Sonny with a chance

 

This was never going to be easy against a Crystal Palace side that have started the season with purpose and looked far more comfortable with their identity. Mauricio Pochettino embracing a more open style of play with a tempo clearly there to spring attacks rather than cradle them - a far cry from some of the pedestrian football we've had to endure.

Son Heung-min scored the goal that won it for us in a sweeping counter attack after Palace had applied some pressure including a game defining moment with Hugo Lloris. Our captain with a monstrous save onto the woodwork from Bakary Sako. We soaked it all up and for once had the ability to attack with speed. Erik Lamela, grafting hard, came out on top with Yohan Cabaye on the edge of our area to release the returning Christian Eriksen who in turn found the galloping Son. Our new boy found the net through the legs of Alex McCarthy for his third goal in two games. A deserved breakthrough made all the sweeter when looking back at a performance that produced 22 attempts on goal.

Spurs hardly shy with carving out opportunities, but still lacking polish in and around the penalty area. Cutting edge in this single attack was enough to claim all three points. When it mattered, we slapped down Palace and punished them.

Allow me to dive deep into the positivity...

No Europa League hangover. Lots of energy and although the final ten minutes was the usual bundle of nerves, there was little of the lacklustre to damper spirits. A home win so vital to lift the mood and give us a foundation for momentum. Palace, no push-overs, so kudos for besting them physically.

Eric Dier and Dele Alli were superb. Both working hard to hold and defend but the balance of then having Dier clean up and Alli surging forward, with eyes on goal was a treat. Finally some shape and movement for a pairing in the middle.

Three clean sheets (in the league) might finally see us begin to settle at the back. No imploding errors that littered the opening matches of the season. Kyle Walker keeping Yannick Bolasie quiet, a highlight.

The dimension Son offers, always looking to get forward for the pass, means that rather than just recycle possession and build up slowly we can now counter with intent. Clinton N'jie might take a while to settle but his pace will surprise a few defenders and could be a decent weapon off the bench. As for Harry Kane, he's still playing well but can't seem to pull the trigger when presented with a target. No crisis of confidence. Yet.

Sure, we rode our luck a little. Cabaye in the first half struck the post. The league is competitive, more than ever these days and considering we've lacked insight into tangible progression, it's good to see some pockets of pomp that will hopefully lead to more joy.

Unbeaten since the opening day of the season. Lap it up (tongue firmly in cheek). Doesn't tell half the story but it's still a lovely little soundbite to take into the new week and Arsenal.

 

metro