Crystal Palace 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs go five clear points clear at top of Premier League table with win

James Maddison plays the cross that leads to the opening goal for Tottenham against Crystal Palace

Tottenham Hotspur moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League table and continued their superb start to the season with a win at Crystal Palace.

The visitors took control after the break and benefitted from a huge slice of fortune with the opener when Palace defender Joel Ward turned James Maddison’s cross into his own net.

Maddison was key to the second too as his interplay with Brennan Johnson ended with Son Heung-min firing home his eighth goal of the season.

Jordan Ayew thumped in a stunning strike after taking the ball down on his chest in stoppage time for Palace, but there was to be no equaliser as Tottenham secured yet another victory under new boss Ange Postecoglou.

The Australian has breathed new life into his side since joining from Celtic in the summer and this win extended Spurs’ run to eight wins and two draws from their opening 10 games.

The victory means Tottenham move on to 26 points, five ahead of Manchester City and Arsenal, who both have a game in hand and can close the gap over the weekend.

“Every week is a different challenge,” Postecoglou told BBC Sport.

“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. There was no rushing and panic which is a good sign.”

Maddison is Spurs’ key man again

James Maddison and Son Heung-min celebrate scoring against Crystal Palace

Postecoglou’s impact on the Spurs squad cannot be underestimated – he is not only enjoying the best start to a season by a new manager in Premier League history, but has also guided his team to their second best start to a top-flight campaign.

Spurs’ best ever start came in the 1960-61 season, when they amassed 30 points from their first 10 games and went on to win the league title. While it is early days, fans will be starting to dream of of a title challenge this term too.

Key to Tottenham’s impressive form this term has been the irrepressible Maddison, who has appeared right at home in this Spurs team ever since his summer transfer from Leicester City, and it came as no surprise that he was at the heart of both goals at Selhurst Park.

Spurs were much improved after the break following a tight first half in which Palace striker Odsonne Edouard went closest with a low strike that was pushed away by Guglielmo Vicario.

Palace had defended solidly and maintained their shape well for 52 minutes, but they buckled when Maddison found space inside the penalty area drove the ball powerfully across the face of goal to deflect in off Ward.

After that Tottenham, and Maddison in particular, found space more frequently and he played a significant part in the second, carrying the ball forward and gliding into the box before feeding Johnson, whose cutback was converted by Son.

Maddison and Son’s ability to maintain their stellar form will be key in determining just seriously Tottenham can challenge at the top of the table as the season progresses, but right now both players are looking unstoppable.

History suggests Spurs title challenge is on

Though Postecoglou and his Spurs squad will likely insist they are not getting carried away about a potential title challenge, the statistics look very positive:

  • Tottenham are the 13th side in Premier League history to take 26 points or more from their first 10 games of a season. Of the previous 12 sides, 11 of them finished in the top three, and half of them went on to win the title.
  • The only side to have such an impressive start and not finish in the top three was Newcastle back in 1994-95, when they finished sixth.
  • However, that was in a 42-game season. Every side to take 26 points or more after 10 games of a 38-game season has finished in the top three.
  • Tottenham’s current five-point lead is their biggest lead over second place in the top-flight since the final day of the 1960-61 campaign (eight points), when they last won the title.
  • And one stat that will please Spurs fans even more – Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ team of 2003/04 earned 24 points in their first 10 games, two fewer than this Tottenham side.

“It’s been a fantastic start to the season that none of us expected,” former Manchester United defender Gary Neville said on Sky Sports. “With Harry Kane leaving, it was inconceivable.

“Those Tottenham fans have had a lot of pain with the way the team has played and results [in recent years], but they are playing great football.

“They should enjoy it, but there’s a long way to go.”⁠

Positives for Palace despite loss

Crystal Palace have enjoyed a decent start to the season over their own under Roy Hodgson, but have come out of two difficult games against Newcastle and now Tottenham with zero points, conceding six goals and scoring only once.

But, while the 4-0 loss to Eddie Howe’s side was a poor performance from start to finish, there were signs of encouragement in this display against a team continuing a stunning run of form.

They frustrated their opponents in the first half and created the better chances, but ultimately Ward’s moment of misfortune proved decisive.

It may have ended in defeat but this battling display was more like what Hodgson surely wanted to see after following the meek capitulation at Newcastle last time out.

Player of the match

Son Heung-minSon Heung-min

with an average of 8.85

Crystal Palace

  1. Squad number9Player nameJ Ayew

    Average rating


  2. Squad number1Player nameJohnstone

    Average rating


  3. Squad number16Player nameAndersen

    Average rating


  4. Squad number6Player nameGuéhi

    Average rating


  5. Squad number19Player nameHughes

    Average rating


  6. Squad number3Player nameMitchell

    Average rating


  7. Squad number8Player nameLerma

    Average rating


  8. Squad number49Player nameRak-Sakyi

    Average rating


  9. Squad number15Player nameSchlupp

    Average rating


  10. Squad number28Player nameDoucouré

    Average rating


  11. Squad number22Player nameÉdouard

    Average rating


  12. Squad number2Player nameWard

    Average rating


  13. Squad number11Player nameMatheus França

    Average rating


  14. Squad number17Player nameClyne

    Average rating


  15. Squad number29Player nameAhamada

    Average rating


  16. Squad number14Player nameMateta

    Average rating


Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-min
    Average rating


  2. Squad number37Player namevan de Ven
    Average rating


  3. Squad number17Player nameRomero
    Average rating


  4. Squad number13Player nameVicario
    Average rating


  5. Squad number10Player nameMaddison
    Average rating


  6. Squad number22Player nameJohnson
    Average rating


  7. Squad number30Player nameBentancur
    Average rating


  8. Squad number29Player nameSarr
    Average rating


  9. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating


  10. Squad number23Player namePorro
    Average rating


  11. Squad number21Player nameKulusevski
    Average rating


  12. Squad number8Player nameBissouma
    Average rating


  13. Squad number12Player nameEmerson Royal
    Average rating


  14. Squad number11Player nameGil
    Average rating


  15. Squad number9Player nameRicharlison
    Average rating


  16. Squad number33Player nameDavies
    Average rating



Crystal Palace

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Johnstone
  • 2Ward
  • 16AndersenBooked at 90mins
  • 6Guéhi
  • 3MitchellSubstituted forClyneat 70′minutes
  • 28Doucouré
  • 8LermaSubstituted forFrança de Oliveiraat 79′minutes
  • 9J AyewBooked at 90mins
  • 19HughesSubstituted forAhamadaat 70′minutes
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forRak-Sakyiat 60′minutes
  • 22ÉdouardSubstituted forMatetaat 79′minutes


  • 4Holding
  • 11França de Oliveira
  • 14Mateta
  • 17Clyne
  • 26Richards
  • 29Ahamada
  • 31Matthews
  • 44Riedewald
  • 49Rak-Sakyi


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Vicario
  • 23Porro
  • 17Romero
  • 37van de Ven
  • 33DaviesSubstituted forEmerson Royalat 45′minutes
  • 29Sarr
  • 8BissoumaSubstituted forHøjbjergat 64′minutes
  • 21KulusevskiSubstituted forBentancurat 90′minutes
  • 10MaddisonSubstituted forGilat 89′minutes
  • 9RicharlisonSubstituted forJohnsonat 64′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7Son Heung-min


  • 4Skipp
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 11Gil
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 15Dier
  • 18Lo Celso
  • 20Forster
  • 22Johnson
  • 30Bentancur

Andy Madley

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Crystal Palace 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  • Adblock test (Why?)