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Report: Edouard brace guides Eagles to trump top-of-table Spurs

September 13, 2021 2:28 am

Crystal Palace overcame first-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a dominant performance at Selhurst Park, a Wilfried Zaha penalty securing the club’s 500th Premier League goal and Odsonne Edouard bagging a brace on his debut.

Summary

  • Patrick Vieira names an unchanged lineup to face Spurs, with Odsonne Edouard, Will Hughes and Michael Olise in line for their debuts from the bench
  • The game begins at a high tempo, but settles as fouls and mis-placed passes prevent any rhythm
  • Palace look dominant around the half-hour mark, and Wilfried Zaha sees two shots deflected wide in close succession
  • Conor Gallagher has a shot saved yards from goal
  • Half-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
  • Palace remain on top in the second-half, creating a series of chances
  • Japhet Tanganga is sent off for a second yellow card having fouled Wilfried Zaha and then Jordan Ayew
  • Tyrick Mitchell almost finds the net with a lofted ball, but Sergio Reguilón heads it off the line
  • Palace finally take the lead through a Zaha penalty; Gallagher winning the spot kick after a Ben Davies handball
  • Moments after coming on for his debut, Odsonne Edouard adds Palace’s second, striking from within the box
  • Edouard bags a second to thunderous sound from Selhurst Park
  • Full-time: Crystal Palace 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur

If an early kick-off and succession of 1-0 wins for Spurs suggested this afternoon’s game would begin in a steady manner, the opening five minutes indicated otherwise. The two sides instead kicked-off a fast-paced and physical match, the sort that felt it could showcase a goal from nothing at any moment.

Perhaps it was acclimatising to a full Selhurst again or the energising south London sun, but the early exchanges saw every player under pressure when on the ball and seeking to move forward in possession. This intent was limited by a number of fouls from both sides, however, so the game grew into a staccato tempo.

It settled somewhat after a pause for Eric Dier’s forced substitution in the 12th minute, but Palace still enjoyed the majority of possession, created several half-chances and shut-out their guests’ determined counter-attacks well.

As time wound on and passed the half-hour mark, supporters were uplifted – but no doubt frustrated – by a string of promising Palace moments that were either nullified or miscued, such as Gallagher’s cute backheel into the box, Wilfried Zaha’s repeated runs along the left-wing, and his two deflected shots towards the left post.

These passages were enough to get Selhurst on its feet, but not enough to trouble Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.

Palace’s closest chance came through its brightest sparks in the first-half, with Zaha forcing a ball into the box from the byline only for Lloris to block Gallagher’s effort from barely three yards as the midfielder worked a shot from under his feet.

But, as they had been for a solid 15 minutes, the hosts’ openings weren’t quite enough to earn them a deserved lead, and the Eagles went into half-time filled with confidence but left wondering how they weren’t ahead.

After a prolonged period of Palace pressure to end the first-half, Vicente Guaita did well to stay alert for the second-half’s first shot on target: Lucas Moura firing into his hands from the edge of the box.

The chance was tame, however, and Palace regained their control with a tantalising effort within the box as Gallagher thwacked a volley off Joe Rodon for a corner.

The afternoon stepped up in intensity following an altercation between Japhet Tanganga and Zaha, which soon led to the former’s dismissal, the defender collecting a second yellow card for a foul on Zaha and then Jordan Ayew.

Palace chances continued to rain on the Tottenham goal as the Eagles appeared to grow closer and closer to finding a lead; they’d hardly moved from the visiting half.

But paradoxically, 10 men often pose a tougher challenge for a side needing to break through than 11, and Spurs became more closely compact as their hosts continued to probe. The game became a little scrappy again, with more blocked shots and fouls than clear-cut chances.

The next closest came through an unlikely source: Tyrick Mitchell, who had burst down the left-wing and lofted a cross goal-bound. As the ball sailed past Lloris, it dipped towards the net only for Sergio Reguilón to leap and head it to safety.

Just minutes later Palace would finally find their break-through and send Selhurst into raptures after 18 months awaiting the chance. Zaha fed a clever ball to Gallagher in the Spurs box and the young midfielder whipped a cross on the end of it, which Ben Davies blocked with an outstretched arm.

Stepping up from 12 yards, Zaha struck coolly home to Lloris’ left before wheeling off to celebrate in front of the Holmesdale with Crystal Palace having found a much deserved lead.

But Patrick Vieira’s men weren’t to stop there and, buoyed on by a vociferous support, pushed for a second. In this pursuit, the manager handed Odsonne Edouard his debut, and was richly rewarded.

Moments after coming on, Edouard was fed the ball by Zaha and, taking a touch in the box, doubled Palace’s lead to mark an emphatic start to life in south London.

There was more to come on a phenomenal afternoon at Selhurst, with Edouard again at the heart of the action; bagging a brace as SE25 errupted, Vieira collected his first competitive win and Palace added a gripping occasion to their history book.

Palace: Guaita, Ward, Guéhi, Andersen, Mitchell, Kouyaté (Milivojevic 67), McArthur, Gallagher, Ayew (Olise 87), Zaha, Benteke (Edouard 83).

Subs not used: Butland, Tomkins, Clyne, Kelly, Riedewald, Hughes.

Spurs: Lloris, Reguilón, Højbjerg, Dier (Rodon 12), Tanganga, Winks (Davies 60), Royal, Alli, Skipp, Moura, Kane.

Subs not used: Gollini, Doherty, Gil, Ndombele, Scarlett, Omole, Markanday.