Football Features

Spurs 4-0 Crystal Palace: Five things learned from joint-biggest home win the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has seen so far

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:22, 14 September 2019

Tottenham Hotspur inflicted a 4-0 defeat on Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, matching their biggest home win at their new ground.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men also got their Premier League campaign back underway having collected five points from the last 12 available going into gameweek five which included failing to win their last three games on the bounce.

That slumber came to an end at Palace’s expense who had no answer for a Spurs side engaged in a feeding frenzy, but they should also be mighty disappointed given their recent performances against the league’s big boys.

With the match now behind us, here are five observations from the encounter.

1. Son awakens

There are few Premier League teams Son Heung-min enjoys playing more than Crystal Palace whom he just so happened to score against to mark the grand opening of Spurs’ new state of the art home. Roy Hodgson’s men were already put on notice but did not abide by those warnings as the forward bagged a double inside the opening quarter of an hour. His first effort saw him latch onto a spectacular long ball from Toby Alderweireld before striking past Vicente Guaita inside the penalty area.

Son’s follow up was a thing of beauty: smashing a Serge Aurier cross first time beyond the rooted Spaniard. These efforts saw him move to five goals against Palace in five league meetings to date. They were also his first strikes of these season. It goes without saying how important Son has become for Spurs and Mauricio Pochettino. As great as Harry Kane is, it’s going to take a team effort if they are to realise their ambitions, the workload needs to be spread around and the affable South Korean international has for the big part has taken up the baton of responsibility.

2. Spurs rain on Hodgson’s parade

Crystal Palace have become somewhat of a Premier League giant killer. The Eagles, heading into this weekend’s fixture, held the title of being the last club to win a league game at each of these stadiums: the Emirates, Old Trafford, the Etihad and Anfield.

However, away to Spurs is proving to be the last frontier, since the start of 2016/17 they’ve won away at five of the ‘big six’ sides (more than any other club), with Pochettino’s men the only exception.

That record stayed intact with last season’s Champions League runners-up dishing up a painful beating on their southern London neighbours, just days after manager Roy Hodgson celebrated two years in charge, the scoreline also meant Palace are now winless in their last eight away Premier League games against Spurs (drawing twice and losing six times) as well as failing to score in each of the last seven trips.

3. Aurier stakes a claim

The loss of Kieran Trippier this summer, in truth, wasn’t met with universal anger from Spurs supporters. His performances last season left a lot to be desired with Pochettino occasionally turning to Ivorian right-back Serge Aurier who until this afternoon hadn’t played a single minute of Premier League football.

So, no better occasion to make up for lost time. The former Paris Saint-Germain would double the hosts lead by forcing Patrick van Aanholt to put the ball into his own net. Soon after his first time cross was lashed home by Son.

In a single game Aurier equalled his assist tally from last season and the campaign before. And it was the first time since FC Toulouse defeated FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 5-1 in November 2013 he’d create two goals in one league match. They say possession is nine tenths of the law, right now it’s Aurier’s place in the Lilywhites starting XI to lose.

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4. Ayew fails to match his brother

There’s nothing like sibling rivalry. Jordan Ayew’s brother André is one of three Ghanaian footballers to score in three consecutive Premier League games alongside Asamoah Gyan and Tony Yeboah. The 28-year-old Palace marksman struck in their recent wins over Aston Villa and Man Utd meaning he was on the cusp of matching big bro.

It wasn’t to be. But not for a lack of trying. Ayew was responsible for two of the Eagles’ seven shots on goal (both on target). The service and effort was there, but they simply came across a Spurs team determined to change the headlines after enduring a lacklustre start. He might have failed today, but there’s no reason why Ayew could not attain – or even surpass – what those before him accomplished.

5. A very long wait

Some reputations are hard to shake off. Spurs, despite their lack of success, have always been seen as a side playing on the front foot. Yet the numbers don’t always back them. You rarely see them, even under Pochettino, as one to put their foot on the opposition’s neck especially at home.

Today felt like one of those rare days. As for the first time since beating Newcastle United 5-0 at the old White Hart Lane in February 2012 did Spurs score three goals in the opening 30 minutes. They would add a fourth through Erik Lamela but no more. You’d think they were saving up for their upcoming Champions League group phase opener against Olympiacos in Greece.

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