Spurs seemingly standard routine struggle against a little team was lit up by Dele Alli’s outstanding goal but ultimately was changed by a Pochettino substitution that wasn’t a head scratcher.
Spurs versus Crystal Palace, away, let me just dig out the last few posts, well hell if Spurs are just going to repeat themselves.
Yup, another little team, another flat back ten, another wash, rinse, repeat performance from Spurs. Seen it all before, have all the ball, take plenty of aimless shots from outside the box, squander good chances, gift up an easy goal against.
Just add in a bit of goalkeeping heroics and it’s the full house, well with some officiating howlers.
Then Alan Pardew thinks they were unlucky and if it wasn’t for Hugo making one save they would have won a game they contributed very little to.
Gifted a goal, it was just the 19th goal that Spurs have conceded so far in the league this season, it was the third time they’ve done the scoring for the opposition. One of the very few times the hosts had the ball in the first half and Danny Rose goes chasing it. As he madly rushes inside like an over excited puppy he leaves Zaha all on his lonesome, so when the ball goes out wide the winger has all the time in the world to put a cross in, in off Vertonghen.
Rose was turned inside out every time Zaha had the ball, he couldn’t even make up for it going forward as his point-blank shot was saved by Hennessey. Last few weeks and that ‘keeper is throwing that into his own net, against Spurs he goes and saves it with relative ease.
The rest of Spurs play was generally, again, playing into that flat back tens hands. All coming inside with very little width. The lad Trippier has got a pretty decent cross in him but he wasn’t getting the chance.
Like the game against Sunderland, which was going the same way, things changed with a substitution, this time though by Pochettino and not the opposing manager. And unlike previous substitutions the boss has made this wasn’t a head scratcher.
Needing to score against a team out to defend the one goal lead, was a defensive midfielder required? Well not really, so off came Dier for the more attacking option of Chadli, with Dembele and Alli in the middle now.
Wasn’t long before it kind off made a difference. It was a cross, from wider than most the stuff that had gone on before that Chadli put onto the head of the leap and hanging Kane, to nod in his 13th league goal of the season – 12 coming in the last 14 games.
The officiating howler followed shortly after as Palace’s Wickham put his elbow into Vertonghen at a corner. The hit caused Jan to go over in the process injuring his knee by the looks of things. It didn’t look good. It’s a level of ineptness that it wasn’t seen, the F.A. have now stepped in and charged the player. Who knows, him staying on could have helped things, they really would have clammed up with 10 men.
As it was they were actually putting in some effort at this time and yes Hugo had to make a save. Wow! They also hit the woodwork twice in a penalty box stramash that involved a couple of blocks by Spurs players as well. That few seconds apparently enough to deserve the three points according to Pardew, whose smug smirk it was a joy to see wiped off his face.
Of course all this was just the appetiser to the main course. The moment we’d all come to see. The moment we’ve all seen numerous times since, it was shown about a dozen times on MootD, even the presence of Dim Sherwood on that programme couldn’t take away from Dele Alli’s goal. Yes that goal.
Booming cross over from Kane over to Eriksen, the Dane cushions his header to Alli, one touch on the instep, second touch he hooks it over himself and the Palace player, third touch he bangs it in the net.
WHAT. A. GAOL.
Greaves, Hoddle, Gazza, Ginola, Berbatov, Bale… Dele Alli, a 19 year old kid, who was playing third division football just a few months ago.
Twitter went a little bit mental. Yes, I’ll overlook his odd mistake, maybe some of his daft stuff, the collision with Cabaye, dirty grass pointing out who done it. Because you know you’ll get moments like this. Well when he’s not nutmegging someone. Leicester’s Mahrez get’s plaudits for one nutmeg, well if Alli goes a game without one you’re disappointed. Pardew forgot that a little later Alli also hit the woodwork.
Luckily Chadli finished things off in a bit of style, did he do a Bale or a Ginola, running in from the left and powering the third? Certainly wasn’t a Townsend as it didn’t go yards over the bar.
No Alan you weren’t unlucky, you were second best and you were out managed. Just that injury for Vertonghen that put a black mark on things. Though I feel Wimmer will be an ideal replacement, with Toby alongside him you shouldn’t have any worries. Would rather than than move Dier back and bring in another midfielder, especially if that player was Bentaleb, who wasted a good chance with his ineptness.
…off to watch that goal again…