Palace 0-1 Spurs
Harry Kane cruelly took away what would have been a valuable point for Crystal Palace with a headed winner two minutes from time. The hosts had ridden their luck throughout the ninety minutes with two expert saves from Wayne Hennessey, and two missed sitters from Kane and Serge Aurier before the England captain eventually found a way through.
Man of the Match: Wayne Hennessey
People couldn’t wait to jump on his back for conceding a point-blank range header despite getting a hand to it. People are saying that he lost the game, forgetting that he pulled off two incredible saves to deny Kane and Davies. If he hadn’t have made those saves, our goal difference was at the risk of taking a pounding on the day – especially if we would have conceded as early in the game as Kane’s first chance that the Welshman denied.
I am not saying that he was perfect in the game, but to hyper analyse him not keeping out Kane’s header is a joke for me – a goalkeeper. Corner after corner was thrown into our area, 13 of them to be precise, in blustery conditions. Tomkins contributed to 14 clearances, 5 more than anyone on the field, on the day and was off the field injured when this corner came in. Delaney was on in his stead and did not have time to adjust to the climate. As a result, he got caught out, and Kane stole a march on him to score. It happens.
Hennessey was trying to command his area, and that is difficult to do with swirling winds. He had come earlier for a corner in a previous area to the one that Kane scored from, and missed it. With this in mind, he gave himself a chance to claim the corner in question but correctly retreated when the wind carried the ball further. Unfortunately, his footwork to get back in position carried him away from the direction in which Kane headed the ball. This left his hands stuck between needing to dive and being able to catch it – that is why the ball went through his hand and into the goal.
Go back to previous reports; I am not a great defender of Wayne. But in this instance, people are wrong to slag him off. He kept us in the game long after we should have been out of sight and he should be applauded for that.
It was great to see an Academy kid on the field and again, and he did a sterling job all things considered. Nobody made more tackles (7) than Aaron in the game, and he did a great job against a Spurs team that were evidently trying to overload his side and take advantage of a young player making his debut.
Perhaps the injury crisis has a silver lining if Academy players are getting a shot.
Oh, Dele Alli, he’s diving again
I was delighted to see that a Zaha-esque witch hunt occurred, if not from Chris Sutton.
I am still unsure if I think he is a disgrace for diving against Rochdale, or if I admire him for wanting to win at all costs regardless of the opposition.
The fact is, Alli is a c unit on the field. Is this a bad thing? In England, undoubtedly the answer is yes. People hate a player that dives, gives it to fans and throws hissy fits. However, those traits are revered in other countries.
I was pleased to see Patrick van Aanholt get so upset about it, a mood that continued near the tunnel as he confronted the cheater again at the end of the game.
As much as the witch hunt pleased me, with punishments in play for players that successfully dupe the referee with a dive, we should let the officials/panel deal with it and move on. It is a part of the game now, and players have shown that they are prepared to dive even with the risk of suspension so there is no getting rid of it.
Further, as Jermaine Jenas said on MOTD; “he will not get penalties that are penalties if he has the reputation of a diver.” You know, a bit like Zaha doesn’t get half the penalties that he should because of the reputation he wrongly has as a player that dives.
Three Foul Throws
I keep expecting for a story to come out that someone won big on there being over 2 foul throws in the game. Although, I suppose this would be a very easy betting scandal to solve.
The fact that Aurier was penalised for 3 foul throws (and probably got away with one more) was hilarious. All I could think about was the amount of abuse that players got for doing this back in my Sunday League days. I hope that the Spurs players fined him sufficiently.
Up Next: Manchester United
We’re due against them. Although, I’ve probably said that about six times now.
Come on you Palace!