Spurs pay for sitting back against Palace, while their keeper decided in the end he was going to have his career highlight game against the team every keeper has his career highlight game.
I didn’t like going into this game against Palace. A good run had seen Spurs go undefeated against the so called top sides, defeating City and ARSEnal – who don’t actually qualify as a top side these days – while drawing with Chelsea, then on Saturday other teams were doing Spurs a favour, City, United drawing and Chelsea losing.
Heading into a fixture against relegation fodder, yo-yo sides like Palace, Spurs never grasp the chance when it’s gifted to them in such a way. In the end they didn’t lose any ground with Liverpool only managing a draw against relegation fodder Fulham.
A disappointment but as someone on Twitter said, would we have taken losing to City and beating Palace? If so we’d have been a point worse off.
Disappointing because for all the media praise of Palace and Roy Hodgson’s senile ramblings, if it wasn’t for their keeper deciding that he was gonna have a game of games, then it would have been a comfortable win for Spurs. For all their talk of possession, Spurs had more and had more the better chances.
Hugo has got there first with a good save that had taken a deflection off Hojbjerg’s hip, but Guaita started early with a save from Ndombele. Aurier’s cross had been deflected into Ndombele’s path, he took the shot on the turn. And that point every Spurs fan was thinking “Oh, here we go, he’s doing his best Tim Krul impersonation”. He followed it up with an easier save from a Kane header at a corner.
Not long later it looked like it was gonna be a one off. Some nice one touch passing between Reguilon, Ndombele, Son and Kane saw the England striker pick the ball up about 35 yards out, one touch and then from a yard or so closer he swung his right foot. It was going the way Guaita was heading then slightly swerved back to open the scoring. Maybe he wasn’t gonna have one of those games.
From then though Spurs did their drop deep thing. You know that thing that’s never really worked against teams such as Palace. The equaliser that came just 10 minutes before full-time came as no great surprise. A curling free-kick was fumbled by Hugo who was getting all the blame but was taken by surprise, being unsighted. Knocking it down for it to be banged home.
Spurs then decided to play, where had this been for the last hour? If they’d played like this then that expected equaliser would either not arrived or it would have been a consolation not a point grabber.
And Guaita was at it again. A Davies cross bounced off the bar, with Guaita floundering, Aurier banged the ball back in for Kane to head it goalwards only for Guaita to make another excellent save. Then in the dying seconds Dier’s excellent free-kick – Harry’s were pretty useless all game – brought out another great save. Bleeding typical.
Apparently, according to Jose the sitting back and giving the ball away wasn’t his instructions. But he also sat back and watched it not working, waiting until after the hour before finally making a change. The usual Lo Celso for Ndombele. A little later he did bring on Dele, which was a surprise. Just five minutes but it was Dele’s first league outing since the United game, 8 games ago, only his third all season, 71 minutes in total. His first involvement was a good defensive tackle. Maybe he has a future.
So yes a disappointment. Would have been three points ahead going into the midweek match against Liverpool, now take those draws from winning positions against Newcastle and Wet Spam, then if Fulham had held on…