Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham: Harry Kane heads dramatic late winner
By Stephen Mills
Last Updated: 25/02/18 7:47pm
Harry Kane headed an 88th-minute winner to earn Tottenham a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday lunchtime.
The England striker notched his 35th goal of the season - and the 150th of his club career - to deny Palace a precious point in their fight against relegation after they had defended resolutely for long spells.
The late winner spared the blushes of Serge Aurier who had missed an open goal three minutes earlier and saw Spurs climb back into the top four above Chelsea on goal difference, ahead of the Blues' trip to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
Palace, who play Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in three of their next four fixtures, remain 17th, only above Swansea on goal difference.
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (8), Wan Bissaka (6), Fosu-Mensah (6), Tomkins (7), Van Aanholt (7), Milivojevic (6), Riedewald (5), McArthur (7), Townsend (6), Benteke (6), Sorloth (6).
Subs: Delaney (n/a), Lee (n/a)
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Aurier (6), Sanchez (6), Dier (7), Davies (8), Wanyama (6), Dembele (6), Eriksen (7), Alli (6), Lamela (5), Kane (7)
Subs: Moura (6), Son (6)
Man of the match: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace)
During a tight first half, Tottenham were unfortunate to twice be denied penalties. Referee Kevin Friend was unmoved when Wayne Hennessey appeared to trip Ben Davies in the eighth minute - and the goalkeeper made a vital save moments later when he blocked Kane from close range.
Friend did momentarily point to the spot in the 29th minute when Timothy Fosu-Mensah tripped Kane in the area, but the referee quickly changed his mind when his assistant raised his flag for offside.
Jan Vertonghen missed the game for Tottenham after picking up a knock in training, while Toby Alderweireld was ruled out with a hamstring complaint. Crystal Palace were without a raft of first-team players including Yohan Cabaye, Julian Speroni, Joel Ward, Martin Kelly, Scott Dann, Mamadou Sakho, Jeffrey Schlupp, Jason Puncheon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako.
Kane uncharacteristically volleyed a simple chance across the goal and wide from inside the six-yard box on 53 minutes and Hennessey dived to his right to push away a firm Aurier shot as Spurs dominated the second half.
Hennessey made another fine save 19 minutes from the end as he kept out Davies' low shot at full stretch and he had to be alert again eight minutes from time when Benteke diverted Kane's shot goalwards.
Aurier somehow missed a golden opportunity five minutes from time when Davies' left-wing cross found him at the far post with an open goal to aim at but he haplessly stood on the ball when it appeared he would tap in the winner.
However, Palace's resistance was dramatically broken with two minutes left in normal time as Eriksen floated a corner to the far post and Hennessey could not get a firm hand on Kane's header.
- Spurs are now unbeaten in their last 15 games in all competitions (W9 D6).
- That's their longest run since going 16 without defeat between December 1998 and March 1999.
- Harry Kane scored the 150th goal of his club career in all competitions, with 134 of those coming as a Spurs player.
- Kane has netted 23 goals in 34 Premier League London derbies - equalling Didier Drogba's total in the competition (23 in 64).
- Crystal Palace are winless in their last five Premier League games (D2 L3); their worst run since Roy Hodgson took charge.
- Palace haven't won any of their eight Premier League games when Wilfried Zaha didn't feature this season (P8 W0 D0 L8).
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham): "They tried to make it difficult for our game but, of course, the conditions weren't great to move the ball quick, but we created chances. We dominated the whole game and it would have been a shame if we did not score at the end because we deserved to secure the victory."
Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace): "It's a cruel blow, but we know what a cruel game football is, so we have to pick ourselves up and try and go again. At the moment we don't have the fire-power and the players that we would need to go toe-to-toe with these teams."
Man of the Match - Wayne Hennessey
Spurs dominated this match, but Palace will feel they were worthy of a point for their resolute defending and for the outstanding display of their goalkeeper. He rushed out to deny Kane in the opening 10 minutes and was alert to keep out an Aurier drive and a Kane effort which deflected wickedly off Benteke. His best save was at full stretch from Davies in the 71st minute and Kane's late winner was particularly cruel after an excellent performance.
Crystal Palace's next Premier League game is in eight days' time when they host Manchester United on Monday Night Football. Tottenham host Rochdale in an FA Cup replay at Wembley on Wednesday evening, before resuming their top-four push with a home game against Huddersfield on Saturday afternoon.