28 minutes: Palace are doing a decent job of keeping Spurs at arm’s length. The visitors will not have had too many touches in the opposing area.
26 minutes: Palace gave the ball away cheaply in their final third on several occasions. Maddison has the opportunity to cross or shoot but does nothing in particular.
24 minutes: Sarr succeeds on the right… before taking a deep breath of air on an attempted cross. He hits the grass with the palm of his hand, frustrated. The home fans appreciated it, of course.
23 minutes: Ayew isn’t going anywhere on the right. Richarlison cuts him off unnecessarily. Hughes sends a long diagonal into a crowded mixing desk. The ball scrapes Richarlison’s arm amid a tangle. Palace want a penalty, and VAR checks it, but there is nothing to give.
21 minutes: Schlupp nearly skinned Romero on the left with a graceful 360-degree turn, but just as he threatened to tear away in the Spurs box, Romero regained his balance and collected the ball. This is a high class fight.
20 mins: Some space for Richarlison in the left inside channel. He takes a harmless shot wide to the left of the goal. Johnstone took care of it.
19 minutes: Spurs dominate both possession and territory. The entire match is played in the Palais half. The visitors did a decent job of quieting the usually noisy crowd.
17 minutes: Kulusevski crosses deep from the right. The ball appears to go flying, but Richarlison does extremely well to return the ball from the touchline to Maddison on the left edge of the penalty area. Maddison hits a first time screamer over the bar and deep into the crowd. That would have been a hell of a goal.
15 mins: … Bissouma rushes wildly into the stand behind the goal.
14 minutes: Maddison is in pain, Ward having caught him on the Achilles tendon, just as Hughes had done to Van de Ven a few minutes earlier. As before, there is no other punishment than a free kick, which…
12 minutes: Both teams will be quite happy with their start. Spurs seem more assured, but it was Palace who put the opposing goalkeeper to work.
10 minutes: Van de Ven shows Hughes a pair of clean heels again. The Palace midfielder therefore stands on the back of one of them. He’s lucky he didn’t at least get into the book.
9 minutes: The Spurs calm the game by slowing it down. But suddenly, Maddison is sent clearly to the left by Richarlison. He has Son in the middle, waiting to head home, but can’t get his low cross past Lerma, who clears. A fresh start for this match.
7 minutes: Palace comes back, and this time it’s Edouard who aims deep on the right from the edge of the area. This is another successful test for Vicario. Romero gives his teammates a thumbs up for managing a few decent half-chances in a short space of time.
6 minutes: Edouard passes the ball to Hughes in the central circle, and suddenly he is free! But in a foot race, Hughes is no match for Van de Ven and can’t stay ahead to shoot. He slides Ayew into the bottom right channel. Ayew’s low shot to the bottom right is parried by Vicario.
5 minutes : Another long pass to the Spurs right. Guehi is wise with the plan this time and beats Porro to clear.
3 minutes: A long ball to the right. Guehi should take care of it easily, but approaches it like a man going to the store for 20 Bensons. He allows Sarr to pass him and launch a low cross into the Palais area. Palace – and especially Guehi – are fortunate that no one in white followed Sarr and cleared his lines.
2 minutes : Romero throws long. Maddison almost reaches the end of the pass, but Johnstone comes to the edge of his area to claim. Otherwise, a quiet start.
Spurs kick off. It’s a clear, crisp night in south London. A full moon.
Before the match, a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the events in Israel and Gaza. Perfectly observed. Then a moment of warm applause in memory of Sir Bobby Charlton and Bill Kenwright.
The teams are out! Crystal Palace play in their red and blue halves, while Spurs sport a freshly numbered Lilywhite. The local supporters in good voice, Glad All Over everyone. We’ll leave in a few minutes. In the meantime, here’s our old friend Gary Naylor (Guardian Legacy Email Correspondent #1): “There are a million reasons against it, but I feel drawn to adopting Tottenham as my second club this season – and I suspect I’m not alone. A title wouldn’t quite have the romance from Leicester’s, but it would be something different, just like Ange’s approach on and off the pitch. But I think the main reason is that the players seem to be taking advantage of the luck that has given them has made it possible to be Premier League players – and, for God’s sake, we could use more smiles in today’s world.”
