Sherwood hails Defoe strike but admits Palace surprised Spurs

19:26 11 January 2014

Jermain Defoe celebrates his goal against Crystal Palace. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jermain Defoe celebrates his goal against Crystal Palace. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

2014 Getty Images

Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood highlighted the influence of goalscoring substitute Jermain Defoe as he admitted his side were caught cold by Crystal Palace before running out 2-0 winners at White Hart Lane.

England international Defoe, who will leave next month to join Major League Soccer team Toronto FC, came on with the game finely poised at 1-0 following Christian Eriksen’s opener, and sewed up the three points for Sherwood’s side with a measured finish.

Palace had dominated the first half and should have been in front after they were awarded an early penalty, which was hammered high and wide by Jason Puncheon.

Eriksen opened the scoring five minutes after the break before Defoe grabbed his first Premier League goal since April to take Spurs fifth in the table and leave his manager delighted.

“Jermain will score wherever he plays, in any league in the world,” Sherwood said.

“He is a goalscorer, he loves scoring goals and if he doesn’t score he gets the hump. He will go home happy tonight.

“He warmed up like an Olympic athlete. I saw the appetite he was showing to come on and when he came on he showed his worth.”

Palace, who slipped to the bottom of the table following the defeat, not only spurned a penalty chance but also created the best of the opportunities before the break, with Sherwood admitting the Eagles were much more attacking than he had anticipated.

“I think we were taken a bit by surprise by Palace,” he said.

“The amount of attacking options they had, they were very powerful in the wide areas and deliver a lot of balls into our box and we had to stand up to it.

“The only positive for me in the first half is that we got in at 0-0 but in the second half I thought we matched them for desire and effort and then our quality shone through.

“We could have scored a few more and then Jermain comes on and gives us a bit of breathing space.”

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