The independent London newspaper

Spurs win their first match at palace

Goals from Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen complete 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in impressive new stadium

04 April, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

Mauricio Pochettino: ‘This type of moment you will keep in your mind and heart for ever’

SPURS started life in their new home last night (Wednesday) with a hard-fought – if somewhat nervous – 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace.

The win, their first in six Premier League games, takes Mauricio Pochettino’s team back up to third, leapfrogging rivals Arsenal.

But the players didn’t make it easy for the 60,000-odd fans who had come to share in this historic moment. They missed a host of first-half chances before the new nets at White Hart Lane finally rippled.

The breakthrough came in the 55th minute. Forward Heung-Min Son wriggled into space and popped a shot goalwards. It took a deflection and there seemed to be an eternity before a roar rose from the wall of 17,000 Spurs fans behind the goal in the Park Lane end.

And there it was, the first Premier League goal at the new stadium.

Speaking after the match, Pochettino spoke of his pride.

He said: “For me, after five years as the manager, I am so proud. I want to thank all the people who work for Tottenham. This type of moment you will keep in your mind and heart for ever.”

He added that Spurs must now “win big things as we are now winners in terms of facilities”.

“I am confident we will finish in the top four. I believe in my players. We deserve it. We work hard and everyone, every department, deserves to be in the Champions League.”

Before kick-off, there was a gospel-style rendition of Glory, Glory Hallelujah with Tottenham-born singer Lanya Matthews, backed by a choir from the local Gladesmore Community School and pre-recorded words from chairman Daniel Levy and Tottenham’s Labour MP David Lammy.

It acted like a rallying cry. Spurs set off like a rocket, the vibe on the terraces seeping down into the players’ boots.

In the opening 10 minutes, they carved out five chances but shots were snatched instead of placed. It became the motif for this special night. But they kept up the pressure, and found the breakthrough courtesy of Son. A second goal was added on 80 minutes by Christian Eriksen.

It wasn’t the prettiest performance to say “welcome home”, but for the fans, leaping out of their new seats, it was a historic moment to savour.


Share this story

Post a comment