Conor Gallagher, Wilfried Zaha and Odsonne Edouard were simply outstanding as Crystal Palace ran out 3-0 winners over Tottenham on Saturday.
The first half was a largely even affair, which went from a tentative end-to-end game to a more physical battle. However, neither goalkeeper was troubled much in the opening 45 minutes, with the most notable event being the early substitution of Eric Dier due to a big knock, although Conor Gallagher did get denied from point-blank range late on.
Crystal Palace had looked the better of the two sides in the first half and it was more of the same post the interval. And the Eagles’ cause was handed a boost around the hour mark as Japhet Tanganga was sent off for a second bookable offence shortly after seeing his first yellow card for a scuffle with Wilfried Zaha.
Crystal Palace unsurprisingly made their numerical advantage count, as Ben Davies handled Conor Gallagher’s cross before Wilfried Zaha converted from the spot to break the deadlock. Then, in a span of ten minutes, the game was put to bed as the hosts completed a 3-0 win, with Tottenham suffering their first defeat of the season. The Hard Tackle runs the rule over both the sets of players.
Vicente Guaita: 6/10
This must have been the easiest outing of Vicente Guaita’s career, as the Crystal Palace goalkeeper had just one save to make all game. In fact, Odsonne Edouard, who came on in the 84th minute, had more shots on target than the entire Tottenham side. Completed each of his 11 attempted passes.
Joel Ward: 7/10
A typically solid performance by Ward, who produced a brilliant intervention in the first half to rob the ball from Tottenham in a dangerous position. Never really put a foot wrong and kept Dele Alli quiet while also charging forward when the opportunity presented itself.
Joachim Andersen: 7.5/10
A solid performance by Andersen, who hardly gave Harry Kane an inch when the Tottenham striker looked to take him on. Won each of his four duels while completing three tackles, two clearances and two interceptions. What an addition to the team.
Marc Guehi: 7.5/10
Just days after justifying his decision to join Crystal Palace, Guehi produced a colossal showing at the heart of the Eagles’ defence. The former Chelsea defender, like Andersen, was hardly troubled or called into action, while also being reliable with the ball at his feet, completing 92 percent of his attempted passes.
Tyrick Mitchell: 7/10
Mitchell was a busy customer on the left flank, and he grew in his performance after being given a run for his money early on by Lucas Moura. The young left-back charged forward with more purpose as the game went on, although his output on the ball was rather disappointing, as he lost possession an alarming 28 times. The only blemish in an otherwise solid display.
Conor Gallagher: 8/10
Conor Gallagher’s game by numbers vs. Spurs:
76% pass accuracy
7 ball recoveries
6 shots [3 inside the box]
6 attempted tackles
3 successful tackles
3 chances created
3 fouls committed
2 fouls won
Outstanding. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/5PsVl0ElHt
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) September 11, 2021
A lively presence on the pitch for Crystal Palace. Gallagher always looked for a way forward and even came close to scoring late in the first half. Posed a threat with his deliveries from set-pieces while also putting in the hard yards off the ball, helping out his fellow midfielders in the defensive phases. And late on, he provided the assist for Edouard, as Crystal Palace clinched the 3-0 win.
Cheikhou Kouyate: 7/10
Despite the availability of Luka Milivojevic, Kouyate was trusted to sit at the base of the midfield, and the Senegalese midfielder was at the receiving end of some crunching tackles. For much of his stay on the pitch, though, Kouyate was a solid presence in midfield,
James McArthur: 7/10
As tenacious as ever from McArhur, who donned the captain’s armband for Crystal Palace in the absence of Luka Milivojevic. The experienced midfielder kept things simple while also charging forward when given the chance to do so. Off the ball, he put in the hard yards and won three duels while also completing a couple of tackles and interceptions each.
Jordan Ayew: 7/10
He might not have much to show for his efforts, but Ayew produced a tireless display against Spurs, which allowed Wilfried Zaha and Gallagher to strut their stuff better. Constantly ramped up the pressure on Sergio Reguilon and even played a couple of key passes, all while completing 36 of the 39 passes he attempted. Job well done.
Christian Benteke: 6/10
Crystal Palace were the better of the two sides for much of the game, but for Benteke, it proved to be a largely frustrating outing, as he did not see the ball as much as he would have liked. The Belgian striker had just 25 touches on the ball while only aiming one shot at goal. Will be looking over his shoulders following the stunning debut for Edouard.
Wilfried Zaha: 8/10
Wilfried Zaha has scored more Premier League goals than any other Crystal Palace player since the start of last season (12).
Off the mark in 2021/22 from the spot. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/DyHAwydeW9
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 11, 2021
Ahead of the game, it was clear that Zaha was going to be the danger man in the fixture. That was exactly the case as the Ivory Coast international had the measure of Tottenham new boy Emerson Royal. Engaged in a tussle with Japhet Tanganga before stepping up by first scoring from the spot and then laying on the assist for Edouard’s first goal. What a star.
