Foyth header secures three points for Spurs at Crystal Palace
Tottenham make it seven away wins from eight without hitting top form
11 November, 2018 — By Dan Carrier at Selhurst Park
FA Premier League
CRYSTAL PALACE 0
SPURS 1 (Foyth 66)
JUAN Foyth struck his first ever Spurs goal to seal a battling away victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s men at Crystal Palace this evening (Saturday).
His 66th minute header was a sweet moment for the 20-year-old who had only made his full Premier League debut last week in the 3-2 win at Wolves; he had conceded two penalties, neither of which were his fault.
Today he put such an experience to bed with a solid display in grim weather conditions and anchored a Spurs side that was missing key individuals such as Christian Eriksen, Mousa Demebele, Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier.
Speaking after the game, Pochettino said his team, who have faced a flurry of matches, put themselves on the line to eke out the result.
He said: “Football, it’s always about suffering. I’m so pleased with the performance of the whole team. That is the way to be, fighting with the hope that we’re fighting for big things at the end of the season. The character and the personality of the team is fantastic. Today we were playing in a difficult period because in 13 days we’ve played five games and to come here and show that personality is fantastic. That pleased me most.”
Palace looked up for it in the opening 25 minutes, winning a host of corners and looking to set Andros Townsend free against Foyth. Spurs had to make a change on 24 minutes when Keiran Trippier went down. He was replaced by Serge Aurier on the Spurs right.
But while Palace had a go, Spurs were well marshalled by Toby Alderweireld and Foyth, with Victor Wanyama covering ground in front of them.
Up the other end, Erik Lamela grew into things as the first half progressed, often finding space and Spurs looked particularly dangerous on the right hand side. Add to this the best performance Pochettino have ever coaxed out of Moussa Sissoko – a low bar, it must be admitted – it meant that for all of Palace’s huffing and puffing, Tottenham’s rearguard was not a house of straw but instead a deep level, rock solid bunker.
Tottenham’s best moments in the first period saw Harry Kane force Wayne Hennessey into a leap and punch away with a long range pile-driver that was going for the top corner. Dele Alli tried to cutely direct a header home, and then Lucas Moura was fractions of an inch away from connecting to a teaser of a cross with the goal opening up nicely for him.
With the rain showing no sign of letting up, the game restarted along the same lines with the conditions playing a part in misplaced passes and often slack control. Spurs took the lead at the midway point through the second half when a corner was swung over, Kane met it well and his header was cleared off the line by an outstretched leg as Palace scrambled to clear: the ball spun upwards and Foyth was first to react. His brave header flew into the roof of the net.
It prompted things to open up as Palace took more chances. James Tomkins went close on 50 after he connected well with a corner. For Tottenham, Alli strode into a good position but his shot lacked power.
The home team threw what they could at Spurs with Townsend forcing Hugo Lloris in to a one good save before, in the final moments, the goalkeeper was to remind Spurs fans why he is the first choice after some recent patchy form.
He pulled off a wonderful stop from Alexander Serloth’s close range effort at the death.
The game looked like a microcosm of Tottenham’s season so far. Under strength, good in spells, nowhere near their best – yet still some how coming away with three points. That is seven away wins from eight. Pochettino must wonder what this side will achieve when they actually start performing.
SPURS: Lloris, Trippier (Aurier, 24) Alderweireld, Kane, Lamela (Winks, 81) Wanyama, Sissoko, Alli, Foyth, Moura (Son, 71) Davies.
Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Dier, Llorente, Eriksen,
CRYSTAL PALACE: Hennessey, van Aanholt, Milivojevic, Tomkins (Kelly, 58) Meyer, Kouyate, Townsend, Sakho, Ayew, McArthur (Sorloth, 70) Wan-Bissaka
Subs not used: Guaita, Ward, Schlupp, Puncheon, Riedewald.