Tottenham Hotspur were riding high with a perfect record at the top of the English Premier League, but their early Saturday London derby clash at Crystal Palace had a familiar feeling of slipping up when there was no need.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s were perfect going into the game at Selhurst Park but they were undone by a lack of bite, a determined opponent, some indiscipline and an amazing cameo by debutant Odsonne Edouard. It was a poor show from Spurs and they were to a 3-0 humbling and a reality check.
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Spurs were disjointed from the start as Palace went looking for their first win of the season under new boss Patrick Vieira and they did not let their manager down. Wilfried Zaha was causing all sorts of trouble on the left wing and a coming-together with Tottenham’s Japhet Tanganga after a scoreless first half was the catalyst in a volatile second 45.
Punches were thrown and pushes and shoves ensued from all 22 players for a minute or so before calm was restored and both Zaha and Tanganga were given a yellow by referee Jonathan Moss.
While Zaha was lucky to escape a red for his retaliation following the tackle, he knew he was on a tightrope and kept quiet, while Tanganga flew into another reckless challenge and was upgraded to a red: Spurs were down to 10.
Tottenham were holding on with a man down and looked to be good for a point until they collapsed inside the last 15 minutes.
Yet another Palace cross struck Ben Davies on the arm and Zaha kept his cool this time to roll the ball past Hugo Lloris from the spot.
While it looked like Zaha would grab the headlines, Edouard was thrown on by Vieira with 10 minutes to go and simply demolished Spurs.
The man who arrived from Celtic scored with his first touch and added a late second to send a packed Selhurst Park into party mode with a trouncing of the league leaders.
With a certain debut happening up at Old Trafford, it was one way to make an entrance for Edouard.