Dele Alli scores wonder goal as Spurs come from behind to beat Crystal Palace
Dele Alli scored a wonder goal as Tottenham came from behind to triumph 3-1 against London rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen had given Palace their first goal in six Premier League games after putting the ball into his own net in the first half.
However, Harry Kane equalised with a towering header just after the hour-mark and, although Palace went close to regaining the lead – notably when Scott Dann and Mile Jedinak both hit the crossbar with successive efforts – Alli scored one of the goals of the season with six minutes left.
Christian Eriksen headed the ball to the 19-year-old, who controlled it before it touched the ground, flicked it over Jedinak and thumped a 20-yard volley into the bottom left corner.
Substitute Nacer Chadli added the gloss to the scoreline with a fine strike of his own, curling the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards, as Tottenham moved five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, who suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Southampton.
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Palace boss Alan Pardew named an unchanged side, while visiting head coach Mauricio Pochettino made eight changes from the Spurs team that had faced Leicester in their midweek FA Cup replay.
Heung-Min Son kept his place, getting the nod ahead of Erik Lamela after his impressive goalscoring display on Wednesday, while Eric Dier and Eriksen were also selected again.
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Spurs totally dominated possession in the early stages and Kieran Trippier’s cross was palmed over by Wayne Hennessey while Son shot wide from 25 yards and Toby Alderweireld headed wide from an Eriksen corner.
Eriksen then chipped the ball over the top for Alli, who failed to connect properly with a difficult volley.
However, after all of Tottenham’s pressure, it was Palace who took the lead. Vertonghen initially won the ball in the box but declined to clear his lines, instead attempting a pass to Eriksen, who miscontrolled it. That allowed Wilfried Zaha to get outside the Dane and deliver a low cross, and Vertonghen stuck out a foot to direct the ball past his goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Yohan Cabaye’s powerful volley was blocked after that but Spurs regained control of the ball and pressed for an equaliser.
Alderweireld shot wide from 25 yards with Kane sliding in, while Alli sent a curling effort at Hennessey from the edge of the box.
Son was well challenged as he turned in the box and Eriksen then created a glorious chance for Danny Rose with a cross to the back post, but the left-back’s volley was well saved by Hennessey at close range.
Kane sent an inviting low cross in front of the goalmouth, just ahead of Son, but Palace went into the break with a 1-0 lead despite the fact they had not managed a shot on target themselves.
Eriksen went close with a 25-yard effort shortly after the restart, whipping the ball just over the angle of post and crossbar, and Dier then delivered a fine curling cross for Kane, whose diving header lacked the power to trouble Hennessey.
That was Dier’s last contribution as he was replaced by Chadli after 56 minutes – and seven minutes later the Belgian set up Tottenham’s equaliser, hanging the ball up for Kane, who leapt above Palace’s defenders six yards out and headed into the top left corner.
The hosts upped their game, though, and threatened to regain the lead. Lloris made a flying save to palm away Zaha’s curling shot and, from the resulting corner, Spurs’ goalkeeper denied Pape Souare while Damien Delaney’s follow-up was crucially blocked by Alderweireld.
Tottenham were forced into a change 15 minutes from time as Vertonghen hobbled off after suffering a knee injury, being replaced by Kevin Wimmer, and Palace then went agonisingly close to a goal.
Dann’s header from Jason Puncheon’s corner looped onto the crossbar and, when Jedinak followed up, his effort also hit the bar.
Palace had gone so close, but Tottenham delivered a magnificent sucker punch in the final 10 minutes with Alli’s strike.
The midfielder nearly scored another fine goal, turning neatly on the edge of the box to get free before shooting against the crossbar, and Chadli then rounded off the scoring, drifting infield from the left touchline and curling a 25-yard shot around Hennessey into the bottom right corner.
Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Cabaye (Campbell 86), Ledley, Zaha, McArthur (Jedinak 79), Puncheon, Wickham
Tottenham: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen (Wimmer 75), Rose, Dier (Chadli 56), Dembele, Son, Alli, Eriksen (Bentaleb 89), Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs