Palace come from a goal down to beat Spurs as Pardew enjoys perfect homecoming
PUBLISHED: 19:34 10 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:23 11 January 2015
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Alan Pardew guided Crystal Palace to recover from a goal down to earn a vital victory over Tottenham at Selhurst Park.
Harry Kane, who is almost certain to win an England call-up this year, produced what is becoming a trademark goal in the 49th minute to give Spurs the lead as he pulled the ball onto his right foot and fired across Julian Speroni and into the net for his sixth goal in six Premier League games.
However, Benjamin Stambouli foolishly brought down Joe Ledley in the area on 67 minutes as Spurs conceded their league high sixth penalty, with Dwight Gayle stepping up to emphatically fire home the equaliser.
And, with ten minutes remaining, Jason Puncheon rifled home the winner from just inside the box after excellent work from Wilfried Zaha to put a dent in Tottenham’s top four hopes and lift Palace out of the bottom three.
All eyes were on the former Newcastle manager ahead of the game and he was given a rapturous reception as he strode out onto the pitch ahead of the game.
His tactics were clear from the start with the Eagles tight at the back and putting pressure Tottenham when they advanced forward – a strategy that caused Spurs to be sloppy in their passing in the final third.
Nacer Chadli was fortunate not to go into the book after he theatrically fell to the floor, while sandwiched between two Palace defenders – an action that led him to be booed by the home fans for the remainder of the first half.
Spurs should have taken the lead midway through the first half as Kyle Walker broke down the right hand side and produced a teasing cross but Christian Eriksen inexplicably fired wide when well-placed.
The let-off woke Crystal Palace up and they had a golden opportunity to take the lead themselves moments later. Dwight Gayle burst down the left flank and his cross was headed over by James McArthur, who had acres of space.
The Eagles started to pin back Tottenham and create opportunities for themselves and looked organised defensively for one of the first times this season.
Glenn Murray should have done better when he was played through on goal with Hugo Lloris alert to rush out and turning the ball behind for a corner with his feet.
As the first-half drew to a close Palace had their own penalty appeal as Gayle went down under pressure from Federico Fazio.
Replays showed the Argentine had a hand on the forward’s back but contact looked minimal. Had Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot, Fazio would have been sent off for the third time this season after red cards against Manchester City and Stoke.
The half-time break did not stop the momentum that Palace had and they forced an early corner with the Spurs defence just about dealing with the dangers.
But they soon had the lead as Chadli wriggled his way across the pitch and laid the ball off to Kane. The striker rolled the ball onto his right foot and dispatched the ball across goal and past Speroni.
Replays suggested that Kane might have been offside when the ball was played but this is not something that will bother the in-form striker and his manager.
Falling behind did not stop Palace and they nearly levelled the scores after Scott Dann’s free kick fell to Gayle, whose first time shot was held by Lloris.
One of Tottenham’s biggest problems so far this season has been the ability to shoot themselves in the foot and they did so once again as Stambouli lunged in on Ledley and Taylor had no option but to point to the spot.
Gayle stepped up and dispatched his penalty with aplomb to give his side an equaliser that was deserved on the run of play.
And, with 10 minutes remaining Zaha, on as a 74th minute substitute for Murray, ran Walker ragged before his cross deflected into the path of Puncheon, who smashed the ball home.
Spurs pushed forward again to try and get back into the game but their sloppy passing let them down with Speroni not having to make a meaningful save in the remaining minutes.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Delaney, Dann, Ward, McArthur, Ledley, Puncheon, Bannan (Guedioura 46), Gayle (Campbell 87), Murray (Zaha 74).
Unused Substitutes: Hennessey, Mariappa, Hangeland, Thomas.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose, Dembele, Stambouli (Soldado 75) Chadli, Eriksen, Townsend (Capoue 69), Kane.
Unused Substitutes: Vorm, Davies, Kaboul, Lennon, Paulinho.
Referee: Anthony Taylor