Tottenham put paid to questions about their mental strength with a vital 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
After overcoming Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool in recent weeks, it looked as if the Eagles were capable of another upset on Wednesday night.
Spurs looked rattled in the first half, Victor Wanyama probably fortunate to stay on the field after two bookable offences.
Uncharacteristically, though, Mauricio Pochettino changed things up at the interval. It’s rare for the Lilywhites boss to tamper with his system before well into the second half, but an injury to Moussa Dembele and concern over Wanyama already being on a yellow forced his hand.
Moussa Sissoko and Heung-Min Son did well off the bench, but it was a moment of magic from Christian Eriksen that ultimately handed Spurs the three points.
It was – dare they admit – a performance of champions from the visitors. Grinding out results when playing below par is not a characteristic many would associate with Spurs, but it is one that should now be expected from Pochettino’s outfit.
Reflecting on Eriksen’s brilliance, the Argentine told Sky Sports:
“I’m very pleased for him [Eriksen], it was an unbelievable goal. From my position, it was a golazo!
“In the second half, it was a very good performance.
— Spurs Nostalgia (@thfcnostalgia) April 26, 2017
“In the first half, it was difficult to move the ball quickly. We changed the shape at half-time and it was more fluid. We started to find the space and push Crystal Palace deeper and deeper.
“It was a big challenge for us to get three points and be alive in the chase for the title.”
Eriksen is undoubtedly making a claim as one of the Premier League’s most underrated talents. All eyes will be on the Great Dane again when Spurs welcome – to use that term loosely – Arsenal for the last ever North London Derby at White Hart Lane on Sunday.