Wilfried Zaha scored against Tottenham in the Premier League for the first time and Odsonne Edouard hit a late debut brace as Crystal Palace comfortably saw off their lacklustre visitors 3-0 at Selhurst Park.
Flying winger Zaha had faced Tottenham on 12 occasions in the league without registering a single goal or an assist, but he capped a fine display with a 76th-minute penalty before then setting up Edouard.
By the time he rolled his spot-kick past Hugo Lloris, Tottenham were down to 10 men having lost Japhet Tanganga in the 58th minute after the defender lost his cool and picked up two yellow cards for chopping down Zaha and Jordan Ayew.
Tottenham had arrived in south London as Premier League leaders, but they were poor, Harry Kane practically anonymous as the visitors had just two attempts at goal all game.
Substitute Edouard, newly arrived from Celtic, made sure of the points when he fired in from Zaha’s pass in the 84th minute just seconds after coming off the bench, before then getting a second deep into stoppage time.
Tottenham lost Eric Dier to an early injury after he collided with Jordan Ayew, compounding problems that had seen them start without Davinson Sanchez due to COVID-19 quarantine rules, plus injured forwards Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn.
Palace were the livelier side throughout. Zaha had two shots deflect wide before half-time, as he began to cause chaos. Conor Gallagher was then twice denied from close range, and by half-time the shot count was 7-0 in Palace’s favour.
Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira, now bossing Palace, would have enjoyed seeing his team playing with adventure and purpose, and their task was helped by Tanganga losing the plot.
Zaha was shoved to the floor by the Tottenham man in the 52nd minute, with both players booked as they squared up, sparking a melee involving a host of team-mates. Tanganga was then given his marching orders in the 58th minute when he foolishly lunged in on Ayew.
Dele Alli threw himself in front of a shot from Ayew to keep the game level. Sergio Reguilon then headed away from under the Spurs crossbar as a cross from left-back Tyrick Mitchell almost dropped in, before Palace were awarded their spot-kick in the 75th minute – Gallagher’s cross striking the arm of Ben Davies.
Zaha made no mistake, then set up Edouard to send a left-footed shot trundling into the bottom right corner. The striker’s Premier League entrance was capped in stoppage time when he finished off a slick Palace move with a powerful shot that Lloris was unable to keep out.
What does it mean? Sorry Spurs caught out
It hardly helped Tottenham to be playing a Premier League game so soon after the midweek internationals, and their absentee list should be taken into consideration, but this was still undoubtedly a poor display from the early pacesetters.
Their passing accuracy of 73.6 per cent was well short of Palace’s 83.1 per cent, and the home side had 62.3 per cent of possession too. Zaha, linked repeatedly in the past with Spurs, was excellent, and Palace rallied behind their star man.
Calling the shots
Palace were frequent visitors to the Spurs final third, peppering shots at Lloris, even before they had the man advantage. Tottenham did not manage a single attempt on goal in the first half, and that marked just the fourth time in 10 years that they have failed to have a goal attempt in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game.
The shot count finished at 18-2, with Gallagher having six of those attempts and Zaha four. Edouard, a prolific scorer in the Scottish game, then put away both of his two late chances to show he could prove a standout addition to Vieira’s group.
Zaha lays on Royal welcome
Emerson Royal made his Tottenham debut after arriving from Barcelona, and if the Brazilian right-back was unaware of Zaha’s prowess before this game, he certainly knows all about that threat now.
Emerson was beaten by dribbling players three times in this game, and despite making a team-high eight clearances, his shortcomings were exposed by one of the Premier League’s most exciting wide attackers.
Key Opta Facts
– Crystal Palace have enjoyed their joint-biggest Premier League win in a London derby, following two other 3-0 victories against Spurs in January 2005 and Arsenal in April 2017.
– Tottenham have won just one of their four Premier League games when starting the day top of the table, losing each of the last two at Liverpool in December 2020 and Palace today.
– Edouard is only the fourth player in Premier League history to score more than once as a substitute on their debut in the competition, and first since Sergio Aguero for Manchester City (v Swansea City) back in August 2011.
– Edouard scored on his Crystal Palace debut just 28 seconds after coming on as substitute, the fastest Premier League goal by a sub since Bernardo Silva netted after 17 seconds (v Brighton and Hove Albion) in August 2019.
– Lucas Moura’s shot in the 48th minute was Tottenham’s first of any kind in the match – indeed, they only managed one more in the entire match (2), their lowest tally in a Premier League game since August 2005 v Blackburn (1).
The novelty of the Europa Conference League awaits Tottenham, who launch their group campaign at Rennes on Thursday. Palace are in action next when they travel to face Liverpool at Anfield next Saturday.
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