Spurs suffer another setback at home as Crystal Palace secure a draw in London derby
16:56 06 December 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tottenham’s patchy home form continued as they were held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace in today’s London derby at White Hart Lane.
The Lilywhites recently lost four out of five Premier League games in front of their own fans and, although there was a vast improvement in their 2-1 home win over Everton last weekend, they were unable to repeat the feat against Neil Warnock’s visitors.
Indeed it was Palace who came closest to a winner after a strong spell of pressure 10 minutes from time, with Jason Puncheon hitting the bar, Marouane Chamakh having a goal disallowed for offside and Hugo Lloris making a stunning save to deny the impressive Yannick Bolasie.
Tottenham remain 10th in the table, four points outside the top four, while Palace stay 15th, one point above the relegation zone.
There were two changes to the Spurs side that had lined up against Chelsea on Wednesday, with Eric Dier coming in at right-back and Roberto Soldado starting up front, while Palace boss Warnock brought Joe Ledley into his team.
Spurs created the first opening as Ryan Mason found Christian Eriksen with a fine crossfield ball and the Dane jinked past his man before firing into the near side netting.
However, Palace were the stronger side for the first quarter of the match, pitting the dangerous Bolasie up against Eric Dier down Spurs;’ right side and winning a number of set pieces.
James McArthur volleyed wide from a half-cleared corner and, when Erik Lamela committed a clumsy foul from a similar scenario, Mile Jedinak hit the wall with his free kick before testing Lloris with a second swing at the ball.
Mason narrowly avoided an own goal as his flicked header from a corner flew just wide of the back post, and Bolasie turned past Eriksen and Soldado with an outrageous piece of skill in the left corner before teeing up Ledley, who shot over.
Spurs created a similar chance as Ben Davies delivered a low, first-time cross to Soldado, who put his effort wastefully over the bar – but Lloris then had to make a fine save at the other end, clawing away Scott Dann’s header, which looked destined for the bottom corner.
Tottenham improved though, helped by a tactical change as Harry Kane moved out to the left flank and Eriksen adopted a central role as the No10.
Eriksen’s free kick was saved by Julian Speroni and the Dane then recovered the ball and chipped it in to Soldado, who mis-timed his header and put it well over the bar from eight yards before sending a low volley at the Palace keeper before half-time.
Mauricio Pochettino swapped the wasteful Lamela for Nacer Chadli at half-time – a move which was greeted with cheers from the home fans - but Spurs were guilty of trying to force the play too early, notably when Kane tried to free Chadli with a killer pass from deep inside his own half but only succeeded in giving the ball to Palace’s centre-backs.
Soldado had a big chance to put Spurs ahead in the 63rd minute as Eriksen played him in, but the Spaniard lashed his shot wide of the near post.
Instead it was Palace who looked the more likely scorers as the game neared its climax, and they went close on a number of occasions.
Substitute Jason Puncheon’s venomous drive crashed off the crossbar and Chamakh saw a goal disallowed for offside before Lloris made a stunning reflex save to deny Bolasie.
Puncheon also drew a low save from Spurs’ keeper in the 90th minute – although this one was more comfortable – but the game remained goalless at the final whistle.
Tottenham: Lloris, Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies, Bentaleb, Mason (Paulinho 65), Lamela, Kane, Eriksen, Soldado (Lennon 83)
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Dann, Hangeland, Dann, Ward, Jedinak, McArthur, Zaha (Puncheon 65), Ledley, Bolasie, Chamakh
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs