Following the interval, the visitors were in complete control and were fortunate to have taken the lead when Joel Ward, a Palace defender, turned James Maddison’s cross into his own goal.
In the second, Maddison played a crucial role as well. Son Heung-min scored his ninth goal of the year after some clever play involving him and Brennan Johnson.
In stoppage time, Jordan Ayew scored a spectacular goal for Palace after putting the ball down on his chest, but Tottenham won another game under new manager Ange Postecoglou, and there was to be no equalizer.
With this victory, Spurs’ record after ten games is at eight victories and two draws. The Australian, who joined from Celtic in the summer, has given his team fresh energy.
With a game remaining and the potential to reduce the deficit over the weekend, both Manchester City and Arsenal are five points behind Tottenham, who now have 26 points after the win.
According to Postecoglou, “every week is a different challenge
“We needed to play with discipline, focus, and persistence, and we succeeded in doing so. Between the first and second goals, I believe we were in control and played some excellent football. I also believe the boys handled the finish of the game well.
This year, we haven’t encountered that circumstance, and the team shown a remarkable level of composure. It is encouraging that there was no hurrying or panic.”
It is important to recognize Postecoglou’s influence on the Spurs team. Not only is he enjoying the best season start by a new manager in Premier League history, but he has led his side to their second-best start in a top-flight campaign.
The 1960–61 season marked the Spurs’ finest start in history, and they went on to win the league championship. Even if it’s early, supporters will begin to hope for a title challenge this term as well.
The irrepressible Maddison, who joined Spurs in the summer after leaving Leicester City, has been a major contributor to the team’s outstanding play this season. It was not surprising that he was the driving force behind both goals at Selhurst Park.
After a tense first half in which Palace striker Odsonne Edouard came closest with a low strike that Guglielmo Vicario turned aside, Spurs were significantly better after the break.
For fifty-two minutes, Palace had held firm and remained composed in defense, but when Maddison got space inside the penalty area and smashed the ball forcefully across the goal to bounce in off Ward, Palace gave up.
Following that, Tottenham, and Maddison in particular, found more space. He was involved in the second goal as well, moving the ball forward and cutting into the area to feed Johnson, whose cutback was finished by Son.
As the season goes on, how seriously Tottenham can challenge at the top of the table will depend on Maddison and Son’s ability to continue playing at this level, but both players are now looking unstoppable.
Spurs’ title assault appears imminent, based on history.
The numbers are excellent, even though Postecoglou and his Spurs team would probably argue they are not getting too excited about a possible title challenge:
With 26 points or more after their opening 10 games of the season, Tottenham is the 13th team in Premier League history to accomplish this feat. Eleven of the previous twelve teams placed among the top three, and half of those teams went on to win the championship.
Newcastle, who placed sixth in 1994–95, was the first team to have such a strong start and not place in the top three.
But that was during a season with 42 games. After ten games out of a 38-game season, every team with 26 points or more has finished in the top three.
The current five-point lead that Tottenham has over second place in the Premier League is the largest since they last won the championship on the last day of the 1960–61 season (eight points).
Spurs supporters will be even more pleased to learn that this Tottenham club has two fewer points in their first 10 games than Arsenal’s 2003–04 “Invincibles” squad did.
“The season has gotten off to a fantastic start, which none of us anticipated,” retired Manchester United defender Gary Neville stated on Sky Sports. “It was unthinkable with Harry Kane gone.
“The way the team has performed and performed in previous years has caused a lot of sorrow for those Tottenham supporters, but the team is still playing excellent football.
“They should enjoy it, but there’s a long way to go.”
The good news for Palace in spite of defeat
Under Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace has had a respectable start to the season. However, after two challenging games against Newcastle and now Tottenham, the team has zero points, six goals conceded, and just one goal scored.
Even though the 4-0 loss to Eddie Howe’s club was a dismal showing from beginning to end, there were positive signals in this performance against a team that is still enjoying an incredible run of success.
They had the better opportunities and vexed their opponents in the first half, but Ward’s unfortunate incident ultimately proved to be the deciding factor.
Even though it ended in a loss, Hodgson must have been pleased with this resilient performance given the team’s cowardly surrender against Newcastle the previous game.