Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Crystal Palace: Heung-Min Son strike keeps hosts in touch with leaders Man City
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 06/11/17 3:15pm
Heung-Min Son's second-half strike saw Tottenham Hotspur beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Wembley as Mauricio Pochettino's side stayed in touch with Man City at the top of the Premier League.
The South Korea forward scored the winner midway through the second period with a well-struck shot from the edge of the area.
However, Palace will feel aggrieved to have left the home of football pointless after spurning a number of presentable chances, while third-choice Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga was also called upon to make several impressive saves.
Tottenham: Gazzaniga (9), Aurier (6), Sanchez (8), Vertonghen (8), Rose (8), Dier (7), Winks (6), Sissoko (6), Eriksen (6), Son (7), Kane (6)
Subs: Davies (6), Dembele (6), Llorente (6)
Palace: Speroni (7), Ward (6), Dann (8), Sakho (8), Fosu-Mensah (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Cabaye (6), Milivojevic (6), Schlupp (6), Townsend (8), Zaha (8)
Subs: Sako (6)
Man of the match: Paulo Gazzaniga
Spurs - whose injury-hit side failed to hit the heights of their Champions League win over Real Madrid in midweek - remain third in the table, while Palace are still bottom, five points from safety, after an eighth league match on the road without scoring.
In a cagey and closely contested first period, it was actually the visitors who had the best opening of the half when, nine minutes before the interval, Scott Dann rose highest to meet Yohan Cabaye's right-wing corner.
However, Gazzaniga - only playing after injuries to both Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm - reacted brilliantly to keep the defender's header out as the teams went in level at the break.
It was more of the same in the second half as the Argentine first turned Andros Townsend's goalbound effort behind, before then reacting brilliantly to keep out Luka Milivojevic's close-range header.
The visitors only had themselves to blame though for not opening the scoring just before the hour-mark after another lightning break involving Townsend, who released Zaha on goal.
However, after rounding the advancing Gazzaniga, the playmaker missed the target with the goal gaping, and Roy Hodgson's men soon paid for their profligacy as Spurs took the lead.
Spurs made five changes from their midweek win over Real, with Gazzaniga, Aurier, Rose - making his first league start since January - Son and Sissoko starting, but Lloris, Alli and Alderweireld were injured.
Palace made two alterations from last weekend's 2-2 draw with West Ham as Sakho and Fosu-Mensah replaced Tomkins and the injured Van Aanholt.
The home side's 64th-minute winner was a little fortunate, coming as it did after Palace failed to clear their lines, although Son still had a lot to do to beat Julian Speroni with a delightful left-footed curler.
- After failing to win in their first three Premier League games at Wembley, Spurs have now won their last three in a row
- Indeed, Palace are only the second team to fail to score in their first six away games of a Premier League season, after Derby in 2007-08 (8)
- Son's goal was his 20th in the Premier League, making him the top-scoring Asian in the competition, surpassing Park Ji-Sung's record of 19
- Gazzaniga is the 15th goalkeeper to play for Spurs in the Premier League, but only the fourth not to concede a goal on his debut (Ian Walker, Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm)
- Four points from their opening 11 games marks Crystal Palace's joint-worst start to a top-flight campaign, though they finished in 11th the other time it happened in 2013-14
Mauricio Pochettino: "He [Harry Winks] twisted his ankle. It's a little bit painful. We must assess him with our medical staff and with the national team medical staff too. He's so excited to play for the national team. I don't know (if he can play). It's about him and both (teams of) medical staff.
"Dele Alli against Manchester United finished the game feeling his posterior tendon, close to the hamstring, and then played 90 minutes against Real Madrid. It's a very, very, very small thing. It was a massive risk (to play him) again. We're sure he'll be ready for Arsenal (after the international break). We hope he's going well in the next few weeks and will be available."
Roy Hodgson: "We need points and I'd have settled for playing much worse and having a bit of good fortune, such as a ball deflecting past a goalkeeper or the referee awarding a penalty which isn't.
"When we look at the table we're still on four points and we're getting further away from the teams that are just outside of the relegation zone, and our task gets harder with every defeat.
"It would be nice by the end of the season to have one person who is a centre forward and goal scorer. They have Kane, Son and Llorente, and all we have if we want to change something is Bakary Sako, a left winger trying his best as a centre forward."
Man of the Match - Paulo Gazzaniga
Gazzaniga got the call following knocks to Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm and Spurs were grateful to him for keeping them in the contest.
The 25-year-old, who worked under Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, before teaming up again with his compatriot last summer, produced a host of eye-catching stops to preserve his side's clean sheet.
After the international break, Spurs face Arsenal at the Emirates in the north London derby - a lunch-time kick-off you can see live on the Sky Sports Premier League channel on Saturday November 18.
Palace, meanwhile, host fellow strugglers Everton at Selhurst Park later that day.