Needing an immediate response on Wednesday night, Tottenham put on a real second-half clinic as they breezed their way to a 4-0 romp against Crystal Palace.
Claiming London bragging right at Selhurst Park and picking up their first Premier League victory of 2023, Antonio Conte’s men now have a platform to build on during their stacked January schedule.
With Matt Doherty, Son Heung-min and a Harry Kane brace guiding Tottenham to just their third top-flight victory in their last eight attempts, Conte also eased some of the pressure on his shoulders.
Bagging all four of their goals in the second-half, Wednesday’s guests also inflected Crystal Palace with their third Premier League defeat from their previous four showdowns on either side of the World Cup break.
Reigniting their Champions League charge and opening their New Year account, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Selhurst Park.
Conte gets the response he was demanding
Opening the New Year with another worrying display as they were hit with a 2-0 loss at home against Aston Villa, Spurs made the trip to south London on Wednesday night seeking an immediate boost.
While Tottenham might have failed to lay much of a blow on Palace during the first-half, the one-time Chelsea boss saw his side come flying out of the traps after returning from the interval.
With their attacking talisman spearheading their charge and extending on his free-scoring run this season, Wednesday’s 4-0 romp will undoubtedly ease some of the pressure on Conte’s shoulders.
Making the trip to Selhurst Park with just a pair of wins from any of their last seven Premier League showdowns, there have been some reports that Conte could be on his way out sooner rather than later.
However, while Spurs might still find themselves sat outside the top-four, their display at Selhurst Park will certainly have them believing that they can claim back-to-back Champions League finishes this year.
Next seen in top-flight action when they meet bitter rivals Arsenal for a heavyweight north London derby on January 15th, Conte will be desperate to show that their midweek display was more than just a minor boost.
While it might be a certain Erling Haaland who has only continued to rip up the Premier League’s record book this season, the Norweigan ace is not the only striking sensation enjoying a standout campaign.
Producing a pair of wonderful finishes here and leaving Selhurst Park with yet another brace to his name, Kane has only continued on what has been a stellar free-scoring run on either side of the World Cup break.
Despite drawing a blank in Spurs’ 2-0 loss at home against Villa on New Year’s Day, the England skipper has already notched himself 16 Premier League strikes this season.
Although Tottenham’s attacking icon might still be needing a minor miracle if he is to claim another Golden Boot this season, it appears that Kane himself is enjoying life under Conte.
With three top-flight goals in as many appearances since returning from the World Cup break, the 29-year-old will be looking to spearhead Spurs’ top-four charge during the second-half of the campaign.
Palace seeking stability
Signing off 2022 with a deserved 2-0 victory away at relegation scrappers Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve, some in Crystal Palace’s camp would have been smelling the chance to spring an upset here.
However, blown away after returning from the interval and hit for four on home soil, there is no doubt that Patrick Vieira will be calling on his side to find some much-needed stability.
Marking their return from the World Cup break with a dreadful 3-0 drumming at home against Fulham on December 26th, the former Nice boss has now seen his side lose three of their last four Premier League showdowns.
Almost finding themselves sat in top-flight limbo, fans around Selhurst Park should have a growing headache over their side’s extended issues in the final third.
Drawing a blank in three of their last four outings, Palace have also now lost back-to-back Premier League contests in south London by an aggregate score of 7-0.
Facing what is a tricky fixture list over the next month that will see them meet the likes of Brighton and Chelsea, Vieira could face a tough test in the capital.
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Ward, Doucoure, Schlupp, Olise, Eze, Zaha, Ayew
Subs: Mateta, Hughes, Edouard
Tottenham: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Lenglet, Perisix, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Doherty, Son, Gil, Kane
Subs: Sarr, Davies, Royal, Sessegnon
Goals: Kane (48′, 53′), Doherty (68′), Son (72′)
Yellow Cards: Crystal Palace: Schlupp – Tottenham: Gil, Skipp
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Michael Oliver