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Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crystal Palace: Spurs win first game in new stadium

Tottenham won for the first time in the Premier League since 10 February
Tottenham won for the first time in the Premier League since 10 February

Tottenham celebrated the official opening of their magnificent new £1bn stadium with a crucial victory over Crystal Palace to cement their place in the Premier League's top four.

After two dress-rehearsal games, Spurs staged the opening ceremony before kick-off, 689 days after their last league fixture on this site against Manchester United.

And, after a series of celebrations to mark the occasion, Spurs overcame a nervous first 45 minutes in their new home to record their first Premier League win since 10 February when they beat Leicester City at Wembley.

South Korean Son Heung-min will take his place in history as the first player to score a Premier League goal here when his shot from the edge of the area deflected in off Luka Milivojevic after 55 minutes.

And the win was sealed 10 minutes from time when Christian Eriksen scrambled home from close range as Harry Kane looked for a penalty after tangling with James McArthur.

It rounded off the perfect night for Spurs, in front of a crowd of 59,215, as they leapfrogged arch-rivals Arsenal to go third, a point ahead of the Gunners, who have a game in hand, and Chelsea.

Tottenham Stadium
Wednesday night was the first 'home' game for Tottenham since they beat Manchester United in May 2017

Spurs' perfect homecoming

This magnificent sweeping stadium is a spectacular arena that proved well worth that 689-day wait. It ranks alongside any in the world.

Spurs fans gathered around their new home hours before kick-off, the space-age structure dominating the skyline and the local area.

And the pre-match ceremonials matched the occasion, with the stadium's place in the community highlighted alongside the obvious sporting and financial benefits to Spurs.

The motto for the occasion was 'Welcome Home' and one English tradition, the weather, obliged as the stadium was hit by a dramatic hail and snow storm an hour before kick-off.

And the vast South Stand, rising in one tier and home to 17,500 fans, was already providing a wall of sound when the pomp and ceremony got under way.

A giant golden cockerel, illuminated in the night sky, looked down from that stand as Gladesmore Community School choir performed "Everybody Dreams", which was written as an anthem of hope for the area's young people after the Tottenham riots in 2011.

As the teams lined up, award-winning tenor and Spurs' fan Wynne Evans and former Gladesmore student Lanya Matthews delivered a rousing rendition of "Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur" before a spectacular firework display whipped around the roof of the stadium.

The first-half mediocrity rather poured cold water on the mood of celebration but when the action did materialise, and the opening goal was scored, the roars and atmosphere confirmed Spurs' new home combines all the mod cons with good old-fashioned atmosphere.

Having not won in the league for nearly two months, these new surroundings can provide renewed impetus as they fight for a top-four place and prepare for a Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City here next Tuesday.

The performance may not have been one of their best but the scoreline and the occasion was exactly what Spurs and their supporters, who revelled in finally being able to take their seats, would have wanted.

Important win as Spurs face 'serious fight' for top four

The sight of Arsenal overtaking Spurs in the Premier League with victory over Newcastle United on Monday will have acted as a jolt to the system of Mauricio Pochettino's side after the disappointment of their own last-minute loss at Liverpool on Sunday.

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Pochettino reflects on 'emotional' first home win

It certainly focused the minds of players away from the party taking place around them.

Spurs are now in a serious fight for a place in the top four along with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, so all the flag-waving and elation of this landmark occasion would have been seriously diluted had they extended a sequence of five league games without a win.

In unfamiliar surroundings, it was perhaps inevitable that Spurs took some time to get going and for a while it was Crystal Palace's supporters who were making most of the noise.

Roy Hodgson's side, organised and resilient, made Spurs fight for this win that will revive some of the confidence that has been lost recently - the only surprise being that Harry Kane did not get a goal to mark this new beginning.

In among all the fanfare, this was a night when victory was what mattered most and manager Mauricio Pochettino and his players will be relieved and delighted to have succeeded in the serious business.

What next for Crystal Palace?

Crystal Palace are where you would expect them to be under Roy Hodgson - relatively safe, unthreatening, now living comfortably around mid-table.

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Spurs deserved to win - Hodgson

There was genuine, and understandable, disappointment among Palace fans and criticism of Hodgson when they lost in the FA Cup quarter-finals at Watford, a sense of a big opportunity missed.

Here they were stubborn, kept Spurs at bay for almost an hour but then did not really threaten until it was too late. They came and went without contributing much.

Will this be enough to keep the big, ambitious talents such as Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka happy and at Selhurst Park next season? Will it be enough to keep their passionate support happy?

