Well that was mostly tosh of the highest order. A failure to take our chances when added to a jittery defence, carelessness with possession and poor performances from too many players including Eriksen, Rose, Walker (particularly after Zaha came on), Stambouli and Townsend meant that whilst it’d be harsh to say that we got what we deserved (a draw would’ve been fair) it’s hard to deny that Palace merited their reward. We can plead injustice at the referee’s ignoring of Kane’s penalty plea near the close but Taylor was kind to us at other times during the game, for instance when Fazio was caught out in the first half and Walker inadvertently handballed in the second.
We missed Mason and Bentaleb and Lamela too. After looking more like it against Chelsea Townsend had one of his frustrating days. If the Argentine isn’t fit enough to start next week then Pochettino may think hard about Aaron Lennon (Or Yedln?) as a replacement. Neither Dembele, Stambouli nor late substitute Capoue have the energy or thrust that the two youngsters do. We’re obviously without Bentaleb for another few weeks; I’ve no idea about Mason.
We looked more composed in possession early on and when Walker’s ball across fell to Eriksen after twenty minutes or so it was a real shock to see him volley the wrong side of the post. We moved the ball about confidently but Kane and Chadli never had clear opportunities. In fact the best chance came out of the blue to Glenn Murray; once more Hugo came to the rescue.
Early in the second half Kane did find some space. The drilled shot into the bottom corner is becoming his signature move. We failed to kick on though and if anything started to look more nervous. We never held on to the ball for long before giving it away cheaply, we rarely made progress down the wings and were forced back by Palace’s physicality, numbers and pace. The equaliser came from a penalty that bordered on the soft but Stambouli’s challenge was asking for trouble. The winner could’ve been defended better – I know that by definition you can say that about every goal, but even so.
The wins at Swansea and Leicester both could’ve gone the same way as this one but we were all hoping that that sort of performance was behind us. Obviously not. I imagine the manager will be furious and it’ll be interesting to see what he does about it. There’s plenty of work still to be done.
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