Crystal Palace 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Inspired Guaita performance earns Palace a point
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Vicente Guaita of Crystal Palace is congratulated by Cheikhou Kouyate after the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park on December 13, 2020 in London, England. A limited number of spectators (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur were held to a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace thanks to the heroics of Vicente Guaita at Selhurst Park.

Goals from Harry Kane and Jeffery Schlupp meant the London sides had to share the spoils in an exciting game.

Jose Mourinho will be disappointed his side couldn't extend their gap at the top of the table, ahead of Liverpool, before his side's trip to Anfield next week.

The draw was a fair result based on the performances both teams displayed in the two halves of the game.

The return of fans looked as if it spirited The Eagles when they were chasing an equaliser and the fight shown by Roy Hodgson's men would have pleased them.

  • Story of the game

In what was an entertaining first-half, both sides threatened - showing glimpses of quality - but neither team was able to assert full control over the other.

The opening ten minutes saw Toby Alderweireld create a half chance for Heung-Min Son.

A brilliant diagonal ball over the top allowed Son to get in behind the two centre-backs, however, his effort from a tight angle was off-target.

Spurs had more of possession as they looked to create opportunities while Palace looked to spring on the counter.

The first save of the game was made by Hugo Lloris as he stopped Wilfried Zaha's shot from the edge of the box.

Palace launched a counter attack after Tottenham gave it away and a one-two between Zaha and Christian Benteke meant there was enough space for the Ivorian's effort.

Lloris seeing it late and a slight deflection off Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg meant it was a very good save.

Zaha looked lively as moments later he fired a half-chance over the bar on the half-volley, following a great ball over the top from Eberechi Eze.

The first big chance of the game fell to Tanguy Ndombele after Serge Aurier's cross found him in the box, but he was denied by a superb stop from Vicente Guaita.

The Spaniard got down quickly, reacting well to push away the shot, to keep the scoreline goalless.

Guaita then made another good save as Kane rose highest from a corner and directed his header towards goal.

For all his good work in the Crystal Palace goal, Guaita was then guilty of a very costly mistake as Kane scored from 35 yards out.

His low-driven strike was moving but Guaita was wrong footed, as he stepped to his right prematurely, before moving back to the centre.

He should have done a lot better as the shot went through him and he would have been disappointed following the impressive saves he had already made.

He made up for his mistake not long after, smothering the ball at the feet of Stevie Bergwijn and then following up with Ndombele's rebound effort.

Late in the first-half, Eze tried to curl a low finesse shot into the far corner, to his frustration, his effort was denied by the post.

The second-half was a different story from the first as Crystal Palace looked to find an equaliser.

They dominated possession in the first twenty minutes, trying to carve out a real opportunity but where unable to do so.

Tottenham came out after the interval in a more disciplined shape, perhaps trying to protect their one goal advantage. 

Palace's first big opportunity fell to Schlupp, following a set-piece.

The winger got his contact wrong as he mis-hit the ball on the edge of the six-yard-box, sending the his shot high and wide. 

The Eagles dominance was asserted and they continued to threaten from set-pieces, Christian Benteke sending a header just over the bar.

The equaliser came in the 81st minute from another Palace set-piece after a great ball in from Eze.

His cross was whipped in with pace into a dangerous area causing Lloris to fumble the ball as he saw it late.

Schlupp reacted quickest putting the follow up into the back of the net, giving Palace their deserved goal.

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The onus then fell back onto Spurs to take the game to the Eagles, they piled on the pressure looking for a winner.

They were denied on two occasions by terrific saves from Guaita.

A fierce shot from Aurier was diverted goal bound by the head of Kane, the reflexes shown by the keeper were incredible.

He then denied a free-kick late on from Eric Dier that looked in all the way, tipping over the ball that was destined for the top corner.

  • Key takeaways

Guaita deserved Man of the Match

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Guaita was at fault for the goal conceded, however, he more than made up for his errors. 

Saves in the first half prevented Spurs from taking and extending the lead as he impressed either side of his howler. 

He showed excellent professionalism to remove his error from his mind and not let it affect the rest of his performance.

The two saves he made late on secured the points for The Eagles, his reflexes were unreal.

As 2000 fans watched on at Selhurst Park they were treated to an impressive goalkeeping display from the Spaniard.

Spurs full-backs given license to roam

Jose Mourinho gave both Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon the freedom to attack and create width when in possession.

Following very disciplined and defensive displays against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, the full-backs have been unable to show their attacking talent in recent weeks.

Reguilon and Aurier were both impressive on the flanks and put in decent balls into the box, pushing up very high.

They failed to show the same attacking intent in the second-half, perhaps under Mourinho's instruction but they were both solid yet again from a defensive point of view.

Jose gets it wrong

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After a good run of clean-sheets in the league, Spurs finally caved under pressure and conceded a goal from open-play.

After being in the lead at the interval, Tottenham came out in the second half primarily focused on defending their one goal advantage.

Against this Palace side, they had already created chances in the first-half and should have come out in the second looking to do the same.

This style of play against the 'top six' sides is understandable, however, Jose's attempt to do the same again at Selhurst Park failed.

It'll be interesting to see if Jose now attempts to shut down shop in future when one goal up, or if he chases a second goal before switching to the defensive shape.

 

 

 

 

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