Crystal Palace 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur: Dele Alli leads Spurs fightback
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 23/01/16 8:36pm
Dele Alli scored a sublime individual goal as Tottenham fought back from a goal down to win 3-1 at Crystal Palace.
With the game seemingly set for a draw, the England international controlled a header from Christian Eriksen, flicked the ball over the head of Mile Jedinak and then struck a sweet volley into the bottom corner from outside the box after 84 minutes.
Nacer Chadli then made sure of the points in injury-time with another brilliant finish to cement Spurs' place in the top four of the Premier League.
Earlier, Harry Kane had equalised for the visitors in the 63rd minute after Jan Vertonghen had diverted Wilfried Zaha's cross into his own net in the first half.
With Manchester United losing at home to Southampton, the win enhances Spurs' Champions League prospects, while Palace, who have not won since December 19, slip into the bottom half of the table.
Palace boss Alan Pardew stuck with keeper Wayne Hennessey after two mistakes in his last two matches, while Spurs' only change from their win over Sunderland saw Heung-Min Son replace Erik Lamela.
The visitors dominated possession in the first half, dictating the pace of the game and creating the majority of the chances.
Son shot wide from distance before Toby Alderweireld missed the target with a header from a corner.
The hosts had not scored in eight hours of league action but they were given a helping hand after half an hour as Spurs failed to clear their lines and Zaha's cross was turned into his own net by Vertonghen.
The goal did not change the pattern of the game as Spurs continued to search for a way through a packed Palace defence.
Kane almost turned in a shot across goal from Alderweireld and Danny Rose volleyed at Hennessey from close range.
Spurs continued to dominate after the break but continued to come up short in their hunt for an equaliser as Eriksen fired just past the top corner with a swerving shot and then Kane headed straight at Hennessey.
They eventually broke Palace's resistance just after the hour when Kane rose above Damien Delaney to head home Chadli's cross.
But only Hugo Lloris prevented the hosts retaking the lead, pulling off a fantastic stop to keep out Zaha's deflected effort and then saving again from Pape Souare.
Palace went even closer in the 81st minute as Scott Dann headed against the bar from Jason Puncheon's free-kick and then Jedinak fired the rebound against the bar.
The misses proved costly as Alli put Spurs ahead for the first time a few minutes later with a brilliant individual effort.
The midfielder almost doubled his tally as he chipped Hennessey but hit the bar, before Chadli rounded off the win with a fine goal in the fifth minute of stoppage-time, curling home from around 25 yards.
Phil Thompson's Soccer Saturday verdict
"There's lots to like about Tottenham. It was fabulous because they've dominated most of the match. Everybody except for Wickham got behind the ball for Palace. They all worked hard, very narrow. Spurs had to be patient, what Pochettino would be delighted about was how they controlled the match, they didn't play long-ball and it was an exceptional performance.
"They're going through a bit of a difficult phase but they are exciting at times, but it's just not happening for them at the moment."
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Ward (6), Dann (6), Delaney (5), Souare (5), Ledley (5), Cabaye (5), Zaha (7), McArthur (5), Puncheon (6), Wickham (6).
Subs used: Jedinak (5), Mutch (5).
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Trippier (6), Alderweireld (6), Vertonghen (5), Rose (6), Dier (5), Dembele (6), Eriksen (6), Son (6), Alli (8), Kane (7).
Subs used: Wimmer (6), Bentaleb (6), Chadli (7).
Man of the match: Dele Alli.