English Premiership

Spurs, Palace in stalemate

2014-12-06 19:33
Mauricio Pochettino (AFP)

London - Tottenham Hotspur's home have woes continued as they were forced to settle for a dour 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino's team dropped Premier League points at home for the fifth time this season after failing to break down Palace's well organised defence in a lacklustre London derby.

It was a frustrating end to a disappointing week for Spurs, who lost 3-0 at Chelsea on Wednesday, and the north Londoners are stuck in mid-table -- four points adrift of the Champions League places.

Palace's point was encouraging for boss Neil Warnock after a midweek loss against Aston Villa, but the Eagles remain only one point above the relegation zone.

Pochettino made two changes following the Chelsea loss as Eric Dier and Roberto Soldado replaced Vlad Chiriches and Aaron Lennon.

Tottenham have been wildly erratic at the Lane this season and once again their occasional inspired moments were mixed in with some careless clangers.

A brilliant piece of skill by Christian Eriksen, who nutmegged Martin Kelly on the left, ended with the Dane shooting into the side-netting.

Pochettino's side were always vulnerable at the back and Palace winger Yannick Bolasie produced a deft flick to make space for a pass to Joe Ledley, who fired over from just 10 yards out.

Palace threatened again when defender Scott Dann headed goalwards only to be denied by a sprawling save from Hugo Lloris.

Eriksen's free-kick was easily saved by Julian Speroni and Soldado headed tamely over as Tottenham tried unsuccessfully to prise open the Eagles defence.

Warnock's team looked capable of snatching a goal on the break and Wilfried Zaha curled a shot just wide after a clever piece of skill took him into the penalty area.

Pochettino sent on Nacer Chadli for anonymous Argentine Erik Lamela at half-time, but it made little difference.

Soldado has struggled for much of his 18 months at Spurs and the Spanish striker still looked short on confidence when he flashed well wide from a promising position inside the penalty area.

Palace finished strongly and substitute Jason Puncheon lashed a shot off the crossbar before the winger had a goal disallowed for offside in a separate attack moments later.

Bolasie's low shot was saved by Lloris in the closing minutes, but Palace couldn't turn their possession into a winner.


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