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Premier League

  • January 11, 2014
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 36102

Tottenham 2-0 Crystal Palace: Eriksen and Defoe on target for Spurs

After a difficult first half in which Jason Puncheon comically missed a penalty for the visiting side, Tim Sherwood's men rallied after the break to seal three points.

Christian Eriksen and Jermain Defoe scored the goals as Tottenham rose to overcome a dangerous Crystal Palace 2-0 in the Premier League.

Spurs were let off the hook when Mousa Dembele fouled Marouane Chamakh to concede a penalty but Jason Puncheon blasted an awful attempt vastly high and wide.

The Eagles were the better side in the first half but the home side recovered after the break, Eriksen depositing home in the 50th minute after an Emmanuel Adebayor flick-on before Jermain Defoe, soon to leave the club for Toronto FC, came on to scoop the ball over Julian Speroni and home.

Tim Sherwood named an unchanged Tottenham XI, while Jonathan Parr started at left back for Palace, allowing Joel Ward to revert to midfield in Kagisho Dikgacoi's absence.

Tottenham was caught cold by a fast start from the visitors, who should have taken the lead in the eighth minute. Mousa Dembele clattered through Jerome after Damien Delaney had unpicked the home defense with staggering ease, the Tottenham man conceding a clear penalty, only for Puncheon – who almost fell over after colliding with referee Michael Oliver when pacing out his run-up – to blaze high and wide in comedic fashion.

Palace again sabotaged its impressive work when Chamakh rose unchallenged to meet Puncheon's right-wing corner. The former Arsenal man looked destined to score until teammate Mile Jedinak clattered into his back and the resulting header looped over.

Nabil Bentaleb, making his first Premier League start in midfield for Totteham, then rattled the inside of the post with a blistering 34th-minute drive that then flashed agonizingly across the goalmouth – the closest that Sherwood's men came in a half in which they were comfortably second best.

That was certainly not the case when the action resumed as Bentaleb's midfield colleague, Eriksen, shook off an anonymous opening 45 minutes to give Tottenham a 50th-minute lead. Emmanuel Adebayor's flick from Kyle Naughton's pass dropped for him to lash a left-footed drive into the roof of the net.

Defoe was afforded a rapturous reception upon his 58th-minute introduction for Roberto Soldado – Sherwood's second change of the half after Kyle Walker had limped off to be replaced by Naughton.

The Canada-bound forward twisted and turned to thread a shot just beyond the far post, an effort that Adebayor agonizingly failed to meet with a decisive touch.

But Defoe was not to be denied as, despite looking to be offside, he evaded Parr's attentions to lift Aaron Lennon’s 73rd-minute pass into the net.

Jedinak, substitute Adlene Guedioura and Chamakh all went close in a spirited finish from Palace but it could not find a way back.