Crystal Palace’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday saw thousands express concerns over the ease with which the Eagles were cut apart but if you put any importance next to the use of xG to tell the story of a game, it’s fair to say that Pochettino’s men were simply ruthless in front of goal.
Whilst the score-line itself showed the clash to be an utter drubbing for the visitors, Infogoal presented the contest at Tottenham 1.25 – 0.72 Crystal Palace, with Roy Hodgson’s men actually managing to muster a greater number of shots on target than Spurs over the course of 90 minutes.
Obviously, there are plenty who will say, quite rightly that the south Londoners were absolutely blown away by the title chasers well before the half-time whistle had been blown but if you look at the actual chances Tottenham took to put the game to bed, it’s fair to say that they were simply lethal in the final third, rather than having chances put on a plate for their attacking weapons.
The first of their four goals, scored by Son is the perfect example of a finisher at the top of his game, punishing a mistake to bury what would be described by many as a “half-chance” at best. It sounds like a cliche but against the top sides, these are the margins that decide things and for all of the historical question marks over Tottenham’s “bottle” we must remember that they are a side who reached the Champions League final in May.
Just like our defeat at the hands of Sheffield United a few weeks back, this doesn’t have to be looked upon as a nail in the coffin of our survival hopes. We welcome Wolves to Selhurst Park on Sunday in the knowledge that they’ve suffered a humbling defeat at home to Chelsea the previous weekend before playing an energy-sapping Europa League game against Braga on Thursday night. Of course, Santo’s men have quality but on the basis of fatigue alone, we can fancy our chances of getting a positive result.
It’s been a helter-skelter start to the 2019/20 campaign but hopefully, Sunday’s test can go a long way to establishing a sense of consistency in the minds of our supporters.
Keep your fingers crossed.