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Tottenham 1-0 Crystal Palace - Four Talking Points

Sunday 5th November 2017
Crystal Palace is still without an away goal in the Premier League this season but showed signs of promise against Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday lunchtime. The Eagles impressed against a team who had beaten the European Champions during the week and arguably had the better chances.

Despite a below-par performance, Spurs closed the gap on the two Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League thanks to a goal from Son Heung-min. Here are the main talking points from Roy's return to Wembley.

Tottenham lack creativity without Dele Alli

The man who grabbed a brace against Real Madrid on Wednesday night was missing from the Tottenham squad for this game because of a hamstring injury and it was confirmed that he would miss England's upcoming internationals against Germany and Brazil. Son replaced Alli in the starting XI and despite his goal, failed to link up with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen nearly as well as Alli has done over the past couple of seasons. In fact, Spurs had just 12 attempts which is just two more than against Real Madrid.

Crystal Palace offer an attacking threat

Before the game, people were expecting a dominant Spurs performance with very little threatening their goal but it was Palace who had the bigger chances in front of goal. Scott Dann's header in the first half was well saved by Paulo Gazzaniga in the Tottenham goal before the Argentine keeper produced two more outstanding saves to deny Andros Townsend and Luka Milivojevic after the break. Gazzaniga got down well, diving to his left, to push Townsend's low drive out of danger after a menacing counter-attack from the away side. Another counter led to Palace's best opportunity of the game with Townsend playing Wilfried Zaha in but the Ivorian couldn't find the net after rounding Gazzaniga. Zaha could only guide his effort wide of the far post with the goal gaping.

Roy Hodgson has hope

To put it briefly, if Crystal Palace can keep on playing like that then they will soon start climbing the table and ending up out of danger.
Hodgson seems to have them organised defensively and as a result, they're much harder to beat. Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann have formed a solid partnership in the centre of defence with the former putting in a very impressive display in this particular game. They're beginning to look like the side managed by Sam Allardyce last season and that can only be a good thing for Palace fans who will be expecting a much better end to the season after Frank De Boer's nightmare start. The former England manager will also be encouraged by the number of chances his side created against the team with the best Premier League defence. Chances that, on another day and with a recognised striker in the team, would've been converted. Christian Benteke is in contention to return from his knee injury after the international break and the Eagles will surely delve into the transfer market during the January window.

One moment of carelessness costs Palace

Yohan Cabaye's failure to clear the ball resulted in the only goal of the game and the Frenchman will be kicking himself at his poor clearance. A cross fell to him in his own penalty area but Cabaye could only get it as far as Heung-Min Son who was waiting on the D for a chance to shoot. He took that chance with aplomb and found the back of the net with a superb curling effort that sailed past Julian Speroni in the Palace goal. Before that, the Palace defence, Sakho and Dann in particular, had dealt with anything that came their way and kept Harry Kane under wraps. Obviously, the Eagles will rue their missed chances in front of goal but Cabaye won't look back on this one too fondly from a defensive point of view.
Billy Munday

I'm a young, aspiring sports journalist and also a Chelsea fan, living the dream in London. You can find more examples of my work on Chelsea blogs such as the Chelsea Chronicle.

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