Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Moura rises high, Kane levels record as Tottenham cruise past 10-man Crystal Palace

Steve Pearson
Tottenham forward Lucas Moura winning an aerial duel against Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen

Harry Kane matched a Boxing Day record, but it was Lucas Moura that stole the show as Tottenham cruised past 10-man Crystal Palace 3-0.

Despite suffering under the weight of a Covid outbreak, Crystal Palace named a starting eleven that closely resembled their strongest eleven. Vicente Guaita, Luka Milivojevic, Eberechi Eze, Christian Benteke and Nathaniel Clyne were among those absent, alongside boss Patrick Vieira who was a confirmed positive case.

Spurs made three changes from the side that beat West Ham in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Emerson Royal, Japhet Tanganga and Son Heung-min came into the starting eleven.

Jordan Ayew and Son Heung-min both had early sights at goal. Ayew blazed over the bar from the edge of the area, while Son stung the palms of goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Spurs did most of the early running and buzzed about with intent. But much to Antonio Conte’s chagrin, efforts on goal were in desperately short supply.

When a golden opportunity did finally come, Lucas Moura fluffed his lines with a disappointing header.

Sergio Reguilon’s superb cross picked out Moura who ghosted into a dangerous position between two defenders. The Brazilian glanced his headed effort towards goal, but needed stronger contact with the ball fizzing narrowly beyond the far post.

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Moura found better luck when turning provider for Harry Kane in the 32nd minute.

Emerson Royal’s defence-splitting pass sent Moura scampering down the right flank before his cutback picked out Kane. Finishing as Spurs fans have become accustomed to seeing, Kane swept the ball home first-time to make it 1-0.

The goal was Kane’s ninth in Boxing Day fixtures, a figure that ties the Premier League record on that date with Robbie Fowler.

The lead was quickly doubled when Moura showed great determination and desire when heading home from five yards. What made the goal all the more special was how the Brazilian out-leapt and outmuscled the 6ft 4in Joachim Andersen in the air.

Palace’s afternoon went from bad to worse when Wilfried Zaha saw red for his second bookable offence. The Eagles talisman only had himself to blame when needlessly shoving Davinson Sanchez to the ground after losing out in a duel.

Damage limitation was the order of the day for Palace after the break. Leaving north London with just a 2-0 defeat would’ve constituted a successful second half for the visitors.

Kane came close to doubling his tally after combining with Son from a corner. Kane peeled off round the back of the huddle, but drove Son’s low cross inches over the crossbar.

With the hectic festive schedule in mind, Conte then saved Kane’s legs when replacing him with Steven Bergwijn.

Palace steadied the ship for much of the second half, but were cut open down their left in the 75th minute. In his last action before being substituted, Son glanced home Moura’s accurate cross to make it 3-0.

Moura and Sanchez spurned three late chances between them. But the dye was already cast as Spurs emerged with a comfortable 3-0 victory.

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