London - Tottenham
Hotspur suffered their second defeat in English knockout football to a
London rival in a matter of days as they lost 2-0 to Crystal Palace in
the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Connor Wickham gave the
unfancied Eagles, 29 points adrift of Spurs in the Premier League, a
ninth-minute lead before a penalty by former Tottenham winger Andros
Townsend made it 2-0.
Spurs' Kieran Trippier missed with a penalty
before half-time as Tottenham suffered more spot-kick woe following
Thursday's shoot-out defeat by Chelsea in a League Cup semi-final.
pressed for a goal in the second half but Palace, just three points
above the relegation zone, upset the form book to record a deserved win.
reverse left Mauricio Pochettino still searching for his first trophy
as Tottenham manager since the Argentinian joined from Southampton in
2014, with Spurs' last piece of silverware the 2008 League Cup.
is also bound to intensify the debate over whether Spurs need to change
their transfer strategy and spend big in the closing days of the
Spurs were without injured England stars Harry
Kane and Dele Alli, while the in-form Son Heung-Min had still to return
from international duty with South Korea at the Asia Cup.
however, decided to omit Christian Eriksen, with the influential
play-maker not even among Spurs' substitutes at Selhurst Park.
For all they are third in the Premier League, Spurs are nine points adrift of leaders Liverpool.
with title-holders Manchester City also ahead of them, it would be a
surprise if Tottenham - last crowned champions of England in their
'Double' season of 1960/61 - ended the season top of the table.
Champions League is now Tottenham's only hope of a trophy this season,
with Pochettino's men playing German club Borussia Dortmund in the last
Pochettino said his side had suffered a "painful" defeat,
telling BT Sport: "Palace did not do much, but they scored and deserved
to go through to the next round.
"It was so painful to lose the
game like this. There were some key moments, like the (missed penalty),
which would have changed everything."
He added: "We have to look forward to the Premier League and Champions League.
are in a crazy run of fixtures, but this is how it is in England. We
cannot complain and just try in the two competitions to give our best."
took Palace a mere nine minutes to open the scoring, Wickham following
up after a Jeff Schlupp shot was blocked by Spurs goalkeeper Paulo
Palace then made the most of a bizarre incident when Spurs' Kyle Walker-Peters handled a cross into the box.
It was a clear penalty and Townsend made no mistake from the spot, slamming the ball into the middle of the goal.
was good to get the goal in the first 10 minutes and give us the
platform to build on," said Wickham, whose goal was his first in any
competition since November 2016.
Meanwhile Townsend turned Tottenham's knowledge of his spot-kick technique against them.
"I took a few penalties for Spurs, so I knew they would be telling the keeper to go the other way," he explained.
2-0 down, Georges-Kevin N'Koudou, making his first Spurs start since
January 2017, had two good chances well-saved by veteran Palace
goalkeeper Julian Speroni.
But Speroni wasn't needed when, after
Patrick Van Aanholt brought down Juan Foyth, Trippier blasted the
ensuing penalty well wide of the post.
Tottenham pressed hard in the second half, but Speroni saved well from Fernando Llorente to keep them at bay.