Juan Foyth repaid Mauricio Pochettino's faith by scoring the decisive goal as Tottenham left Crystal Palace with a 1-0 Premier League triumph on Saturday, their fourth in a row across all competitions.
The young centre-back had received criticism for a difficult Premier League debut in last week's 3-2 win over Wolves, but Pochettino refused to drop Foyth and he subsequently secured the spoils for Spurs in a poor match at sodden Selhurst Park.
Chances were few and far between during an unremarkable first half that was more notable for the weather than the standard of football on display.
The match opened up a little in the second half and Foyth scored his first Spurs goal, making the most of static Palace defending and consigning Roy Hodgson's men to a fifth defeat in six Premier League outings.
The hosts crafted the first chance of the game through former Spurs winger Andros Townsend in the 16th minute, though his effort hit the side-netting and did not worry Hugo Lloris.
Spurs struggled to create opportunities of their own, but Harry Kane did try his luck from distance just after the half-hour and forced Wayne Hennessey into a flying save.
Palace should have gone ahead early in the second half, but James Tomkins inexplicably headed a corner wide from close range.
Foyth did not make the same mistake, however, as the centre-back nodded in after Kane's initial header had been blocked 24th minutes from time.
Palace squandered their final chance late on when Alexander Sorloth blasted straight at Lloris from about eight yards, leaving Hodgson with his head in his hands as Spurs saw things out.
What does it mean? Spurs grind out another result
It is fair to say that Spurs have produced few impressive performances this term, yet they made sure fourth spot in the table will remain theirs for the time being without playing particularly well.
The Special Wan-Bissaka
Palace full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has earned rave reviews ever since breaking into the team and he put in another strong showing on Saturday, looking solid defensively and clever in attack.
It has been an impressive start to the season for Lamela, but he was disappointing at Selhurst Park as he failed to offer much spark and went missing for long periods.
Key Opta Facts
- Palace have lost seven consecutive top-flight matches against a single opponent for the first time ever.
- Tottenham have won 1-0 in each of their last five Premier League meetings with Palace, the longest run of consecutive identical results between two sides in the history of the competition.
- Tottenham have won more away Premier League games in 2018 than any other side (12). Only once have Spurs won more top-flight away games in a single calendar year (17 in 1960).
- Pochettino has won nine Premier League games against Palace – more than he has managed against any other side.
- Tottenham have had 146 different goalscorers in the Premier League, more than any other team in the competition's history (excl. own goals).
Things do not get much easier after the international break for Palace, as they travel to Manchester United. Spurs will host Chelsea in a potentially thrilling London derby.