Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur: Match report

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Newly-promoted Crystal Palace kicked off their Premier League campaign in front of a packed Selhurst Park against a strong Tottenham side.

The last time Palace participated in England’s top flight was the 04/05 season where they finished 18th and were relegated.

In fact, the last four occasions Palace have been involved in the Premier League they have not survived the drop.

As for their opponents - Tottenham, who have significantly risen up the table in the last few years, were looking to capitalise on the slip-up of their top four rivals Arsenal with a strong performance and three points.

This would be easier said than done for the east London side as they have lost their last five opening day fixtures playing away from home. Spurs were also to miss last season's star man Bale whose transfer saga was still on going.

The game began and Tottenham began to immediately show their quality by keeping the ball despite high pressing by Palace.

Danny Rose done well to weave away from Palace defender Joel Ward and played a low cross into new–boy Roberto Soldado at the front post whose cheeky back heel rose high above Julian Speroni’s goal.

Spurs then came close through a Mousa Dembele strike from 25 yards which skimmed the Palace crossbar.

Crystal Palace then swung in a free-kick from the edge of Tottenham’s box which was directed goalwards but went straight into the gloves of Hugo Lloris.

Aaron Lennon’s notorious quick feet were on show once again as he broke away from full back Dean Moxey and played a tidy, cut – back pass to Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson who saw his powerful left foot strike from 20 yards tipped over the bar by Speroni.

Tottenham’s dominance was evident in the statistics as they recorded 65 per cent possession on the 40th minute.

Palace had a brief spell of possession in the game but were struggling to get a foothold on the match. Tottenham had a glorious chance on the last kick of the first half – a lovely ball into the back post by Lennon but Nacer Chadli headed over.

The second half began with a bang as Spurs were awarded a penalty after a handball by Moxey in the area.

Soldado stepped up and showed a cool head by slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner while sending Speroni the wrong way, in the process securing his first goal in English football.

The game then settled back down and Tottenham kept possession well. Palace had a couple of corners on the 55th minute but Spurs defended well.

Palace forward Dwight Gayle utilised his pace as he ran onto a high ball through by Mile Jedinak but he fired well over the bar. On the 65th minute Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway made a triple substitution.

Spurs then had a golden chance when Kyle Walker slid in Soldado who cut the ball back to Sigurdsson who narrowly missed Speroni’s far post.

Substitute Jonathan Williams played a lofted through ball to fellow substitute Kevin Phillips who thought he was through on goal until a quick Hugo Lloris slid in and disposed him.

Towards the last five minutes Palace began committing men forward and when a corner was sent in to the back post Damien Delaney was waiting and struck a sweet volley which was well saved by Lloris.

Delaney had another crack at it on the rebound but Lloris denied him again and Tottenham cleared. That was to be the last chance of the match as Tottenham ran the clock down and saw out the game.

It was a good spirited fight by Palace but a superior Tottenham showed their class and experience by holding onto a well-deserved win.

Man of the Match: Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).

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