Son Heung-Min strikes as Tottenham squeeze past Crystal Palace
Tottenham 1 - 0 Crystal Palace

Son Heung-Min strikes as Tottenham squeeze past Crystal Palace

05/11/2017

Tottenham Hotspur got back to winning ways in domestic football as Son Heung-Min's goal proved enough to see off an unlucky Crystal Palace at Wembley.

Spurs, without Dele Alli because of a hamstring strain, made a shaky start in their first game after the memorable midweek win over Real Madrid. That Champions League victory had come after a Carabao Cup defeat against West Ham and a Premier League loss at Manchester United in their previous two games.

Goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, standing in for the injured Hugo Lloris, flapped at a Wilfried Zaha free kick and clattered into Mamdaou Sakho, with some Palace players appealing for a penalty.

Harry Kane tried to inject some life into Spurs, firing a first-time effort goalwards from 35 yards after Jan Vertonghen's pass, but the effort posed no problems for Eagles keeper Julian Speroni.

It sparked a better spell for the home side, with Christian Eriksen trying his luck from outside the box but seeing the effort fly wide.

But Palace were posing a threat of their own, with the home side grateful to Eric Dier for a smart challenge on the dangerous Zaha.

There was a moment of worry for Spurs when Harry Kane needed treatment after a strong Timothy Fosu-Mensah challenge, but the home talisman was soon back on his feet and saw his side miss a chance when defender Danny Rose headed wide from Serge Aurier's cross.

Kane headed just over with 10 minutes left until the break, but Palace came even closer soon afterwards when Gazzaniga made a fine save to stop Scott Dann's header from a corner.

Mauricio Pochettino opted to make a change at the break, bringing on Mousa Dembele for Harry Winks, who took a knock in the first half, but it was Palace who began the second period on the front foot.

Former Spurs man Andros Townsend forced another good save from Gazzaniga with a low strike, but after 58 minutes it was Zaha who had, and missed, Palace's best chance of the match.

The visitors broke following a misplaced Spurs pass and Townsend fed the ball through to Zaha who got around Gazzaniga, late to advance to meet him, but fired wide from an angle with the goal gaping.

Two minutes later, Spurs were again thankful to the alert Gazzaniga, who made a reflex stop from Luka Milivojevic's header -- and within moments of that save they had taken the lead.

The goal came after 64 minutes when the ball fell to Son on the edge of the box after a cross was not properly dealt with, and the South Korea international curled an outstanding finish past Speroni to become the highest-scoring Asian player in Premier League history.

Zaha had half a chance to level soon after but his final effort was neither cross nor shot, and with 76 minutes gone Spurs made another switch as Kane departed the action and was replaced by Fernando Llorente.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson brought on Bakary Sako for Joel Ward, but as his side pressed forward Son missed a chance to seal it, firing into the side netting when one-on-one with Speroni.

Townsend caused one last scare for Spurs, but his low cross in time added on was hacked away with teammates closing in.

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