Tottenham slip as Guaita completes heroic redemption arc

Date published: Sunday 13th December 2020 4:08


Vicente Guaita produced a series of spectacular saves to deny Tottenham three points after his initial blunder had handed Harry Kane the match’s opening goal.

An open affair early saw both sides have sighters at goal.

Wilfried Zaha caused problems with his pace and trickery, twice forcing Hugo Lloris into action to ensure the scores remained deadlocked.

It was the turn of Vicente Guaita to preserve the stalemate next. A Serge Aurier cross deflected into the path of Tanguy Ndombele who adjusted his weight quickly to fire a low drive goal-bound.

Guaita showed excellent reflexes to get down low and tip the strike away from the danger area.

The Tottenham pressure continued to mount as Sergio Reguilon then flashed a curled effort narrowly over the crossbar. Harry Kane then became the latest to sting the palms of Guaita after his powerful header from a corner was again saved by the goalkeeper.

The Eagles’ defence was creaking and the inevitable happened in the 23rd minute.

All of Guaita’s good work was undone when a swerving Kane strike from distance proved elusive. The Spaniard couldn’t recover after taking a step too far to his left, with the ball eventually flying straight into the middle of the net.

Though it wasn’t his most clear cut of chances created, Son Heung-min registered the assist to continue the pair’s incredible hot streak.

The visitors continued to push for further goals, but Guaita put his lapse behind him to make a fine double stop from first Steven Bergwijn, then Ndombele.

As half-time approached, Crystal Palace nearly provided a sucker punch through Eberechi Eze.

Quick feet crafted a yard of space around Toby Alderweireld, but the ex-QPR winger’s shot didn’t quite bend enough as it wrapped the foot of the post.

Holding a lead, Tottenham predictably came out after the break with one eye on maintaining their slender advantage.

An even 20 minutes saw little in the way of goalmouth action before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg rifled a low drive just past the post.

Eric Dier then latched on to substitute Gioavni Lo Celso’s free kick, but the centre-half’s contact wasn’t sufficient to trouble the Palace goalkeeper in a chance he ought to have done better with.

That miss would prove pivotal as Palace surged forward in search of an equaliser.

Christian Benteke twice came close to levelling the scores from headed efforts, before parity was finally regained through Jeffrey Schlupp.

Another set piece situation resulted in a dangerous delivery into the box. Eze’s teasing cross wasn’t met by a Palace head, but Lloris failed to deal with the ball once it came all the way through.

Schlupp reacted quickest to poke home from inside the six yard box to make it 1-1.

Reguilon struck the bar from what appeared to be a cross before Guaita completed his redemption arc in remarkable fashion.

A close-range Kane header was somehow kept out with a strong hand when it appeared for all the world the net would bulge.

With a man of the match award already secured, Guaita again produced a barely believable save from a Dier free kick.

Spurs continued to press, but time would eventually run out as both sides were made to settle for a point apiece at Selhurst Park.


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