Premier League
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur1Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace0

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Crystal Palace

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Son Heung-min
Son became the Premier League's leading scorer from Asia with 20 goals

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga performed "fantastically well" on his debut as Spurs laboured to victory against the Premier League's bottom club Crystal Palace.

The north London side looked weary after their Champions League victory over Real Madrid in midweek, but Son Heung-min's superb curled shot from the edge of the area on the hour mark secured three points.

Roy Hodgson's side remain at the foot of the table but they were disciplined and sufficiently industrious going forward to create several chances at Wembley.

Deputising for the injured Hugo Lloris and ill Michel Vorm, Gazzaniga thwarted Palace with a sequence of fine saves - and on the occasion he was beaten, Wilfried Zaha screwed his shot wide of an open goal after rounding the 25-year-old.

Pochettino said: "I am so happy for the different players who came in, people like Paulo, who played fantastically well.

"He is an unbelievable option to have as a keeper and I am really happy for him and his family that he performed like that.

"It was a tough game for us after Wednesday. Palace were compact, narrow and played on the counter-attack. We had possession, but not many chances.

"They were fresh after one week to prepare for the game. We had a few problems after the Madrid game and that is why I am so happy with the victory. I am very pleased with an important three points."

Argentine Gazzaniga palmed away Scott Dann's header with a full-stretch save and also made fine stops to keep out Andros Townsend's low strike and Luka Milivojevic's point-blank header.

A debut to remember

Paulo Gazzaniga
Gazzaniga joined Tottenham from Southampton in the summer after spending last season on loan at Rayo Vallecano

Tottenham were beaten by Manchester United in their previous league game, but have since won twice.

They had Gazzaniga to thank for the win over Palace as he excelled on his debut - Spurs were without both Lloris and Vorm for the first time since November 2013.

His last top-flight appearance in England came two years ago for Southampton - against Spurs, when he kept a clean sheet with a man-of-the-match performance.

"I knew last night that Michel Vorm was not too well so I started preparing then," said Gazzaniga. "I was nervous for about three seconds and then the players gave me lots of support.

"I will take it step by step in trying to become number one for Spurs."

He did, though, show some understandable rust, his first act in a Spurs shirt seeing him clumsily collide with Palace defender Mamadou Sakho, though referee Kevin Friend saw no reason to award a penalty.

When Gazzaniga sprinted off his line and was rounded by winger Zaha, he again escaped punishment as the Ivory Coast forward failed to find the open net with his angled shot.

Mixed reports on England men

Spurs midfielder Dele Alli was ruled out before kick-off with the minor hamstring injury that caused him to withdraw from the England squad for friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

National boss Gareth Southgate has a further concern in the middle of the park after Alli's club-mate Harry Winks was replaced at half-time by Mousa Dembele having had treatment on a turned ankle.

Striker Harry Kane, who went into the game with 17 goals in 17 games for club and country this season, also required attention following a heavy challenge by Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Kane shot straight at Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni from a good position and along with full-back Danny Rose, making his first league start since January, headed off target from a promising position.

Another England man, Eric Dier, was one of Tottenham's better players though, making four perfect sliding tackles in the first half, attempting the most passes for his side (82) and making nine clearances.

Problems for Palace continue

Roy Hodgson
Hodgson's previous match at Wembley was a 1-0 friendly win over Portugal when he was manager of England and was preparing the squad for Euro 2016

Palace were organised, worked hard and kept Spurs out for an hour - but they have still only won once in the league all season and are four points adrift of safety.

As well as a porous defence that has conceded 22 goals in 11 games this season - the league's second-worst record - they are without a focal point in attack in the absence of Christian Benteke and have found the net just four times.

Former England manager Hodgson's return to the national stadium brought defeat, but he was encouraged by a lot of what his side produced against one of the country's leading sides.

Hodgson said: "Spurs' goal was a painful blow. We knew they would dominate possession with the quality they have but we worked hard to restrict them and they didn't have many shots to worry us.

"We had quite a few moments of our own at the other end so it was a bitter blow to lose 1-0.

"We caused them a good deal of problems: Zaha's chance and others we could have scored. When you don't take your chances, you run the risk of them scoring at the other end and that's what happened.

"I am pleased with how we went about our business. I can't ask much more of what the players are giving. They are not lacking belief but when you are playing Tottenham away, you need a bit of luck and we did not get it."

What next?

After the international break, Spurs face north London rivals Arsenal away on Saturday, 18 November (kick-off 12:30 GMT), while Palace host fellow strugglers Everton on the same day (kick-off 15:00 GMT).

Son surpasses Park - the stats

  • After failing to win in their first three Premier League games at Wembley, Spurs have now won their past three in a row.
  • Palace have failed to score in eight consecutive Premier League away games - only West Ham have had a longer away goalless run in the competition (nine in January 2007).
  • Palace are only the second team to fail to score in their first six away games of a Premier League season, following Derby's eight in 2007-08.
  • Son Heung-min's goal was his 20th in the Premier League, making him the highest goalscorer from Asia in the competition, surpassing ex-Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung on 19.
  • Paulo Gazzaniga is the 15th goalkeeper to play for Spurs in the Premier League and the fourth not to concede a goal on his debut after Ian Walker, Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm.
  • Four points from their opening 11 games marks Crystal Palace's joint-worst start to a top-flight campaign - although they finished 11th the other time it happened in 2013-14.



Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 22Gazzaniga
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 15Dier
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 24Aurier
  • 17Sissoko
  • 29WinksSubstituted forDembéléat 45'minutes
  • 23Eriksen
  • 3RoseSubstituted forDaviesat 90+2'minutes
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 10KaneSubstituted forLlorenteat 77'minutes


  • 2Trippier
  • 14Nkoudou
  • 18Llorente
  • 19Dembélé
  • 21Foyth
  • 33Davies
  • 41Whiteman

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Speroni
  • 24Fosu-Mensah
  • 6Dann
  • 12Sakho
  • 2WardSubstituted forSakoat 76'minutes
  • 8Loftus-Cheek
  • 7Cabaye
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 15SchluppBooked at 56mins
  • 10TownsendBooked at 45mins
  • 11Zaha


  • 5Tomkins
  • 13Hennessey
  • 18McArthur
  • 23Souaré
  • 26Sako
  • 42Puncheon
  • 44Riedewald
Kevin Friend

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamCrystal Palace
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Crystal Palace 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Crystal Palace 0.

  3. Post update

    Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Ben Davies replaces Danny Rose.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Crystal Palace. Scott Dann tries a through ball, but Bakary Sako is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Davinson Sánchez (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a cross following a corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Jeffrey Schlupp.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Mamadou Sakho.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Moussa Sissoko tries a through ball, but Son Heung-Min is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jan Vertonghen.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Crystal Palace. Mamadou Sakho tries a through ball, but Bakary Sako is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Yohan Cabaye with a cross following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Fernando Llorente replaces Harry Kane.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Bakary Sako replaces Joel Ward.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Serge Aurier.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Moussa Sissoko.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.


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