Ange Postecoglou stated that Tottenham understood going into the game at Selhurst Park that chances would be few, and he commended his team for keeping patient and playing their style.
Despite dominating possession in the first half, Spurs found it difficult to break down Palace and generate chances, as the hosts maintained a solid defensive formation.
The second half started in a similar fashion but the game changed when James Maddison’s fierce shot/cross was turned into his own net by Joel Ward.
That meant that the Lilywhites could have the ball and entice Palace to press, thus opening up space for the away side to play through their opponents
That is exactly how Tottenham’s second goal came about, with Postecoglou’s men putting together a brilliant move from back to front which was turned home by Son Heung-min.
Ange Postecoglou is pleased with his Spurs stars
Spurs did have to endure a few nervy moments after Palace pulled one back through Jordan Ayew on 94 minutes, but Postecoglou insisted that he was extremely pleased with the patience and application his players showed.
The Australian told BBC Sport after the 2-1 win: “I thought we handled it well. It’s not an easy place to come to and the way they set up, they are disciplined defensively. I think we stayed patient and scored two good goals. [I’m] really pleased.”
“I thought it went how the game would go and it would take time for us to open them up. I am happy that we stayed disciplined and stuck to the football we wanted to play.
“Every week is a different challenge. The key for us was to be disciplined, focused and persistent in our play and we did that. I think the spell between the first and second goal we were dominant and played some really good football and then still think the lads handled [the end of the match] well.
“We haven’t faced that situation this year and there was a really clear-headedness about the team and there was no rushing and panic which is a good sign.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Palace were very well organised defensively and I was a bit concerned about our inability to break them down in the first half.
The game opened up after the first goal but many teams would take note of what Roy Hodgson’s men did and look to stop us through similarly deep defensive blocks this season.