A goal of the highest quality from Dele Alli put Tottenham on their way to a crucial three points as they came from behind to defeat London rivals Crystal Palace 3-1.
Despite trailing at the break and a hatful of wasted opportunities in the first half, Tottenham showed tremendous character to put a disappointing 45 minutes behind them, by putting their dominance to good use as they went on to score on three occasions.
Tottenham fell behind after 29 minutes through an unfortunate own goal which saw Jan Vertonghen divert a cross from Palace’s Wilfrid Zaha into his own net past an outstretched Hugo Lloris. Up until this moment Spurs had been in control of the game and had seen a number of chances fall their way. Up until the half-time break, Spurs continued to push for their first goal but were unable to find their way past Wayne Hennessey, who despite being heavily criticised by manager Alan Pardew in the build up to game, the Welsh international stood firm in the Palace net. The Palace ‘keeper kept out Danny Rose’s excellent volley from a sublime Christian Eriksen cross soon after the hosts went 1-0 up.
Tottenham began the second half the way they’d played throughout the opening 45 – in total control. Four minutes on following the restart and Spurs had a strong appeal for a penalty after the ball looked to have struck the hand of the home sides’ Scott Dann, however, the referee Martin Atkinson waved away the claims, and on closer inspection made the right call with the ball clearly hitting the face of the Palace defender. Just a minute on and Spurs came tantalisingly close to being level as an audacious, long-ranged attempt from Eriksen flew just over the frame of the Palace goal.
In the 62nd minute, Tottenham were finally rewarded for their tremendous resilience to keep on testing the resolve of the Palace defence. A ball in from Rose was blocked, the ball then fell to the feet of the substitute Nacer Chadli who delightfully picked out the head of Harry Kane. The Englishman was able to nod in his 13 Premier League goal of the season and put Spurs level.
Tottenham will be left to sweat on the fitness of Belgian centre-back Vertonghen, who went down holding his knee in quite some discomfort. The Belgian international was replaced by Kevin Wimmer to make his Premier League debut.
Seven minutes from time, Tottenham’s 19 year-old Alli popped up to produce a moment of pure magic to put his side ahead. The England international scored what was without doubt one of the hottest contenders for goal of the season. Alli received the ball from a headed pass from Eriksen, he then proceeded to control the ball on his knee, then flicking it over his head and on the turn rifled the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
Deep into stoppage time, Chadli wrapped the game up for the travelling side, with a wonderful strike from distance. After cutting inside to shoot the Belgian found himself in a central position and from 20 yards out beautifully caressed his shot around Hennessey to seal a 3-1 victory for Spurs.
The win ensures that Tottenham remain placed 4th in the league, five points clear of 5th placed Manchester United. Next up for Tottenham is an FA Cup trip to League one side Colchester United in the 4th round.