Tottenham 2 Crystal Palace 0: Spurs open new stadium with routine win

Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen ended Tottenham’s five-game winless run as they settled into their new home with a comfortable victory.

Tottenham moved up to third in the Premier League as they opened their new stadium with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had to be patient to make their bow at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after the estimated £1 billion project suffered a string of delays, but they immediately made themselves at home to end a five-game winless run in the league.

After a frustrating first half – which saw the Eagles comfortably keep the hosts at bay – Son Heung-min gave the home supporters something to cheer in the 55th minute, finding the bottom corner after a heavy deflection off Luka Milivojevic.

Christian Eriksen then added a deserved second 10 minutes from time as Spurs moved one point above Arsenal, who do have a game in hand over Pochettino’s men.

Both sides enjoyed fine chances inside the opening 20 minutes. Jeffrey Schlupp blazed over after breaking the offside trap early on, while Eriksen’s curled effort from 15 yards was well kept out by Vicente Guaita to his right.

The Palace goalkeeper almost gifted Spurs the lead nine minutes before the interval, though, when he fumbled Son’s powerful drive just past the post.

Danny Rose then broke clean through but his attempted pass to Harry Kane was cut out, while the latter headed narrowly wide from a corner.

Michy Batshuayi flashed an effort wide of Hugo Lloris’ left-hand post in the opening stages of the second period before Son netted his historic goal.

The South Korean cut inside from the right and unleashed a left-foot drive, which was diverted into the bottom corner by the outstretched leg of Milivojevic, who had been dispossessed earlier in the move.

Eriksen made sure of the points in the 80th minute, tucking home from six yards after a surging run from Kane to ensure Spurs christened their new home in style.

What does it mean? Pochettino’s side back on track   

Tottenham’s title bid came to a crashing halt in the last few weeks after a torrid run of form, which saw them lose four of their last five games.  A welcome return to winning ways at their stunning new stadium, though, ensures they remain firmly in the mix for a Champions League qualification place. Palace, meanwhile, remain eight points above the drop zone and know one win in their final six games will likely be enough to secure their Premier League status for another season.

Son lights up new home

There can be few more deserving players to score such a landmark goal. The universally popular South Korean was in typically effervescent mood and got his side up and running at their new stadium with his 12th league goal of the campaign.

Alli’s struggles continue

The England international has now scored just once in his last seven Premier League games and cut a frustrated figure. He scarcely posed a goal threat and might consider himself lucky to have avoided a red card after an ugly challenge on Milivojevic in the first half.

Key Opta facts

– Tottenham have won their last eight Premier League meetings against Crystal Palace, the most successive wins they’ve had against side in the competition.
– Crystal Palace are winless in their last seven away league games against Spurs (D2 L5), failing to score in their last six. Their last league win at Spurs was in November 1997, 1-0 courtesy of a Neil Shipperley goal.
– Away from Wembley, Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 15 home London derbies in the Premier League (W11 D4), winning each of the last five at White Hart Lane and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
– Crystal Palace have only won one of their last eight London derbies away from home since the start of last season (W1 D1 L6), losing each of the last three.
– Tottenham forward Son Heung-min has now scored 12 Premier League goals this season; only in 2016-17 (14) has he ever scored more in a single season in his top-flight league career.
– Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen has now assisted 59 goals in his 200 Premier League games; only Cesc Fàbregas (66), David Beckham (62), Thierry Henry (61) and Dennis Bergkamp (60) provided more in their first 200 appearances in the competition.

What’s next?

Tottenham host Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, while Palace travel to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

 

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