Tottenham moved into the top half of the Premier League after a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane, with Heung-Min Son scoring his first Premier League goal.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side dominated possession and territory for long periods, although Palace hit the woodwork twice with the score at 0-0.
It was the South Korean Son who settled the match with 15 minutes remaining, his left-footed shot squirming under Alex McCarthy in the Palace goal.
The first chance came after just three minutes, when Harry Kane headed over a free header from a corner. The watching Roy Hodgson noticeably winced in the stands. Kane has now not scored a home goal since March.
Spurs continued to attack at speed and in impressive manner, dominating much of the first half. Erik Lamela had an opportunity after 16 minutes, when his shot forced Alex McCarthy into a low diving stop. The rebound fell to Kane, who was offside.
Lamela was having another of those games, beating men and looking bright but ultimately losing possession far too often. He gave up the ball 11 times in the first 30 minutes alone. This is a £28m player, remember.
After the first half hour, Palace began to gain a foothold in the match. First Yannick Bolasie had a shot that deflected wide before the same player had a shot saved comfortably saved by Hugo Lloris.
Lloris was then able to push away a Bakary Sako free kick, with everyone watching saying “camera save” as soon as they saw the replay.
In the final minute before the break, Palace almost took the lead. Yohan Cabaye was played in on the far right of the penalty area by Wilfried Zaha, and the Frenchman’s shot cannoned back off the post.
Alan Pardew chose to mix things up at half-time, his false nine plan abandoned with the introduction of England national team hall-of-famer Frazier Campbell.
Spurs thought they had the lead after 57 minutes, when Heung-Min Son’s shot was parried by McCarthy. The ball looped to Ben Davies, who headed home, but Kane was in an offside position and attempted to challenge for the ball.
Seven minutes later, and Palace hit the woodwork for the second time. Sako’s drive from the edge of the area looked to be heading for the corner, but Lloris was able to tip the ball onto the far post.
Spurs took the lead midway through the second half, when the impressive Son scored his first Premier League goal. His driving run opened up the chance, and his left-footed strike went through McCarthy. The Palace goalkeeper will feel he should have done much better.
The assist for Son’s goal was provided by Christian Eriksen, shortly after his arrival as a substitute. The Dane has struggled recently, but Spurs fans must be happier with him on the pitch.
Alan Pardew’s side pushed for a late equaliser with Spurs sitting back, but never truly threatened. Their only late chance fell to Papa Soare, who sliced well wide from range.