It is debatable.

Palace are in no danger of going down but there remains the suspicion they could and should be doing much better, producing much more, with the talent at Hodgson's disposal, especially at home in one of the Premier League's most atmospheric and supportive stadiums.

They are functional and methodical in a typical Hodgson way but there is enough quality in this side to be better than that and this has been little more than a holding operation this season.

Man of the match - Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham)

Tottenham's Moussa Sissoko in action against Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha
Sissoko produced a dominant and powerful performance as Tottenham got off to a winning start at their impressive new stadium

Played eight, won eight - the stats

  • Tottenham have won their past eight Premier League meetings against Crystal Palace
  • Palace are winless in their past seven away league games against Spurs (D2 L5), failing to score in their past six.
  • Away from Wembley, Tottenham are unbeaten in their past 15 home London derbies in the Premier League (W11 D4), winning each of the past five at White Hart Lane and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
  • Palace have only won one of their past eight London derbies away from home since the start of last season.
  • Tottenham forward Son Heung-min has now scored 12 Premier League goals this season; only in 2016-17 (14) has he scored more in a single season in his top-flight league career.
  • Christian Eriksen has both scored and assisted in nine Premier League games for Tottenham - more than any other midfielder for the club in the competition.
  • Eriksen has now assisted 59 goals in his 200 Premier League games - only Cesc Fabregas (66), David Beckham (62), Thierry Henry (61) and Dennis Bergkamp (60) provided more in their first 200 appearances in the competition.

What's next?

Tottenham will now start preparing for Tuesday's home Champions League quarter-final first leg with Manchester City (20:00 BST). Palace are back in action on Saturday when they are away at Newcastle in the Premier League (15:00 BST).

Line-ups

Tottenham

  • 1Lloris
  • 2Trippier
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 33Davies
  • 17Sissoko
  • 20AlliBooked at 29minsSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 82'minutes
  • 23Eriksen
  • 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forWanyamaat 90+2'minutes
  • 3RoseSubstituted forWinksat 69'minutes
  • 10Kane

Substitutes

  • 6D Sánchez
  • 8Winks
  • 12Wanyama
  • 16Walker-Peters
  • 21Foyth
  • 22Gazzaniga
  • 27Lucas Moura

Crystal Palace

  • 31Guaita
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 34Kelly
  • 5Tomkins
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 18McArthur
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 8KouyatéSubstituted forTownsendat 79'minutes
  • 11Zaha
  • 23BatshuayiSubstituted forBentekeat 81'minutes
  • 15Schlupp

Substitutes

  • 2Ward
  • 6Dann
  • 7Meyer
  • 10Townsend
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14J Ayew
  • 17Benteke
Referee:
Andre Marriner
Attendance:
59,215

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home26
Away5
Shots on Target
Home10
Away1
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Crystal Palace 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Crystal Palace 0.

Attempt saved. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Victor Wanyama replaces Son Heung-Min.

Offside, Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha tries a through ball, but Patrick van Aanholt is caught offside.

Foul by Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur).

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Son Heung-Min.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Moussa Sissoko.

Foul by Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).

James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from very close range is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James McArthur following a corner.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Moussa Sissoko.

Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace).

Attempt missed. Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Lucas Moura replaces Dele Alli.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Christian Benteke replaces Michy Batshuayi.

Goal!

Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 2, Crystal Palace 0. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Andros Townsend replaces Cheikhou Kouyaté.

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Offside, Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha tries a through ball, but Patrick van Aanholt is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Foul by Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur).

Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur).

Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Winks replaces Danny Rose.

Offside, Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha tries a through ball, but Patrick van Aanholt is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Dele Alli following a fast break.

Foul by Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur).

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Patrick van Aanholt.

Attempt blocked. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko.

Offside, Crystal Palace. James Tomkins tries a through ball, but Michy Batshuayi is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Crystal Palace 0. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City32262483216280
2Liverpool32247172195379
3Tottenham322111060342664
4Arsenal31196665392663
5Chelsea32196755342163
6Man Utd32187761431861
7Wolves32138114039147
8Watford32137124747046
9Leicester32135144243-144
10Everton32127134542343
11West Ham32126144148-742
12Bournemouth32115164358-1538
13Crystal Palace32106163843-536
14Newcastle3298153142-1135
15Brighton3196163246-1433
16Southampton3189143550-1533
17Burnley3296173759-2233
18Cardiff3284202861-3328
19Fulham3345243076-4617
20Huddersfield3235241859-4114
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