Tottenham’s poor home form made a worrying return as they stumbled to a 0-0 draw against relegation-threatened Crystal Palace.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side looked to have turned a corner when they overcame Everton last weekend, yet that was followed by a heavy defeat to rivals Chelsea and things did not get much better against the Eagles.
Only wayward finishing and saves from the ever-impressive Hugo Lloris thwarted Palace in their bid to win at White Hart Lane for the first time since 1997.
This was the fifth time in eight Premier League matches that Spurs have failed to win on home turf and the locals let their dissatisfaction known.
Neil Warnock’s side came into this match with just one win from eight league games, but their performance belied that run and Tuesday’s deflating 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa.
Yannick Bolasie proved a nuisance from the outset and Jason Puncheon’s second-half introduction almost proved decisive as he hit the woodwork and had a goal disallowed on an afternoon in which the only thing Tottenham fans had to cheer about was the big screen showing Arsenal were losing at Stoke.
This was an important match for both sides given their midweek struggles, yet Spurs appeared to be suffering a hangover from their 3-0 loss at Chelsea.
Christian Eriksen followed a fine nutmeg with an early strike into the side-netting but, other than that, Palace were in control.
James McArthur and Mile Jedinak had efforts of differing quality as Warnock’s men began brightly, with diminutive midfielder Ryan Mason forced into impressive headed clearances at successive corners.
The pressure was mounting on Spurs and, if anyone was to force the breakthrough, it looked likely to come from Bolasie.
Starting on the left wing, the 25-year-old gave Eric Dier a torrid time and produced an extraordinary skill in the corner to flick past Eriksen and send in a cross Joe Ledley was just unable to direct on target.
Bolasie was soon back at the heart of things, all too easily dispossessing Erik Lamela before flashing an effort over – an opportunity which at last appeared to kick Spurs into action.
Harry Kane fired wide before Roberto Soldado struck over, with the Spaniard not doing much better with a header and half-volley in the minutes which followed.
Spurs ended the half on top but it was far from one-way traffic, with Lloris having to produce an exquisite stop to thwart a goalbound Scott Dann header.
There was also a chance for Wilfried Zaha, producing a wonderful flick to cut past two men and curl just wide, before half-time was called, from which Spurs returned with Nacer Chadli on for the ineffective Lamela.
It did little to improve the quality of the game, though.
The home faithful were becoming audibly frustrated as play swung from end to end without either side taking control.
It took 18 minutes of the second half for the first chance of note, when Eriksen played through Soldado, only for the striker to fire wide.
A Kane effort flew over as the game became more stretched, with a fizzing, if wayward, Bolasie strike followed by Puncheon seeing a drive blocked.
The substitute was proving a handful for the Spurs backline and cracked a shot off the underside of the bar, with Jan Vertonghen hacking clear.
Puncheon did find the net soon after, only for the offside flag to see that goal chalked off, and then set-up Bolasie, whose fine strike was heading home until Lloris’ intervention.
Ledley missed the target as boos rung around White Hart Lane, where sarcastic cheers met what many felt was Aaron Lennon’s belated 83rd-minute introduction.
Paulinho saw a hooked effort blocked by Joel Ward as Spurs searched for what would have been a fortuitous winner.
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