Tottenham finally managed to break down a Crystal Palace side with a deserved goal in the 83rd minute of the first game of the last season at the ‘old’ White Hart Lane. It was newcomer Victor Wanyama who powerfully headed in to make the net bulge via an assist from Harry Kane from Erik Lamela’s corner, much to the relief of the home supporters.
The match did not reach great heights as a spectacle, with Spurs in the ascendancy for most of the 90 minutes. Vincent Janssen, Tottenham’s other debutant, looked lively and really should have scored from the chances that he had. First game nerves, perhaps. Spurs fans will be hoping that he breaks his duck soon to banish the ghosts of the Roberto Soldado era.
What really changed the game was the subsitution of Christian Eriksen, who was not enjoying the best of games for the Lilywhites, for the mercurial Dele Alli on 68 minutes. The England rookie’s impact was felt almost immediately, Alli showing great vision and accuracy with a one touch pass that was perfect for Janssen who went on-on-one with Eagles’ goalkeeper Hennessey. Janssen managed to chip the keeper, who came off his line to meet him, but the ball went wide. His influence on the match seemed to turn the tide for Spurs.
Andros Townsend was lively for Palace, and showed great pace and industry throughout the game. However, despite this, he was not able to create enough for the away to team to fashion many chances. He was also subjected to an audacious nutmeg by Erik Lamela right at the end of the match.
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew can have few complaints about the result, and will hope that the signing of Christian Benteke will give the team a reliable target man. They hardly looked like scoring in this game, despite fashioning a few decent chances – with the home team creating (and wasting) several good chances throughout.
Next up for the Eagles, it’s a home EFL Cup Second Round match on Tuesday night and then another home game against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday. Both teams (19th & 20th in the table) will be looking to pick up their first points of the season.
Spurs are also at home, hosting the hot and cold Liverpool FC, on Saturday 27th in the early Premier League kick-off.