Most Spurs fans would have been expecting a nervous 90 minutes against Crystal Palace and for the Lilywhites to find it hard to break them down.
However, Spurs started the game with great intensity and pushed the visitors back right from kick off as Roy Hodgson’s men struggled to cope with their pressure.
Spurs produced some terrific football in the first half as they raced into a 4-0 win courtesy of goals from Erik Lamela, a deflected own goal from Serge Aurier’s cross and a brace for Son Heung-Min.
The performance reminded some Spurs fans of the team’s showing in the 17/18 season when they pressed teams really high up the pitch and dispatched them with consummate ease.
However, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted after the game that the improvement in the performance wasn’t due to tactical tweaks but because the squad was more focussed with the transfer window now shut.
Speaking to Football.London, the Argentine said, “I think it showed that the team was unsettled [before]. When the team is unsettled, when the squad is unsettled, it is so difficult to perform in the way you want to perform.
“I’m not complaining or blaming anyone, but it’s only that in football it’s so easy to describe situations and the focus wasn’t on playing football and it wasn’t on trying to improve. The focus wasn’t on the places we wanted it and it’s not easy to perform that way.
“Of course we have quality, enough to win games without focus, but when you are focused it showed, in that first half the performance of the team. The intensity, the concentration.”
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While the players certainly looked focused and confident during the game, there is no doubt that Pochettino also made a tactical alteration for the match. The players pressed with a lot of intensity in the match which was a departure from the counter-attacking style we employed last season as well as for the first few games this campaign.
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