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Premier League

  • 18 August 2013
  • • 14:30
  • • Selhurst Park, London
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 23285
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Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham: Soldado debut strike gets Spurs off & running

Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham: Soldado debut strike gets Spurs off & running

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The Spaniard stroked home from the penalty spot after Aaron Lennon's cross struck the arm of Dean Moxey as Andre Villas-Boas' men triumphed without Gareth Bale

Roberto Soldado's debut goal gave Tottenham a winning start to the Premier League season, despite a spirited display from newly-promoted Crystal Palace.

The Spanish striker made no mistake from the penalty spot early in the second half after Dean Moxey had handled a cross from Aaron Lennon inside the area.

Soldado sent Julian Speroni the wrong way to claim his first competitive goal in a Tottenham shirt and give Andre Villas-Boas' side the perfect start to the season.

MATCH VIEW
By Greg Stobart
Tottenham were clearly the better team but they should have scored more goals and were made to work hard for the points in the end.

The four summer signings who featured will need time to settle in but the signs are certainly be positive, with Roberto Soldado scoring the winner and Paulinho particularly impressive in central midfield.

The north Londoners perhaps lacked some creativity - or Gareth Bale - in the final third, but they dominated the game against their newly promoted opponents.

Palace worked their socks off on their return to the Premier League and could even have snatched a late equaliser as they resorted to long balls in the final stages.

Ian Holloway will be pleased with his players’ application and while they were never expected to get anything from this game, Palace’s home form will be vital this season.

And in Mile Jedinak they have a Premier League-quality player who was fantastic against Spurs’ stellar midfielders.
As well as Soldado, the Tottenham boss named two of his other new signings - Nacer Chadli and Paulinho - in the starting line-up while Etienne Capoue had to settle for a place on the substitutes bench.

Marouane Chamakh, signed from Arsenal a week ago, was not deemed fit enough to start by Palace boss Ian Holloway so he was named on the bench, with new signings Dwight Gayle and Stephen Dobbie given the job of leading the line alongside Aaron Wilbraham.

A frantic opening 10 minutes saw chances at a premium, and when the first serious effort arrived in the 13th minute, the frame of the goal denied Mousa Dembele.

Aaron Lennon combined neatly with the Belgian but his 25-yard strike clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over.

Gylfi Sigurdsson brought the first save from Julian Speroni in the closing 10 minutes of the half with Lennon again involved as he found the Iceland international on the edge of the penalty area with his back to goal.

He turned away from the Palace defence but his right-footed shot was well tipped over by the Palace goalkeeper.

After a frustrating opening period the visitors broke the deadlock early in the second half after Moxey's handball was punished by referee Mark Clattenburg.

Soldado immediately collected the ball and confidently converted the spot-kick to get his Spurs career off to a scoring start.

The visitors should have doubled their lead in the 69th minute after excellent build-up play between Kyle Walker and Soldado.

The England full-back rolled a perfect pass into the Spaniard’s stride, and his pull back to Sigurdsson gave the Iceland man a clear sight of goal, but he dragged his shot wide.

Chamakh and Kevin Phillips were both introduced late in the game by the hosts but neither was able to find a way through a resolute Tottenham defence, and Kagisho Dikgacoi was denied by superbly by an onrushing Hugo Lloris in the dying embers to preserve Spurs' three points.

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