Haran Naresh watched on from Selhurst Park as Tottenham Hotspur were soundly beaten by Crystal Palace.
Selhurst Park (credit Rockybiggs/ Wikimedia Commons)
Tottenham Hotspur’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season came to an end with a 3-0 hammering at Crystal Palace.
Wilfried Zaha’s penalty and a double from debutant Odsonne Edouard gave the home side a well-deserved victory. Tottenham had been reduced to 10 men after Japhet Tanganga had received two yellow cards.
Spurs put in an abject display where they did not create a chance of note, whilst their defence was run ragged by the Palace forward line.
Both teams got off to a sloppy start, giving the ball away regularly and struggling to get a foothold in the game.
Persistent fouling on both sides disrupted the game and meant that neither team was able to build momentum.
The home side created the first good opportunity of the game in the 34th minute when Wilfried Zaha cut inside and beat Oliver Skipp, before hitting a low shot that was deflected wide.
Ayew found Benteke in the area with a cross from deep and the striker collected the ball before over-hitting his attempted lay-off to Zaha.
In the 41st minute Ayew picked out Conor Gallagher in space just outside the area but his effort was poor, going well off-target.
A minute later Palace created the best chance of the game. Zaha shrugged off a challenge from Emerson before driving into the box and finding Gallagher. The midfielder could not get the ball out of his feet and hit a weak effort that was saved by Lloris.
Spurs were desperately holding on towards the end of the half and were fortunate to still be on level terms.
Tottenham had their first meaningful attack of the game in the 48th minute when Lucas Moura went on a slaloming run before he cut inside and had his effort saved by Vicente Guaita.
At the other end Zaha found Benteke in the area, who turned smartly and was about to shoot but Gallagher took the ball off him and hit an effort straight at Rodon.
In the 52nd minute tempers flared after Palace continued playing with Moura down injured. Tanganga halted Zaha’s run by barging him over and the winger reacted angrily. There was pushing and shoving on both sides before both players were booked.
Tanganga was sent off in the 58th minute after receiving his second yellow card. The defender inexplicably went lunging in on Ayew after giving the ball away, just minutes after receiving his first yellow.
This forced Nuno to make another change in defence, with Ben Davies coming on for Harry Winks.
Zaha beat Emerson once again before picking out Ayew in space. The forward took a touch and fired his shot straight at Alli.
With 73 minutes gone, Tyrick Mitchell drove to the by-line and sliced a cross that was headed off the line by Sergio Reguilon.
Spurs could not survive the Palace onslaught for much longer, giving away a penalty in the 74th minute. Davies extended his hand to block a cross from Gallagher and the referee pointed to the spot.
Zaha waited for Lloris to commit to one side before slotting into the net.
It was a richly-deserved goal for the home side, who had been sustaining pressure on the Spurs goal.
Palace added their second in the 83rd minute. Zaha beat Emerson once again and picked out substitute Edouard in the area. The striker took a touch and had his effort go in off Davies.
Eduoard doubled his tally in injury time. Michael Olise received a long diagonal on the right flank and squared the ball to Gallagher, who picked out Edouard who hit a shot that Lloris could only push into the net.
This game could not have gone much worse for Nuno Espirito Santo. Not only did he watch Tottenham deliver an abysmal performance, but he will now have to do without the injured Dier and the suspended Tanganga.
Nuno will need to re-group his side quickly, as they host Chelsea in their next game on 19th September.
Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo speaking in his post-match press conference: “In the first half we were in control of the game. We didn’t create too much but we didn’t allow too much. We spoke at half-time and the perspective was to improve but it didn’t happen.”
“We have enough quality and talent to play better but we didn’t do it. Credit to Palace, they were aggressive. They didn’t allow us too much time on the ball. We lost many duels. In terms of offensive [play], there is a lot of improvement required.”