Football News

Crystal Palace 1-2 Tottenham: Ange Postecoglou equals 74-year start as Spurs enjoy another away day

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 22:00, 27 October 2023

Tottenham maintained their impressive unbeaten Premier League status with a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace this evening.

Ange Postecoglou’s men will finish this round of fixtures sitting atop the young championship table and, though playing one game more, currently boast a five-point lead over their nearest challengers. It’s an incredible start to Postecoglou’s reign which very few saw coming.

The personable Australian tactician built a stellar reputation in his native land before enjoying further success in Japan and more recently north of the border.

Celtic were near-impenetrable under his tutelage playing a modern brand of swashbuckling football which caught Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s eyes, but even he couldn’t have foreseen the events of these past few weeks, especially following Harry Kane’s departure. Newly-appointed captain Son Heung-Min, who endured his lowest-scoring campaign last term, stepped up exponentially while simultaneously forging a new creative attacking duo alongside major summer acquisition James Maddison.

This latest triumph was built on doing it the hard way. Spurs went into the break without registering a single attempt on target something they hadn’t managed before with Postecoglou at the helm. That being said, winning a game which had been goalless at half-time isn’t alien territory for this new-look Tottenham side, they did so on three occasions before today’s outing (against Man Utd, Sheff Utd and Luton).

Now make it four. The all-important deadlock-breaking goal came in the 54th minute when Maddison drilled the ball into the six-yard box and Joel Ward couldn’t do anything but turn it into his own net. It will go down as Maddison’s assist in the realm of fantasy football but not officially though it only illustrates how impactful the ex-Leicester man has been. Maddison had either scored (two goals) or assisted (five goals) in each of his opening five away Premier League appearances for Tottenham — something Andrey Arshavin and Bruno Fernandes managed before — heading into this latest road trip.

He was heavily involved as Spurs doubled their lead. Maddison laid the ball to substitute Brennan Johnson who picked out Son who scored his eighth goal this season with six of those (a league-high) coming on the road.

But there was a late scare when Jordan Ayew spectacularly netted his first goal of the Premier League season albeit tinged with controversy as it seemed the Ghanian forward had controlled the ball with his arm before unleashing a rocket past Guglielmo Vicario.

The victory ensured Tottenham are now unbeaten in each of their last seven Premier League away games (five wins and two draws), having been winless in seven on the road before this (two draws and five losses). As intimated six of these have come with Postecoglou calling the shots, meaning he’s the first Spurs manager since Arthur Rowe to start with six unbeaten away trips.

Rowe, who lifted the 1950/51 league championship, wouldn’t lose in his first 12 road matches meaning Postecoglou will need to successively return from Wolves (November 11), Man City (December 3), Nottingham Forest (December 15), Brighton (December 28), Man Utd (January 14) and Everton (February 3) without defeat to match this feat.

It’s also worth pointing out local bragging rights were on the line. Tottenham are now unbeaten in their last five away Premier League London derbies (two wins and three draws), since a 3-1 loss at Arsenal in October 2022. They last had a longer run without defeat on the road in London derbies between October 1992 and December 1993 (seven – three wins and four draws).

Spurs have an immediate opportunity to push that current number to six with them hosting Chelsea, managed by former boss Mauricio Pochettino, in ten days’ time. It should be one atmospheric reunion.