Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Stand-in Tottenham star slammed for ‘rusty’ performance in rout of Crystal Palace

Clement Lenglet, Ben Davies, Oliver Skipp Tottenham

Tottenham bounced back to form with a 4-0 win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening but the UK media were particularly scathing about one of Antonio Conte’s men.

A brace from Harry Kane, plus strikes from Matt Doherty and Son Heung-min, all in the second half, earned Spurs a victory at Selhurst Park that saw them move to within two points of Manchester United in fourth – although the Red Devils do have a game in hand.

A positive start to game soon drifted away as Palace got on top. Indeed, Hugo Lloris had to be at his best to keep the game scoreless at half-time.

However, the second period was completely different as Tottenham ran riot. The victory was also their first win since the resumption after the World Cup break.

Kane was named Man of the Match, while Son looked a little more like his old self. Bryan Gil also showed flashed of why he is rated so highly in Spain.

But despite all the positivity, there were some negative aspects of the victory in south east London.

Cristian Romero struggled when he was isolated one-on-one by Wilfried Zaha. However, the Argentine can be forgiven to a certain extent as he comes down from his massive Qatar high.

Midfield pair struggle before goal glut

In midfield though, Spurs’ two of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp, starting in place of the suspended Yves Bissouma, struggled badly in the first half. And the UK media were not exactly glowing in their praise for Skipp.

The midfielder was booked in the opening period and struggled with the pace of the game. He was eventually taken off in the 66th minute, with Spurs leading the contest 2-0 at that time.

And Tottenham insider Alasdair Gold had the following to say on the 22-year-old: “Both Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and the rusty Oliver Skipp have struggled against their Palace counterparts, the latter picking up a yellow card after lunging to try to get to a poor pass from Ivan Perisic.”

Whereas, Dan Kilpatrick picked out Skipp’s tackling, or lack of it, against Palace as he said just before the 40-minute mark: “Skipp started the game well. But Zaha has already ghosted past him twice and he just lost out to Eze, too.”

Both comments appear a little harsh on a player who has hardly started a game this season.

Indeed, Skipp performed well under Conte last season before the eventual arrival of Rodrigo Bentancur in January. And Conte is hopeful the latter will be back from injury for the north London derby next weekend.

Tottenham’s next game is a home FA Cup third-round clash with Portsmouth on Saturday.

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