Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Crystal Palace (Mar 2, 2024) Game Analysis

Timo Werner‘s first goal for Tottenham Hotspur sparked a 3-1 comeback victory at home against Crystal Palace to revive their top-four hopes in the Premier League on Saturday.

The former Chelsea forward, on loan from RB Leipzig, converted from close range in the 77th minute to cancel out Eberechi Eze‘s superb free kick that had given Palace the lead.

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Having struggled for most of the game to create chances, Tottenham were suddenly rejuvenated and they went ahead three minutes later when Cristian Romero headed in.

Captain Son Heung-Min completed the job with a typically clinical finish after being through one-on-one.

Victory lifted fifth-placed Tottenham to 50 points from 26 games, two behind Aston Villa.

Timo Werner had failed to score in five previous Premier League appearances for Tottenham before Saturday’s goal.

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Werner’s last goal in English football was two years ago and his loan move to Tottenham was designed to restore some confidence in a player who once scored goals for fun.

He came closest to opening the scoring in a turgid first half in which Tottenham enjoyed more than 80% possession but lacked the imagination to break down a gritty Palace.

Son’s instant pass sent Werner clear but instead of shooting early he tried to round Palace keeper Sam Johnstone who managed to block the German’s shot.

The second half began in more lively fashion, with Son firing against the foot of the post from Dejan Kulusevski‘s cut back.

But it was Palace who took the lead in the 59th minute.

A free kick was awarded on the edge of the penalty area in a central position and Eze, who returned to the starting line-up after a month out with a hamstring injury, stepped up to arrow and unstoppable effort beyond Guglielmo Vicario.

Tottenham desperately needed some spark and it was provided by substitute Brennan Johnson.

He showed great persistence down the right to gain possession and then evaded a weak tackle before sliding a pass across the area for Werner to sidefoot home his first goal since scoring for Leipzig in October.

“I understand goals make players feel better, but in general I thought he was aggressive with his running and his general play was good,” Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou said.

“He didn’t stop believing. You kind of need a goal to break open a team that sits so deep. But I was pleased with our approach and it was great for Timo to score.”

Romero then nodded in a delightful lobbed pass by James Maddison and with Palace deflated, Son ran through to score his 13th league goal of the season.