Tottenham 1 Crystal Palace 0: Tottenham earned their first home win of the Premier League season with a 1-0 defeat of Crystal Palace.
Endearing himself to the fans on his home league debut, Son Heung-min, signed from Bayer Leverkusen towards the end of the transfer window for a reported fee of €30m, scored the 68th-minute winning goal that his fine performance deserved.
For all of Spurs’ superiority in possession and quality in the final third, they were at risk of finishing without victory. Harry Kane often left the penalty area in pursuit of possession and in doing so left Spurs without a focal point.
Son impressed with his purpose and direct approach but Erik Lamela was again disappointing and Nacer Chadli equally so.
As early as the third minute with both time and space, Kane, so far this season unable to recover the prolific form he enjoyed during the last, headed harmlessly over.
Dele Alli, Lamela, and Kane again all had routine, close-range efforts saved by Palace goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
It was actually Palace, who struggled in possession amid Mauricio Pochettino’s pressing game, who had the most memorable chances of the opening period.
With 38 minutes gone, Bakary Sako forced Hugo Lloris into a fine save from a direct free-kick that had been heading towards the top corner.
On the stroke of half-time, Yohan Cabaye demonstrated his quality with a low swerving shot that defeated Lloris but came back off the post.
Spurs improved after the interval. Pardew introduced striker Fraizer Campbell for the underwhelming Wilfried Zaha and switched Sako to the right but it made little difference to their attempts to retain possession.
Ben Davies had a headed goal disallowed when Kane was caught offside, and Lloris produced an exceptional save from a Sako half-volley.
Christian Eriksen came on for Chadli in the 66th minute and within two minutes his impact was such that Spurs had scored. Taking possession from Lamela, Eriksen looked up and found Son, who continued his run into the penalty area and sent an accurate shot beneath McCarthy.
Eriksen created another chance but Alli shot wide and Palace offered little more in response.
Son, who netted twice in Thursday’s Europa League opener, told Sky Sports afterwards: “I’m really happy to score my first Premier League goal — I hope every week is like this.”
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “When you sign players you expect them to have an impact on the team. He’s adapted to the team very well. After scoring twice in midweek and once today it’s good for a new striker.
“I’m very pleased with my players. The effort was big after the Europa League match on Thursday.”
Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Alli, Lamela (Carroll 87), Son Heung-min (N’Jie 79), Chadli (Eriksen 66), Kane
McCarthy, Kelly, Hangeland, Delaney, Souaré, Cabaye, McArthur (Mutch 76), Zaha (Campbell 45), Puncheon, Sako (Bamford 84), Bolasie
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