Premier League
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur2Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace0

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crystal Palace

By Timothy AbrahamBBC Sport
Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe began his long goodbye at White Hart Lane with a goal as he helped Spurs to victory over Crystal Palace.

The 31-year-old, who will join MLS side Toronto for £6m in February, produced a typical poacher's finish after replacing the subdued Roberto Soldado.

Christian Eriksen had earlier put Tottenham ahead just after half-time.

Palace had chances to score, and were left to rue Jason Puncheon's shocking first-half penalty miss.

The result continued Tottenham's resurgence under Tim Sherwood since he replaced Andre Villas-Boas as head coach.

Spurs are yet to lose under Sherwood in the Premier League and have now collected 13 points from his five games in charge.

Sherwood sorry to lose Defoe

They struggled in the first half, though, as a tight and organised Palace defence, credited to boss Tony Pulis's arrival, kept the hosts at bay and created plenty of chances at the other end.

Palace's positive early endeavour, reflected in Pulis's bold decision to start with two strikers, saw them awarded an early penalty when Marouane Chamakh was bundled over by Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele.

But Pulis had his head in his hands when Puncheon skied the spot-kick high into the crowd.

The miss did not dampen Palace's enthusiasm with Spurs' Hugo Lloris much the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half.

Cameron Jerome, on loan from Pulis's former club Stoke, tested the reflexes of the France international with a powerful strike from distance which Lloris had to gather at the second attempt.

Spurs flickered into life on the half-hour mark when Aaron Lennon sent a teasing cross into the six-yard box but Emmanuel Adebayor was unable to get his head on the end of it.

The chance gave the hosts greater belief and midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, on his full Premier League debut, struck the inside of the post with a fine curling effort from 25 yards which rebounded back across goal.

Tottenham carried the momentum into the second half and took the lead when Adebayor flicked on Kyle Naughton's high ball from deep into the path of Eriksen who, with a clear sight of goal, struck a powerful shot past Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

It was the Denmark international's fourth goal for Tottenham in all competitions since his £11.5m move from Ajax.

Sherwood introduced Defoe, fifth on the list of Spurs' all-time record goalscorers, for the largely ineffective Soldado with a just over a third of the contest remaining.

And Defoe's poacher's instinct almost helped Tottenham increase their advantage as he angled a shot across goal which went just past the post.

Almost inevitably, he doubled Tottenham's lead when he got on the end of a clever through-ball from Lennon and danced into the box before slipping the ball under Speroni.

Palace attempted to rally and Lloris was relieved when Adlene Guedioura's shot went just wide while ex-Arsenal striker Chamakh went close with a couple of headers late on, but Tottenham's defence stood firm.

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood:

Palace must score more - Pulis

"We have a group of lads who are very talented but unless you marry that with desire, you won't get the results. If you don't show desire, your ability counts for nothing.

"Second half we picked that up. We were much better, so I have to give them credit for the character they showed. We took it to the opposition after the break.

"I'll be sorry to lose Jermain, and Toronto are getting a fine goalscorer. I don't think there are many better goalscorers than him out there."

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis:

"We played so well in the first half, the game should have been over at half-time. The penalty miss was poor and the breaks aren't going for us at the moment.

"I spoke to Jason Puncheon at half-time about the penalty. It's the reaction afterwards that I looked for and he did well with his performance after that.

"I think the lads have to take credit for the way they kept going. We have to take our opportunities, though. Against the top teams, when you are in front, you have to take those opportunities."

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Formation 4-4-2

  • 25Lloris
  • 2WalkerSubstituted forNaughtonat 48'minutesBooked at 80mins
  • 3Rose
  • 42Bentaleb
  • 20Dawson
  • 6Chiriches
  • 7Lennon
  • 19Dembélé
  • 9SoldadoSubstituted forDefoeat 58'minutes
  • 10Adebayor
  • 23EriksenSubstituted forChadliat 76'minutes


  • 14Holtby
  • 15Capoue
  • 16Naughton
  • 18Defoe
  • 21Chadli
  • 24Friedel
  • 35Fryers

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Speroni
  • 3MariappaBooked at 70mins
  • 4Parr
  • 2Ward
  • 19Gabbidon
  • 27Delaney
  • 13PuncheonSubstituted forGuédiouraat 82'minutes
  • 15JedinakBooked at 77mins
  • 29Chamakh
  • 30JeromeSubstituted forGayleat 69'minutes
  • 7BolasieSubstituted forWilliamsat 69'minutes


  • 12O'Keefe
  • 16Gayle
  • 20Williams
  • 21Moxey
  • 31Guédioura
  • 34Price
  • 46Bannan
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamCrystal Palace
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Crystal Palace 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Crystal Palace 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Adlène Guédioura with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) header from very close range is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Joel Ward with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Kyle Naughton.

  7. Post update

    Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jonathan Williams.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Joel Ward with a cross following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Vlad Chiriches.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adlène Guédioura with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

  14. Post update

    Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Kyle Naughton.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur).

  17. Post update

    Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Adlène Guédioura replaces Jason Puncheon.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Dwight Gayle.

  20. Booking

    Kyle Naughton (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

As It Stood

3Man City20142457233444
7Man Utd21114635241137
11Aston Villa206591925-623
14West Brom214982328-521
17West Ham2146112130-918
20Crystal Palace2152141331-1817
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