Juan Foyth 9/10, Hugo Lloris 8/10 as Spurs go into break on high note
Tottenham Hotspur ended a testing period featuring five matches in 13 days with a fourth successive victory, moving within two points of Premier League leaders Manchester City. Spurs struggled to create clear-cut chances in a typical London derby against Crystal Palace played in driving rain, but Juan Foyth headed in decisively in the 66th minute.
The north Londoners needed some help from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who made two late saves, but they held on to secure yet another victory and go into the international break on a high.
Spurs were without Davinson Sanchez due to a hamstring problem and then lost Kieran Trippier early in the match, while Harry Winks was given a much-needed rest, entering the fray only late on. Yet despite the absence of those players -- plus Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen -- the north Londoners again found a way to win. They have shown real mental strength in the last fortnight.
The same is true of Foyth, who bounced back after conceding two penalties at Wolves in his previous outing and was the match-winner this time. Lloris also proved his worth. While the Frenchman has made some costly errors in Europe, he has also played a key role in a few of these narrow, top-flight victories.
Tottenham seemed to be finding their rhythm in the final third after scoring three goals in successive matches against West Ham and Wolves and then having 30 shots during Tuesday's 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven. However, they were less threatening at Selhurst Park, managing only two shots on target. Trippier and Sanchez's injuries are also unfortunate -- injuries have been a constant theme this term. At least there is an international break now.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Mauricio Pochettino could have chosen to play Eric Dier as a centre-back, assuming he was fit enough to start after returning to training this week, but he trusted Foyth, and that faith was rewarded. The Argentinian's decision not to risk Winks and pair Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama together in central midfield also paid off.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 8 -- Dealt capably with the high balls that came into his box in the wet and windy conditions while making two vital saves late on from Jordan Ayew and Alexander Sorloth.
DF Kieran Trippier, NR -- Limped off after 24 minutes.
DF Juan Foyth, 9 -- There were no obvious mental scars from the two penalties conceded against Wolves. The youngster defended well, always sought to be positive in possession and scored the decisive goal, wanting the ball more than Ayew.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 7 -- Read the game well and positioned himself astutely to block plenty of crosses.
DF Ben Davies, 7 -- One of his better performances this season. The left-back was reliable at the back and set up a first-half chance for Dele Alli with a cross.
MF Victor Wanyama, 7 -- Fought strongly and carried the ball forward whenever possible, easing some of the fears that his partnership with Moussa Sissoko would lack thrust and incision.
MF Moussa Sissoko, 8 -- Hared all over the pitch to get on the ball and halt Palace attacks. The Frenchman nearly scored an excellent goal after muscling past three players and cutting inside James Tomkins to get a shot off, and he created a late chance for Son Heung-Min.
MF Erik Lamela, 6 -- Struggled to unlock the Palace defence but did his bit defensively and had to be withdrawn after suffering a cut to the head.
MF Dele Alli, 6 -- Still building up his fitness and doesn't look as sharp as he is at his best. He worked hard but could have done better with a first-half header, which he sent wide, and he was a little slow on the ball at times.
MF Lucas Moura, 6 -- Missed the target with a header when Alli seemed better placed, but made an important intervention at the other end, stopping a James McArthur header from reaching Cheikhou Kouyate in front of goal.
FW Harry Kane, 6 -- Found it difficult to get into the game but created a chance out of nothing when he pounced on a loose ball, beat Luka Milivojevic and tested Wayne Hennessey from outside the box, while his blocked header produced Foyth's winner.
DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- Replaced Trippier midway through the first half and put in a couple of dangerous crosses for Lucas while playing his part in the clean sheet.
MF Son Heung-Min, NR -- Could have made more of a late chance when Sissoko left him one-on-one with a defender.
MF Harry Winks, NR -- Got stuck in. Indeed, he was booked soon after his 83rd-minute introduction.