Crystal Palace travelled to Wembley in a good patch of form in the Premier League to take on a Tottenham side full of confidence after beating Real Madrid.
|Tottenham Hotspur||1-0||Crystal Palace|
|Yellow Cards||Townsend 45+2′, Schlupp 56′|
|Son Heung-Min 64′||Goal Scorers|
The Expat Eagle’s Verdict
“If we had a striker we’d have scored!” and “If Palace keep on playing like that they’ll stay up!” are two of the most over-used and, quite frankly, boring expressions quoted this season.
To start with, the chances we’re creating are falling to players who should be finishing them off. Zaha and Townsend were guilty of missing good chances, Zaha an open goal. I accept that having an out and out striker might have helped, though not on Benteke’s form this season, but these players are not finishing as they should.
People who are crying out for Benteke to return from injury, be careful what you wish for! When he comes back he’ll slow down out attacking play and make us change our style.
Personally, I’d sell Benteke in January and buy two decent strikers in exchange. That isn’t to say Benteke isn’t a good striker. He is. But he is not a Palace striker!
As for the other comment about if we carry on playing as we have been… It is getting tiresome! People of a certain age will remember when Brian Clough was relegated in his last season as Nottingham Forest manager. Back then every pundit said they were too good to go down yet down they went!
We are not too good to go down. We’ve proven that we can play well and even play better than the opposition yet we still manage to lose.
If playing poorly but winning is the sign of a championship winning side then playing well but losing is the sign of a team destined for the Championship… In other words, relegation!
We need to start winning the points we deserve and you may complain about our lack of striker yet it wasn’t a lack of striker that has seen us ship goals in the last couple of games while playing well.
Today was a prime example.
The first half saw each team cancel each other out, neither side had the upper hand.
The second half saw Palace come out with much more attacking intent than Spurs. The home side had their 3rd choice keeper in goal and, as is typical, he was having the game of his life pulling of a string of fine saves.
Inevitably Spurs scored from a long-range shot, albeit one that was perfectly curled around the Palace defence and into the corner of the net.
It was a bit of a kick in the teeth, especially as a few minutes before Zaha missed an open goal. In all fairness, it was an open goal that his speed created as he shot wide of the far post from the right-hand side of the Spurs penalty area.
When the final whistle blew I felt we deserved a point and on another day all three points.
It could be argued that with Benteke we’d have scored 2 or 3 goals but in my opinion, with Benteke we wouldn’t have had as many goal scoring opportunities.
It’s the question of fewer opportunitied with a specialist striker versus more opportunities with two wingers playing up front. As we’ve seen, Benteke hasn’t been on form so far this season and we haven’t been putting crosses into the box either.
Benteke might not be the answer to our problems. He will slow our attacks down and I doubt he’ll get anywhere near the 15 league goal he managed last season. Baring in mind 3 of the goals were penalties he would still need to average a goal every two games.
Verdict: It’s about time we started picking up the points everyone says we’ll get else we’re doomed.
|Tottenham Hotspur (3511)||6.92||Crystal Palace (442)||6.55|
Match rating courtesy of WhoScored.
|Ball Possession %
Match statistics courtesy of WhoScored.