Crystal Palace striker Adebayor enjoys triumphant return to Tottenham in FA Cup
Emmanuel Adebayor enjoyed a triumphant return to White Hart Lane as Crystal Palace knocked Tottenham out of the FA Cup.
While Adebayor was unable to score against his former club in the fifth-round tie in north London, Martin Kelly’s solitary strike in first-half stoppage time secured a 1-0 victory and took the visitors into the quarter-finals.
Spurs will wonder how they failed to score, especially after Dele Alli hit both posts with one shot in the first half, but their eight-match unbeaten streak has come to an end.
There were seven changes from the Spurs side that had faced Fiorentina in Italy on Thursday, with Michel Vorm, Kevin Wimmer, Alli and Heung-Min Son the only players to keep their places.
Nabil Bentaleb, who had been absent from the matchday squad for the three previous games, started for the third FA Cup tie in a row and, again, Eric Dier was deployed as a centre-back to give Toby Alderweireld a rest.
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Meanwhile, Palace boss Alan Pardew named a strong line-up, while Yannick Bolasie returned to the bench after injury.
Spurs nearly took an early lead as Son’s corner reached Alli at the far post – his diving header was blocked on the line by Yohan Cabaye and Joshua Onomah then headed over from the rebound.
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But Palace had a big penalty appeal turned down moments later as Jordan Mutch’s volleyed cross hit Bentaleb’s arm in the box, - and Tottenham got another let-off as Kyle Walker headed the ball over Vorm, who had to scramble back to palm the ball off the line, while Scott Dann played a through ball to Joe Ledley, who was denied as Vorm dived at his feet.
Alli went even closer at the other end, seeing a low shot strike the right post, roll across the goalmouth and hit the other upright before being cleared. Onomah then sent a snapshot wide and Wayne Hennessey got down to save a 30-yard free kick from Harry Kane.
However, Palace took the lead in first-half stoppage time. With Kevin Wimmer and Danny Rose both concerning themselves with Wilfried Zaha on the edge of the box, the Palace winger freed the overlapping Kelly, who fired past Vorm at the near post.
Spurs pounded on the door after the interval. A low shot from Kane was brilliantly tipped away by Hennessey, while the Spurs striker and Onomah were both unable to finish as Alli sent a low cross in front of the goalmouth.
Alli then sent a 25-yard shot narrowly wide, Eriksen hit a first-time curling effort at Hennessey and Onomah saw a shot blocked by Dann as the game entered the closing stages.
Palace thought they had doubled their lead on the break but an offside Connor Wickham got the final touch on substitute Bolasie’s shot, meaning the goal was ruled out.
It did not matter though because Spurs were unable to find a leveller and exited the competition, while Palace are one game from a Wembley semi-final.
Tottenham: Vorm, Walker, Dier, Wimmer, Rose, Bentaleb, Dembele (Eriksen 45), Son (Chadli 66), Alli (Mason 79), Onomah, Kane
Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Ledley, Cabaye (Jedinak 81), Zaha, Wickham, Mutch, Adebayor (Bolasie 76)