and we needed a superb block from Dele to prevent Ayew’s volley causing Lloris any problems. But when Gallagher’s cross hit the arm of substitute Ben Davies with 15 minutes remaining, a penalty was awarded and Zaha sent Lloris the wrong way to give the home side the lead.
The second goal arrived with six minutes left, Zaha finding Edouard in the area and his low shot found its way past Lloris and into the far corner, just seconds after he had come off the Palace bench. And in the third minute of stoppage time, Edouard added a second to cap a miserable afternoon in south London.
A day to forget
Three straight wins and clean sheets in the league had seen us go into this London derby top of the table against a Palace side yet to win this season, but fate wasn’t on our side this time. Nuno Espirito Santo picked up the Manager of the Month award for August on Friday but was forced into a number of changes to the side which beat Watford 1-0 last time out. Son and Bergwijn returned from international duty with injuries while Sanchez was unavailable as he continues with his isolation in Croatia after playing in World Cup qualifiers for Colombia.
It meant Tanganga playing at centre-half alongside Dier with Royal coming in for his Spurs debut at right-back. But Dier’s early injury meant another reshuffle as Rodon entered the fray - not that we were in any real danger during the majority of the first half as defensively, we were quite solid.
The first real effort from either side came on 34 minutes as Zaha’s shot deflected wide and, from the corner, Lloris punched clear to the Palace winger, whose following shot was blocked by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for another corner, which came to nothing. Gallagher’s close-range chances brought the half to a close and it was one in which we struggled to get going as an attacking force, so Lucas’ 20-yard drive at Guaita in the opening minutes of the second period could have signalled a change in the game.
But it soon all started to go wrong. Lucas went down in a challenge and appeared to be hurt but, as we appealed for the ball to be put out so he could receive treatment, Palace played on. Zaha counter-attacked and went to go past Tanganga, who crudely brought him down and the two players fronted up to each other as a scuffle broke out. Both players were booked and then Tanganga picked up a second yellow just minutes later for a foul on Ayew and was given his marching orders.
Davies came on in place of Harry Winks to slot in at the back and, in the 74th minute, it was his arm that stopped Gallagher’s cross in the area and Jon Moss pointed to the spot. Zaha sent Lloris the wrong way to score the first goal against us in the league this season and two late goals from Palace’s new signing Edouard wrapped up the win for the Eagles and ensured a day to forget for us.
Meanwhile, as well as the changes to the starting line-up, Tobi Omole and Dilan Markanday - shortlisted for Premier League 2 Player of the Month for August - were on the bench for us in the Premier League for the first time.
Reaction on Spurs TV
‘We didn’t perform as we showed before’
Speaking to Spurs TV after the game, Nuno said: "Tough day, tough day, we didn’t play a good game. We knew it was going to be tough, but we didn’t perform like we showed before, and, honestly, I believe we should do much better in all aspects of the game.
“There were too many obstacles during the game, always trying to find solutions, so it was a tough day for the boys, and after having one man less, it becomes much harder, trying to look for a goal with one man less, the imbalance comes. We have to analyse, and we have a lot of work to do.”
Highlights on Spurs TV
Crystal Palace 3-0 Spurs (Premier League)
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Gallagher, Kouyate (Milivojevic 67), McArthur (c), Zaha, Benteke (Edouard 83), Ayew (Olise 87). Substitutes (not used): Butland, Tomkins, Hughes, Clyne, Kelly, Riedewald.
Spurs (4-3-2-1): Lloris (c), Royal, Tanganga, Dier (Rodon 12), Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Winks (Davies 60), Lucas, Dele, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Doherty, Omole, Ndombele, Gil, Markanday, Scarlett.
Goals: Crystal Palace – Zaha 76 (pen), Edouard 84, 90+3.
Yellow cards: Crystal Palace – Zaha, Gallagher; Spurs – Tanganga, Lucas.
Red card: Spurs - Tanganga.
Referee: Jon Moss.
Venue: Selhurst Park.
Weather: Light cloud, gentle breeze, 22 degrees.