Crystal Palace v Tottenham – story of the match

Harry Kane responded to a host of missed chances by heading the goal that secured Tottenham a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace two minutes from time.

The England striker — against Roy Hodgson, the manager who had given him his international debut — had missed three earlier opportunities but retained his composure to secure all three points.

It was cruel on Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey who had saved well from Kane, Serge Aurier and Ben Davies as Spurs strengthened their pursuit of a top-four finish.

Tweet of the match

Star man – Harry Kane

The Tottenham striker had not enjoyed the best of games until the closing stages when he popped up with a vital header – the 150th goal of his club career – to earn Spurs the points. He had seen a shot saved well by Hennessey in the first half, but blazed an effort over the stand at the start of the second. The England forward missed a sitter shortly afterwards after good work from Christian Eriksen and dragged another shot wide. But he never lets it affect him, and Kane was the match-winner once again.

Talking points

Crystal Palace v Tottenham – story of the match PLZ Soccer
Harry Kane also had Spurs’ best chance of the first half (Steven Paston/PA)

Should Tottenham have had two first-half penalties? The first incident arrived when Eriksen’s free-kick picked out Davies who had already attempted to find a team-mate when an onrushing Hennessey clattered into him. The second came when Kane collected a through pass from Dele Alli and was brought down by Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Kevin Friend had pointed to the spot but quickly changed his mind when he realised his assistant referee had flagged for offside against the Spurs striker.

Foul play by Aurier

Crystal Palace v Tottenham – story of the match PLZ Soccer
Serge Aurier missed a sitter for Spurs (Steven Paston/PA)

Aurier was penalised for taking a foul throw three times! Tottenham’s French defender committed the rarely-seen offence twice in the first half – drawing ironic cheers from the home support when he finally did manage to legally get the ball back into play – and once after the break. Aurier was also guilty of spurning a great chance late on, somehow standing on the ball at the back post with the goal gaping. That could have proved costly had Kane not intervened.

Ratings

Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey 7, Aaron Wan-Bissaka 6, Timothy Fosu-Mensah 6, James Tomkins 7, Patrick van Aanholt 7, Luka Milivojevic 6, Jairo Riedewald 6, James McArthur 7, Andros Townsend 7, Alexander Sorloth 7, Christian Benteke 6. Subs: Damien Delaney (on for Tomkins, 85) N/A, Chung-Yong Lee (on for Townsend, 87) N/A.

Tottenham: Hugo Lloris 6, Serge Aurier 6, Davinson Sanchez 6, Eric Dier 6, Ben Davies 7, Victor Wanyama 7, Mousa Dembele 7, Erik Lamela 7, Christian Eriksen 7, Dele Alli 7, Harry Kane 8. Subs: Lucas Moura (on for Lamela, 66) 6, Heung-Min Son (on for Dembele, 80) 6.

Who’s up next?

Crystal Palace v Manchester United (Premier League, March 5)

Tottenham v Rochdale (FA Cup, February 28)

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