Three stars who Nuno Espirito Santo must axe after woeful Tottenham are destroyed at Palace

Date published: Saturday 11th September 2021 2:36 - James Marshment

Crystal Palace's Conor Gallagher and Tottenham Hotspur's Oliver Skipp (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London

Crystal Palace were brilliant in defeating Tottenham 3-0 at Selhurst Park as we take a look at three players who failed to impress Nuno Espirito Santo in a flat and tepid display for the visitors.

Emerson Royal was handed a debut at right-back with Japhet Tanganga moving to centre-half in the absence of Cristian Romero.

Dele Alli was afforded a chance alongside Lucas in the two behind Harry Kane. That’s after Steven Bergwijn and Heung-min Son were missing through injury.

Harry Winks also started for the first time under Nuno Espirito Santo.

Tottenham’s starting XI: Lloris; Royal, Tanganga, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Winks, Skipp; Dele, Lucas, Kane

For a side top of the league going into the game, Spurs, however, looked oddly short of belief in themselves. Indeed, after an even sort of start, it was Palace who soon took control.

However, with the scoreline at 0-0, their best player on the day, Tanganga saw red in the 59th-minute.

He was impressing at the heart of defence, winning most things in the air and showing bite in the tackle.

However, after becoming embroiled in a heated exchange with Wilfried Zaha he was rightly cautioned. Five minutes later, a lunge of Gallagher was late, leaving Jon Moss with no choice but to brandish the red.

That was the cue for Palace to up the tempo as they pressed for the opener.

Sergio Reguilon produced a miraculous clearance off the line from a Tyrick Mitchell cross.

However, that only delayed the inevitable as Zaha converted from the spot two minutes later. The penalty was awarded after Ben Davies was adjudged to have handled Conor Gallagher’s delivery.

It was no more than Patrick Vieira’s side deserved, with the home faithful responding to their team’s energetic display by creating a fantastic atmosphere.

And the second duly arrived on 84 minutes when debutant Odsonne Edouard made an instant impact after stepping off the bench.

Indeed, it took him just 60 seconds to hit the back of the net, controlling a Zaha cross and firing low into the corner past Hugo Lloris.

Edouard then helped himself to a second in the dying embers, slotting past Lloris again after good work from

And with Spurs suffering a first Premier League defeat of the season, we pick out three players who struggled to impress Nuno at Selhurst Park…

Dele Alli

A player who has lost his way in recent times, his fall from grace highlighted by his placing on Football365’s England ladder.

This season represents a big season for the midfielder, now 25. And having started all three games this season to date, he was given the chance to play in his favoured No 10 role at Selhurst Park.

However, Dele struggled to impose himself on the game and was guilty of chasing shadows for long periods. When the ball did come his way he was guilty of either misplacing his passes or being harried out of possession all too easily.

Indeed, his link-up play with Harry Kane was virtually non-evident; the Spurs talisman starved of the usual service he enjoys with Heung-min Son.

Indeed, 15 first-half touches for Kane in the first half tells its own story.

The dismissal of Tanganga then forced Spurs into something of a reshuffle with Dele dropping a little deeper.

Indeed, his best moment of the match came after 65 minutes when he produced an excellent block to prevent Jordan Ayew’s shot reaching it’s intended destination.

Harry Winks

Afforded his first start under Nuno, a big afternoon for Winks ultimately ended in disappointment. Up against the free-running Gallagher, Winks failed to asset his authority on proceedings. Indeed, the on-loan Chelsea man often found himself giving Winks the runaround as Palace took control of the game in the middle of the park.

The three-man midfielder formation Nuno set up with quite arguably did him few favours, however, Alongside the similar Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp, the trio were very much second best and offer neither the mobility or energy needed.

Indeed, the entire Spurs midfield were simply too passive. They often opted for the easy square, or backwards pass rather than the searching balls that could have exploited Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon’s willingness to join in the attack.

Sadly looks bereft of confidence and his display underlines why Jose Mourinho overlooked him so often last season.

And Spurs reportedly making him available on loan over the summer, the midfielder may well need a January move to get his career back on track.

Winks was then withdrawn on the hour mark after a reshuffle ensued following Tanganga’s dismissal.


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Oliver Skipp

Perhaps a little harsh, given the formation and personnel around him doing him little favours. However, Skipp was another midfielder who struggled on the day.

Quite simply, he couldn’t live with the tempo Palace played at. And up against Cheikhou Kouyate, he was often out-muscled, out-fought and out-thought in the engine room.

The 20-year-old will certainly come good again. Nuno, however, may need to consider how best to get the best out of the youngster going forwards.

READ MOREGary Lineker explains theory behind Harry Kane’s failed summer transfer

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