Harry Kane and another top performance from Gareth Bale helped Tottenham Hotspur to all three points against Crystal Palace and moved them to within two points of fourth-place Chelsea in the Premier League.
Tottenham Edge Closer to Top Four Thanks to In-Form Bale and Star Striker Kane
Bale and Kane Shoot Down Dogged Eagles
Kane scored a world-class goal in the second half to give Spurs a 3-1 lead against a Palace side who were dogged, but ultimately outclassed, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Bale started on the right side and caused Palace all sorts of problems when he cut in on his favoured left foot, especially in the second half. Kane grabbed a fourth after Bale had been substituted after 70 minutes but it was not all plain sailing for Spurs in the first 45 minutes.
Crystal Palace Frustrate Spurs in First Half
Crystal Palace set up to frustrate Spurs and the first half epitomised that as Christian Benteke headed the Eagles level with only their second touch in the opposition box right on the stroke of half time. Once more, the Spurs defence was in tatters as they allowed the Belgian striker a free header which left Hugo Lloris with no chance at all.
The French goalkeepers’ reaction was telling. He was rightfully fuming with his backline who just allowed far too much space for the cross and no one got close to Benteke. It has been a feature of Spurs’ season and the continual errors are not being learned from. The summer will have to see Jose Mourinho make changes in the backline.
Second Half Tempo Too Much for Palace
Tottenham found themselves going in level at half time and there was a need to up the tempo after the restart. It started with Mourinho sending his troops out a good two minutes ahead of his opponents and the tempo was unerring and clinical.
For all the plaudits that both Kane and Bale will receive for their performances, Lucas Moura was the epitome of everything Spurs did well. Closing down the Palace defenders and when he got the ball running hard and at pace, winning free-kicks and showing his teammates the way. It was his pressing that led to Spurs opening goal as he won the ball back and Kane set up Bale and he is quickly becoming a vital cog in Mourinho’s resurgent Spurs side.
Bale Hitting Form at Vital Time
Bale could not be hitting top form at a better time and now has six goals in six games in all competitions. With the Europa League still there to be won, a League Cup Final against Manchester City and now the top four getting ever closer for Spurs, Bale hitting form is pushing everyone around him on and it might be time to consider that Spurs season might just end in success.