Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham: Christian Eriksen's stunner keeps title race alive
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 27/04/17 8:06am
Christian Eriksen’s late stunner for Tottenham kept their title hopes alive in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
After Chelsea's victory over Southampton stretched their lead at the top to seven points, this was a boom or bust scenario for Spurs, who left it late to cut the gap back to four with five games to go.
Eriksen produced the boom with a rare bit of quality in a scrappy game, firing home a wondrous 30-yard strike straight into the bottom corner with 12 minutes left, which made it eight league wins in a row for Mauricio Pochettino's men.
Palace had won six of their last eight Premier League games but despite looking resolute in defence, offered little going forward and lost Mamadou Sakho to a serious looking knee injury.
The title race now rolls onto Super Sunday, where Chelsea visit Everton before Tottenham host Arsenal in a mouth-watering north London derby, with both games are live on Sky Sports.
Kyle Walker, who came into the Spurs team along with Ben Davies, saw plenty of the ball in the early stages but failed to find Harry Kane in the middle with some sloppy crossing.
It rather summed up Spurs' performance in the opening half as Palace looked strong and organised without the ball.
Chances were at a premium, which frustrated the visitors, who were perhaps lucky not to be reduced to 10-men on 34 minutes when Victor Wanyama - already on a booking - slid in and got nowhere near the ball as Andros Townsend nicked the ball past him. The contact was minimal but referee Jon Moss had a long chat with the Spurs midfielder, letting him know that he was walking a fine line.
Wanyama and Mousa Dembele were replaced at the break as Pochettino tried to inject some tempo in their attacking play - but they continued to struggle to find gaps in Palace's back-line.
The turning point in the game was perhaps when Sakho left the field on a stretcher after severely twisting his knee when trying to foul Kane.
The loss of the on-loan Liverpool man seemed to make Tottenham believe a winning goal was possible and Dele Alli squandered a presentable chance on 58 minutes when planting a volley from close range just wide of the far post.
It was one-way traffic towards the Palace goal, but a clinical final ball from Spurs was missing with Kane, who headed straight at Wayne Hennessey, and Walker both going close.
Quality was in short supply and Chelsea must have been thinking a six-point gap was theirs - until Tottenham's great Dane produced a moment of magic on 78 minutes.
Picking the ball up about 25 yards from goal, he drew back his right foot and struck an exquisite effort low and hard, which swerved and wobbled into the bottom corner.
It was the only wobble on the night for Spurs, who have now kept 16 clean sheets this season - more than any other side, and they saw the game out comfortably.
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Ward (7), Sakho (7), Kelly (7), Schlupp (6), Milivojevic (6), McArthur (7), Puncheon (6), Zaha (7), Townsend (6), Benteke (5).
Subs: Campbell (6), Cabaye (6), Delaney (5)
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Walker (5), Dier (7), Alderweireld (6), Vertonghen (8), Davies (7), Wanyama (6), Dembele (6), Eriksen (9), Alli (6), Kane (7)
Subs: Sissoko (6), Trippier (6), Son (6)
Man of the match: Christian Eriksen