Roy Hodgson speaks to Sky Sports. “(Newcastle’s defeat) gave us a lot to talk about and work on…we are playing against top-class opponents who are unfortunately capable of giving huge problems to any team they play against, we have to so being aware of that…we’re looking forward to the match and we’ll see what happens.
This is the first game the Spurs will play with Legacy numbers on their jerseys. This new venture involves every player in Tottenham’s history being assigned a unique number in the order of their time at the club, from their first competitive match in 1894 – an FA Cup tie with West Herts – to ‘to today and beyond. Vaguely interesting numbers include:
The current list goes up to 879, the number given to Alejo Veliz, who became Tottenham’s latest debutant against Liverpool. Expect a number (i.e. most, if not all) other clubs to quickly announce their own heritage-based merchandising initiatives/scams.
Ange Postecoglou – whose team arrived late this evening – speaks to Sky Sports. “These things happen in life, we’re no different from any other human being stuck in traffic, you just have to deal with it, we’re pretty well organized… our performance has been good… we’ve been pretty good. consistent… it’s still the beginning and we have to improve… we have to continue, we can’t be satisfied with where we are… each player brings their own qualities and elements… Ben (Davies) is a different player from Destiny (Udogie) of course but it’s still in the same structure… we give players the freedom to bring into the game what they feel comfortable with… it will change a little but the overall structure will remain the same …I try to show there is a lot of freedom but I try to be the puppeteer (sly smile) and try to control where they go and why they do it.
This is Roy Hodgson’s 500th match in charge of an English club. He was a change to the team that lost 4-0 at Newcastle last weekend. Jeff Schlupp has recovered from a thigh problem and Jean-Philippe Mateta therefore falls to the bench.
This is Ange Postecoglou’s 11th match in charge of an English club. He made some changes to the team that beat Fulham 2-0 on Monday night. Yves Bissouma returns from suspension and replaces Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who drops to the bench, while Ben Davies replaces the injured Destiny Udogie. Rodrigo Bentancur, absent since February, is back and named replacement.
Crystal Palace: Johnstone, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Lerma, Doucoure, Hughes, Ayew, Edouard, Schlupp.
Substitutes: Holding, Matheus Franca, Mateta, Clyne, Richards, Ahamada, Matthews, Riedewald, Rak-Sakyi.
Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Davies, Bissouma, Sarr, Kulusevski, Maddison, Richarlison, Son.
Substitutes: Skipp, Hojbjerg, Gil Salvatierra, Emerson, Dier, Lo Celso, Forster, Johnson, Bentancur.
Arbitrator: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire).
…represents Tottenham Hotspur’s best start to a season in the Premier League. It’s also their second-best start to a top-flight campaign. all time, behind the legendary double winner of Bill Nicholson, who after nine games in the 1960-61 season had nine wins to his name, a feat which would give them 27 points in the present day. New boss Ange Postecoglou has taken over, mate, and if they win tonight they’ll be five points clear at the top, for at least 19 hours, and good luck remembering when they climbed from such heights since the days of Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay, John White et al.
You’d expect them to close that gap tonight too. That’s because they are on a three-match winning streak without conceding a goal against Crystal Palace. They have won 13 of the last 16 matches against the Eagles and drawn two of the others. And Roy Hodgson’s personal record against them is frankly appalling, with just one win in 20 Premier League games and 13 defeats. The more jaded members of the Tottenham fanbase will simply sigh, suggesting that all this positivity is just a perfect setup for a typical Spurs implosion. However, the neutral, after being confronted with all these facts, was able to come to a slightly different conclusion: guys, it’s Palace; guys, it’s Mr. Roy. Kick-off is at 8pm BST. It’s on!