Luka Milivojevic: 6/10
On for Kouyate, Milivojevic made his first appearance for Crystal Palace this summer and did well to get into the rhythm, especially with his team in total control of the game, which he helped assert late on.
Odsonne Edouard: 8/10
A late introduction, Edouard scored with his second touch of the ball after a brilliant control of Zaha’s low cross with his first. Then, with the final touch of the game, the Frenchman made it 3-0 to complete Tottenham’s misery. What a debut!
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 11, 2021
Michael Olise: N/A
Another player making his debut, Olise did not have much time to make an impact from midfield.
Hugo Lloris: 5/10
An exasperating outing for Lloris, who was powerless in the face of the late onslaught by Crystal Palace, and he had no chance at saving any of the three goals the hosts scored. Otherwise, the Tottenham captain made just one save, which came late in teh first half, with Conor Gallagher well blocked.
Emerson Royal: 4/10
Drafted into the starting lineup at the first time of asking upon his move from Barcelona, Emerson made his Tottenham debut and engaged in a tricky duel with Wilfried Zaha, who came out on top. As a result, it was largely a debut to forget for the Brazilian, although he did make eight clearances. Did not get a chance to show his abilities in the final third, though.
Japhet Tanganga: 4/10
Tanganga was one of the better performers for Tottenham in their solid start to the season after the first three gameweeks. However, while he did continue in the same vein in the first half, the young defender completely lost the plot early in the second period, as he first engaged in a scuffle with Zaha, which earned him a yellow card, before a senseless challenge saw him get booked again and sent off, as a result.
Japhet Tanganga is the third different Tottenham player to be sent off in a Premier League game in 2021:
◉ Doherty vs. Leeds
◉ Lamela vs. Arsenal
◉ Tanganga vs. Crystal Palace
Heading for an early bath. 🛁 pic.twitter.com/Gwjwll636m
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 11, 2021
Eric Dier: N/A
Dier did not see a lot of the action early on before being taken off after just 12 minutes due to a heavy knock he sustained from a clash with Jordan Ayew.
Sergio Reguilon: 6/10
Reguilon came into the game on the back of a solid run of form. This time around, though, he was kept busy by Ayew, which restricted his forward movement considerably. So, while he did put in the hard yards at the back, his influence was sorely missed in the final third, especially with Son Heung-min unavailable.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 6/10
One of the better performers for Tottenham, although that does not say much, as Hojbjerg really should have provided better support to Emerson in his battle with Zaha. On the ball, he was as reliable as ever, only misplacing four passes.
Oliver Skipp: 5/10
Passed fit to start, Skipp was deployed at the base of the Tottenham midfield from where he looked to largely keep a check on Gallagher. That is something the youngster struggled to do as the game wore on, as Crystal Palace overran him quite regularly. Like Hojbjerg, though, he did not misplace too many passes in the middle, although he lacked imagination on the ball.
Harry Winks: 6/10
Drafted into the starting lineup in the absence of Son, Winks’s additio ought to have solidified Tottenham’s defensive output. However, that was not the case, even though he did not put much of a foot wrong on an individual level while also completing 91 percent of his attempted passes. Sacrificed for Ben Davies following Tanganga’s dismissal.
Lucas Moura: 6/10
A bundle of energy right from the get-go, Lucas Moura looked to get in on the action at every given opportunity. However, as the minutes went by, Lucas struggled to get into the game, with Crystal Palace incredibly comfortable at the back. That he was wasteful on the ball and only completed 65 percent of his attempted passes did not help matters much.
Harry Kane: 5/10
Making only his second Premier League start of the season, it was a forgettable outing for Kane, who only managed to get into the game when he dropped deep. As a result, it was hardly surprising that he did not muster up a single shot in the game while attempting just 20 passes.
Dele Alli: 6/10
With Son not fit to feature, Alli was moved into a more advanced position, which did not really work in his favour as he still remained more in the middle of the park than higher up the pitch. His positions dropped further following Tanganga’s sending off and he hardly had a noteworthy moment apart from big challenges on the Crystal Palace players.
Joe Rodon: 5/10
On for the injured Dier, Rodon was largely solid and made numerous clearances to keep the danger away from Lloris. However, the Welshman capitulated dramatically late on, as he just could not keep a check on Edouard. Will be asked to step up if Dier’s injury is serious.
Ben Davies: 4/10
Sent on in place of Harry Winks as Nuno Espirito Santo looked to get a centre-back onto the pitch following Tanganga’s dismissal, Davies seemed to be off pace right from the early stages before he handled the ball in the 75th minute to give away the penalty which was converted by Zaha.