Tottenham players give perfect response to Pochettino with Palace win
Mauricio Pochettino got the perfect response to the summit talks he held with his Tottenham squad as a first-half blitz saw them hammer Crystal Palace 4-0.
Boss Pochettino got his group together this week following the closure of the European transfer window to galvanise them and it did the trick as they posted a joint-record win at their new stadium.
They got the job done in the opening 45 minutes thanks to Son Heung-min’s double, a Patrick van Aanholt own goal and Erik Lamela’s fourth.
Having suffered such an unsettled start to the season, where a host of their players’ futures were uncertain, this will feel like a watershed moment and the catalyst for getting back to the level of the past few years.
Palace, who had only conceded two goals prior to this game, had an afternoon to forget as they were unable to replicate their impressive win at Manchester United.
They would have been optimistic of getting something as Spurs had laboured in their opening two home games of the season, where both had followed the same pattern of conceding an early goal and then struggling to break down the opposition.
But they were in no mood to allow that to happen for a third time and produced one of their best 45-minute performances in recent times.
They had two shots inside the opening minute, from Harry Winks and Son, before the South Korean continued his love of scoring against Palace by giving his side a 10th-minute lead.
He was set clear by Toby Alderweireld’s pinpoint ball over the top and, after cutting inside on to his left foot, produced a composed finish into the bottom corner.
It proved the perfect launchpad for Spurs to get the game won inside the opening 25 minutes as they blitzed Palace with two goals in 100 seconds and returning defender Serge Aurier created them both.
The Ivory Coast international, who was making his first start of the season having admitted he wanted to leave the club in the summer, will try and claim the first as it was his cross – after being set free by Son – that Van Aanholt turned into his own net.
Less than two minutes later a team move that involved Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Winks and then Aurier ended with Son thrashing home a low volley at the far post from the right-back’s brilliant cross.
Having scored his first Premier League goal against Palace and then became the first scorer at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against them in April, it was another day to remember for the South Korean.
Spurs’ attacking players were causing Palace no end of problems and they were rewarded with a fourth goal in the 42nd minute and it was another fine team effort.
Son was involved again as he found Kane on the right hand edge of the penalty area and the England captain whipped in a delicious cross which was begging to be converted, with Lamela making no mistake.
Unsurprisingly, with the job done, the second half lacked the intensity and Palace came close to reducing their deficit when Gary Cahill’s header stung the palms of Hugo Lloris.
Spurs had a second wind of sorts midway through the second half which saw Aurier have a shot blocked and then Lamela’s dinked cross caused chaos, but their work was done.