Victor Wanyama’s late goal ended Tottenham’s five-match winless run with a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane to extend their London rivals’ away-day woes.
Spurs had not tasted victory since the 4-0 win over Stoke City in April at the bet365 Stadium – the same ground where Palace last won on their travels in the league in December 2015.
But Wanyama marked his home debut in fine style with a close-range header to seal the points for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Vincent Janssen made his first start for Tottenham, and he missed a number of great chances as he sought his maiden goal in English football.
Alan Pardew’s visitors had won at White Hart Lane in the FA Cup last season, but rarely troubled Michel Vorm, standing in for injured captain Hugo Lloris, in the Spurs goal.
It appeared as if Palace would hold on for a point despite their lack of attacking threat, only for Wanyama to capitalise on some poor marking and settle the contest eight minutes from time.
The match came too soon for Pardew to call on club-record signing Christian Benteke, whose arrival was confirmed just hours before kick-off, but the visitors managed the first attempt on goal as Jason Puncheon saw an early thumping effort saved.
Spurs ramped up the pressure in response but were frustrated as Toby Alderweireld’s powerful header and Harry Kane’s angled drive both flew straight at Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
Another Tottenham chance went begging when Wanyama nodded over from a corner, but their best opening came in the 27th minute as Janssen was twice denied from close range by the scrambling Hennessey, having profited from the rebound of Kane’s deflected strike.
Kane then flashed wide of the post late in a half in which Palace were lucky to survive having been second best for long periods.
England forward Kane had the first notable opportunity of the second period but only succeeded in steering Eric Dier’s measured cross narrowly wide.
Palace went close to breaking the deadlock in the 61st minute as substitute Yohan Cabaye’s first-time effort was deflected over.
Janssen then spectacularly missed after being sent through on goal, this time beating Hennessey but scuffing his shot way off target.
The Dutchman saw another chance diverted behind after Dele Alli had fired over but Wanyama atoned for his team-mates’ profligacy from the subsequent corner, flicking Kane’s header into the net to clinch a first win of the season for Spurs.
Key Opta Stats:
– Spurs ended a winless run of five Premier League games (D3 L2) with victory.
– Victor Wanyama scored just his second Premier League goal in his last 55 appearances.
– Harry Kane provided his first Premier League assist at White Hart Lane since January 2015 (v Chelsea).
– Crystal Palace have lost five of their last seven league games against Tottenham (W1 D1).
– The Eagles have won just two of their 21 Premier League games in 2016 (W2 D5 L14).
– Spurs have lost just three of their last 21 home matches in the Premier League (W12 D6).
– Palace’s winless run on the road in the Premier League now stretches to 12 games (D5 L7).
– Crystal Palace have scored just one first-half goal in their last 14 Premier League games.
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