Spurs hold on for Palace draw

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:36

Spurs hold on for Palace draw

The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock was when substitute Jason Puncheon smashed a shot against the bar late in the second half.
Spurs’ best chances largely fell to Roberto Soldado, but the out-of-form striker failed to even hit the target from three decent openings.
Joe Ledley also fired over from a couple of promising positions inside the box while Hugo Lloris saved well from Scott Dann and Yannick Bolasie.
The draw keeps Palace just above the relegation zone while Spurs remain 10th.
It was another disappointing result and performance for Spurs, who showed two changes to the side that lost at Chelsea in midweek, with Soldado and Eric Dier starting ahead of Aaron Lennon and Vlad Chiriches.
Palace made just one change from their defeat against Aston Villa, as Ledley replaced Dwight Gayle.
After a cagey start, it was Christian Eriksen who created the first opening when he turned Martin Kelly with a brilliant piece of skill in the corner but then wastefully fired into the side netting.
That, though, did not signal a spell of Spurs pressure and instead it was Palace who threatened to break the deadlock.
Bolasie looked a constant threat down the left wing with his pace and willingness to run at defenders and he created a great opening for Ledley in the 21st minute.
Just as Eriksen did to Kelly, Bolasie pulled off a wonderful trick in the corner to escape Eriksen, run along the byline and pull the ball back for Ledley on the penalty spot, but he shot over the bar under little pressure.
Spurs had a couple of chances of their own shortly afterwards when Soldado fired over from Ben Davies’ low cross from the left and then failed to hit the target with a header from Eriksen’s cross.
In between Soldado’s efforts, Palace went closer when Lloris had to dive at full stretch to keep out a Dann header from a corner.
Wilfried Zaha curled a shot narrowly wide towards the end of the half following another superb piece of skill that saw him jink between two Spurs defenders.
The hosts made a change at the break as the ineffective Erik Lamela was replaced by Nacer Chadli, but it failed to spark Spurs into life.
Instead it was Palace who continued to threaten more, with Bolasie and Zaha testing the opposition full-backs every time they picked up the ball.
Still, Spurs could have taken the lead on the hour mark when Eriksen slipped in Soldado with a neat pass, but the striker again failed to even hit the target when he should have at least tested Julian Speroni.
The chance was a rare opening for Spurs in the second half and it was Palace who raised the tempo and piled on the pressure in the final 20 minutes.
They went closest to taking the lead when Bolasie’s cross deflected into the path of Puncheon and he lashed a shot against the underside of the bar.
Lloris then saved well from Bolasie before Ledley again failed to test the keeper from a promising position inside the box after a clever one-two with Puncheon.
Spurs looked more threatening with the late introduction of Lennon but could not grab a winner and the final whistle was greeted with a smattering of boos around White Hart Lane.
SOCCER SATURDAY ANALYSIS – Phil Thompson
The better chances fell to Crystal Palace, they worked the keeper more. Spurs had the most possession but it was all negative, playing around the back and in midfield. Speroni has made about two saves, but they weren’t difficult, while Lloris made two absolute world-class saves. One was from a Scott Dann header and one from Puncheon, who had come on and had a real impact. It was in the wide areas, where Palace caused problems. 
Boos rang out when Spurs went off. Soldado had a couple of chances but Harry Kane looked tired. The three subs didn’t make any impact, unlike Puncheon. A draw was a fair result and Palace have enough to survive in this division. They keep feeding Bolasie and Zaha, while Dann and Hangeland were absolutely terrific.
PLAYER RATINGS
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Dier (5), Fazio (6), Vertonghen (6), Davies (6), Mason (5), Bentaleb (5), Lamela (5), Kane (5), Eriksen (6), Soldado (4).
Subs: Lennon (6), Paulinho (5), Chadli (6).
Crystal Palace: Speroni (6), Kelly (6), Dann (7), Hangeland (6), Ward (6), Jedinak (6), Zaha (7), McArthur (6), Ledley (5), Bolasie (7), Chamakh (6).
Subs: Puncheon (7).

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