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Crystal Palace vs Tottenham highlights as Kane double, Doherty and Son seal vital win

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham highlights as Kane double, Doherty and Son seal vital win.

When darkness threatens to consume Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Kane is a reliable beacon of light. His two goals within five minutes transformed this game and banished any lingering unease about his World Cup penalty miss. He was imperious, and this was the night when he and his side remembered how to have fun.

Kane’s goals against a ragged Crystal Palace took him within two of Jimmy Greaves’ all-time scoring record for Tottenham, an astonishing feat for a player still in his twenties. His manager Antonio Conte is unsurprised, and lauded his captain’s all-round contribution. “We are talking about a really world-class striker,” said Conte. “He is going to beat every record.

“For us he is an important point of reference, not only for goals but also in the pitch. He is with Hugo [Lloris] our captain and especially in difficult moments you know that Harry will be ready to fight, ready to help team-mates, ready to solve the situation with goals or assist.

“He will face any positive of negative situation with great character.” 

Perhaps all of Spurs’ recent woes have been down to Son Heung-min’s facemask? It had been six games and nine hours without a goal for the South Korean since his facial injury, including his own chastening World Cup. After scoring his side’s fourth he hurled the black mask to the floor and showed his unadorned face to the travelling fans, delighted with his goal, delighted to be free of a burden.

Before the game Conte claimed he had been working so hard to turn around Spurs’ season that he was not sleeping. This should be enough for a few sound nights. Patrick Vieira may have a harder time dropping off after watching a promising start disintegrate into heavy defeat. His Palace team crumpled alarmingly after going behind and look in need of either new recruits or ideas this month.

He lamented a lack of aggression in defence and cutting edge in attack. “The difference between them and us is they are clinical in front of goal and we weren’t,” he said. “They managed their good period and we didn’t and their experience helped them there.”

Neither team’s final form has fully materialised through the winter fog. Both can produce sporadically sparkling attacking play, both are equally likely to make a terrible mess of the seemingly routine. Bryan Gil was Spurs’ case in point, shimmying runs one minute, comfortably muscled off the ball by Jeffrey Schlupp the next.

Selhurst Park is not on the traditional list of nasty venues for chilly midweek nights. Indeed, Palace have not won a Wednesday Premier League home game here since their first, against Aston Villa in 1993. In his flimsy first half, Gil looked like he would find any English ground tough going.


Both teams missed a driving presence in the middle. Palace fans must be growing increasingly misty-eyed about Conor Gallagher’s all-action loan last season. Oliver Skipp and Pierre-Emile Hojgbjerg mostly served as conduits to work the ball to Spurs’ initially blunt front three. One desperate cross from Son nearly cleared the significant first tier of the Holmesdale Road end.

Palace emerged strongest after the break before a Spurs warning shot, Kane in space and Matt Doherty in even more on the right. His shot was wild, but Ivan Perisic’s cross a minute later had goal written all over it as soon as it became clear who was lurking underneath it at the far post. Kane towered above a muddled Joel Ward to nod it in, the first time in 11 games when Spurs have scored the opening goal.

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham highlights as Kane double, Doherty and Son seal vital win
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham highlights as Kane double, Doherty and Son seal vital win

Gil may have struggled to assert himself in the first half but he had no issue finding Kane for Spurs’ second, threading a pleasing pass between defenders to tee up England’s captain for his usual faultless finish.

“I was happy for Gil, he is going to improve game by game,” said Conte. “He was born to play football. He understands football quickly, he is so clever and intelligent. This league is difficult, you have to be good, have quality, be fast and have endurance. He has this.

“But you have to have physicality. He has to be stronger.”

There was plenty of intent from Palace to salvage something from 2-0 down, particularly from Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise, but they were utterly frayed in defence after Kane’s second. Son was sent clean through and should have done better than an attempt close enough for Vicente Guiata to save with ease.

It was the Palace keeper who under-performed shortly afterwards, allowing Doherty’s shot to squirm away from him for Spurs’ third. It came after more good work from Kane, muscling off Nathaniel Clyne and finding Son whose deflected pass reached Doherty.

Son’s goal arrived at last after a gruesome misreading of a high ball by Marc Guehi, the striker finishing unerringly to prompt his cathartic celebrations.

Spurs were so fluid and inventive in attacking areas that Gil’s name was sung with glee by the travelling support. At half-time you would have got longer odds on those songs than Conte releasing an album of guided meditations.

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