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Thursday, 18 September 2014, 18:00

Europa League Group C

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Vertonghen: Win was a must

Jan Vertonghen says Tottenham Hotspur were determined to secure victory at Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the season.

Last Updated: 18/08/13 at 17:03 Post Comment

With Spurs widely acknowledged as top-four contenders, and with Palace being tipped to make an immediate return to Championship, the visitors were expected to dominate at Selhurst Park.

They did control the game for long periods, but found the going tough against an Eagles side that were well organised and defended resolutely as a unit.

In the end a penalty from Roberto Soldado five minutes into the second half was enough for Spurs, and Verntonghen is delighted to see them up and running in 2013/14.

"That's what we wanted. We couldn't get a loss here," he told Sky Sports.

"Of course we want to do better but this was about getting the win for us. Next time we will score more goals."

Vertonghen was quick to hail the impact made by Tottenham's new signings, with four players handed their debut by Andre Villas-Boas, adding: "They are strong and Roberto scored a goal.

"We have a big and strong team. We want to play for the prizes and Champions League qualification. That's why we need a big team.

"They (Palace) play long balls towards (Marouane) Chamakh and (Kevin) Phillips. We knew that would make it tough and that's why we had to try and get two goals."

One of those to make their bow at Selhurst Park was Nacer Chadli, and the former FC Twente midfielder thoroughly enjoyed his first taste of life in the Premier League.

He said: "I really enjoyed it. It was a nice game with plenty of chances. It's most important to get three points.

"It is different to Holland but I like the way we play. We play quickly and that's how we create chances."

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