Player Ratings: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crystal Palace

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

It was nice ‘n’ all having the marching band and what not but we needed the three points so much more. And we didn’t really care how we got them. We had an almost fortress-like record at The Lane in those last years. It was great to get back to it. God, I hadn’t realised just how much I hated Wembley!

The stadium has deserved all its plaudits but it needed something in place to be truly great: the fans. The fans and the players and something that mattered. And the stadium delivered in spades. The noise and the passion were there and the best online casino were backing Spurs to take all three points.

What wasn’t there, in my experience, was the catering and even the beer(?). And it was a good job all those safety electrics were securely in place when the Palace fans decided, not exactly having set light to the place with their football, to start a fire in their away section.

For once we started with purpose but then who wouldn’t have done in that atmosphere – it was like being fired out of a gun. Pochettino chose the night to try out some radical positional experiments which weren’t entirely successful. The first half ran out more in huff and puff than real threat.

The second half was brighter but we needed a deflected goal to break out of the situation we’d got ourselves into. And then the second goal came. And we were bouncing. We were home with many sports betting changing their minds on whether Spurs can get Champions League football. The relationship between fans and players had closed tight. And we could believe again in ‘the project’, call it what you will.

Lloris – 8 

One truly outstanding save and absolute competence throughout. Rumours of his imminent demise – we were all quick on the trigger – premature.

Alderweireld – 8

You just have to love this man’s total control of the territory, unspectacular because he’s so well organised.

Vertonghen – 8

Back to his swashbuckling best. Superb tackling and commitment. Wouldn’t we all have loved him to score his breakaway centre forward’s header?

Davies – 7

When he’s got Rose ahead of him to add threat he’s great. He gave one of his organised, hardworking performances and didn’t give Palace a sniff.

Trippier – 8

Fair play, there was only one full back on his side of the pitch! He had an excellent game both defensively and streaming forward to good effect.

Rose – 6

One of the surprising experiments. To be fair, Pochettino has been hinting he can be a midfielder for weeks. And it really could work. It could be great. It’s just a work in progress. He suffered in the first half from the current malaise: through on goal with no real confidence to shoot effectively.

Sissoko – 8

The Moose was gigantic tonight, especially defensively and driving forward.

Eriksen – 8

When the occasion demanded, he rose to meet it. An assist and a goal. And lots of threatening moments. For his run almost the length of the pitch, he deserved the goal. He does that a lot, makes runs which are heroic but often inevitably leave him with nothing to show but that’s his work ethic at its best.

Dele – 6

Another experiment, Dele deep in centre mid. Another work in progress. A relief, to be frank, when Winksy – a much less spectacular talent to be sure – came on and demonstrated how it’s done. I would much prefer Eriksen there, with his vision and range of passing. Don’t get me wrong: I know Dele works and tackles; I just prefer him – as in his last ten minutes – ghosting into space in dangerous areas where he can use his imagination.

Son – 8

Of course, Sonny scored THE goal. He did flicker in and out somewhat but he is so bright, his feet so quick, his pace and directness so threatening.

Kane – 7

Well done, Harry. He worked tirelessly, linked up play well, had some efforts on goal.

Subs

Winksy looked so good coming on replacing the experimental centre mid of Dele. Would Lucas not have been more effective from the start in place of the experimental Rose? Wanyama made an appearance.

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