Eagles crush sorry Spurs
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Crystal Palace recorded their biggest win of the season with a 3-0 victory over Spurs.Crystal Palace did their hopes of avoiding relegation a power of good by recording their biggest league win of the season with a 3-0 victory over Tottenham.
After a tight and rather turgid first half at Selhurst Park, The Eagles burst into life midway through the second period and ended the contest as worthy, and rampant, winners.
Goals from Mikele Leigertwood, his first for the club, Danny Granville and, inevitably, Andy Johnson sealed a victory that will fill Iain Dowie's men with confidence.
Spurs did enjoy the first sight of goal on six minutes when the ball broke kindly off referee Chris Foy for Michael Carrick to play in Jermain Defoe, but the striker lifted his effort over the bar from 15 yards - and, in truth, it was to prove his best opportunity of the afternoon.
The ever-lively Johnson earned Palace a good chance on the quarter hour when his quick feet proved to much for Nourredine Naybet who brought him down on the edge of the Spurs box. Granville curled in a decent effort but Paul Robinson got down comfortably enough to make the save to his right.
On 26 minutes, superb interplay down the right between Wayne Routledge and Emmerson Boyce saw the former Luton Town full back get in behind Erik Edman and whip over an inviting cross that ran to Tom Soares at the far post, but his knock-back was cleared by the covering Edman.
Naybet then came to Spurs' rescue moments later when he reacted quickest to stop Dougie Freedman latching on to a clever Boyce header.
Referee Foy incurred the wrath of the home fans by penalising Michael Hughes for what appeared a good tackle on Robbie Keane, and made himself even more unpopular by booking the Northern Ireland international for dissent and moving the free kick forward ten yards to the edge of the Palace box.
From the resulting set piece Reto Ziegler whipped in an effort that flew narrowly over.
The best effort of the first half came three minutes before the interval, a Spurs corner from the left fell to Dean Marney on the edge of the box following a poor header from Routledge, and Marney's left-foot effort seemed destined for the corner before Gabor Kiraly flung himself full length to make an excellent block.
Palace responded and Leigertwood fired narrowly over after neatly controlling Andy Johnson's fine pass from the left.
Carrick and Defoe both saw efforts sail wide from range at the start of the second period, while Spurs sub Timothee Atouba, on for the injured Ziegler, had to be alert to clear a dangerous Routledge cross from the left.
It was from another left-flank cross that the deadlock was broken on 66 minutes, and it was Palace who made their pressure count.
Freedman collected a ball in the inside left channel and laid back for Soares who delivered an inswinging cross and Leigertwood's aggressive run was rewarded when he steered home from six yards via the underside of the crossbar.
The goals visibly buoyed the hosts and they doubled their lead with a well-cratfed goal just four minutes later.
Routledge collected five yards outside the box and dinked a delightful through-ball into the path of Danny Granville who came from deep and showed great composure to slide home past Robinson.
Palace were in dreamland on 77 minutes with a third, with top-scorer Andy Johnson finally announcing himself on the game.
The hit-man had found himself bereft of quality service for much of the afternoon, but earned himself a penalty after a jinking run from the left touchline was crudely ended by Pedro Mendes.
With England boss Sven Goran Eriksson watching from the stands, he picked himself up and slammed home his spot-kick down the middle for his 14th of the season with Robinson diving to his left.
Johnson had the chance to double his personal tally shortly afterwards after being slid in by Freedman, but could not get the power on his effort to trouble Robinson.
The England keeper had to be much more alert to palm out a Freedman effort after yet more good work from Johnson, but it mattered not as Spurs were already a well-beaten force.
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|Crystal Palace||Team Name||Tottenham Hotspur|
|7||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||4|
|2||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||6|
|9||Total Fouls Conceded||15|