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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Palace beat 10-man Spurs for first win


Odsonne Edouard scored twice on his debut as Crystal Palace claimed their first win of the season to end 10-man Tottenham’s 100% Premier League start.

Wilfried Zaha gave the Eagles the lead after Ben Davies was penalised for handball, before substitute Edouard added a second and third late on.

Edouard, a deadline-day signing from Celtic, made an immediate impression on the Selhurst Park faithful, turning in Zaha’s cross 28 seconds after coming on and then steering in Conor Gallagher’s pass.

The result moves Palace up to 11th in the table, which they deserved after a dominant performance against the league leaders.

Even before Japhet Tanganga’s dismissal, the hosts were well ahead, with the Spurs defender receiving two yellow cards in the space of five minutes before the hour mark.

That resulted in Nuno Espirito Santo’s side’s second defensive reorganisation of the afternoon, with Eric Dier hobbling off on 12 minutes after being hit by a clattering challenge from Palace’s Jordan Ayew.

Even so, the Spurs, who barely posed a threat of their own, had looked relatively solid until their late surrender.

Is Edouard the answer to Palace’s problems?

Palace’s offensive woes have been well documented over the last two seasons, during which they have had one of the worst goal-scoring records in the Premier League.

They also began this match with only five shots on goal this season, the fewest of any Premier League club.

And, while they showed plenty of early tenacity, pressing forward for long stretches, they occasionally lacked the ideas and precision required to break down a well-drilled Spurs defence.

Conor Gallagher’s first-half close-range effort was well saved by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but Ayew’s stinging shot, blocked by Dele Alli, represented their best chance to score.

That is, until Zaha scored from the penalty spot and Edouard came on to add a new dimension.

His goal 28 seconds after coming on as a substitute was the fastest by a player on their Premier League debut, highlighting his predatory skills, taking a touch to set himself before placing the ball into the bottom right corner.

It was more of the same eight minutes later, raising hopes that Palace had finally found a solution to a long-standing problem.

Flat Spurs are inadequate.

On a difficult afternoon for Spurs, there were few redeeming features.

With Son Heung-min out due to injury, the visitors were outplayed from start to finish, mustering only one shot on goal in a lacklustre performance.

Emerson Royal had a difficult start to his Tottenham career, with Zaha repeatedly twisting and turning him inside out.

Tanganga’s rashness, earning a booking after robustly challenging Zaha and another after mistiming a tackle on Ayew, ensured he was greeted with chants of “cheerio” from the home fans.

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