Spurs punish 10-man Palace
Kane, Moura and Son all on target as Tottenham beat Crystal Palace 3-0 to move up to fifth
Sunday, 26th December 2021 — By Dan Carrier at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
TOTTENHAM 3 (Kane 32, Moura 34, Son 74)
CRYSTAL PALACE 0 (Zaha sent off 37)
TOTTENHAM made it 12 Boxing Day victories on the bounce today with a satisfyingly comprehensive 3-0 home win over Crystal Palace.
Goals from Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Heung-min Son sealed the points and now Spurs sit fifth, six points behind Arsenal but with three games in hand.
And the performances will give head coach Antonio Conte further food for thought when it comes to strengthening his squad come January – a group of players that do not look in such dire need of a comprehensive overhaul as was first expected when he took over.
Speaking after the game, Conte said: “We started the game a bit slowly – despite this, we created chances. But when we scored the first and second goals, it was more simple.
“We took confidence and I think we could score more in this game. I’m happy for our strikers, because they scored, and I’m happy for Steven Bergwijn because when he came on, he played very well, the same for Bryan Gil and Tanguy Ndombele.”
Spurs took a while to shake off the turkey stupor, giving Palace 10 minutes grace to enjoy some possession that resulted in a wild effort that flew 40 feet over the bar from Jordan Ayew and another no-threat header.
At the other end, a glimpse of what was to come saw Son flash a shot goalwards that Jack Butland did well to get to. Moura also scuffed a shot and then Oliver Skipp placed an effort wide.
On 31 minutes, the home side broke with a deadly mixture of pace and precision. Emerson Royal spotted Moura burst past the full-back on the right, and slipped his teammate away. The Brazilian’s first time pass into Kane’s path was met gleefully by the forward, who thumped the ball past Butland.
It was two on 34. Moura burst from within his own half and carried the ball across the pitch. He found Kane, who in turn fed Royal. The right-back got to the line and his chipped ball was at the right height for the on-coming Moura to leap in front of James Tomkins and give Butland no chance with a solid header.
The game was effectively over before the break after Wilfred Zaha received a second yellow for shoving over Davinson Sanchez. He had already earned a card for some nibbling tackles, and referee Jonathan Moss had an easy decision to make when Zaha elbowed his opponent and then shoved him over.
Spurs were comfortable in the second period, making the ball do the work as the extra man showed. A number of chances came and went, chances that might’ve been dealt with more urgency if the score had not been so comfortable.
With his last touch before being subbed, the lively Son made it three on 73. Skipp won the ball high up, and picked out Moura in space on the right. His ball flashed across the danger area and Son only needed a deft touch to send it past Butland.
Tottenham: Lloris, Sanchez, Royal, Dier, Tanganga, Reguilon, Hojbjerg (Ndombele, 78), Son (Gil, 74), Kane (Bergwijn, 63), Moura, Skipp
Substitutes not used: Gollini, Doherty, Winks, Rodon, Alli, Davies
Crystal Palace: Butland, Ward, Mitchell (Ferguson, 81), Tomkins, Kouyate, Ayew, Zaha, Hughes, Andersen, Edouard (Mateta, 62) Gallagher (Schlupp, 74)
Substitutes not used: Matthews, Guehi, Kelly, Reideweld