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January 18 2021 10.34am

Dogged fight but 'Kaned' in the end

February 26 2018

New Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth (No 9) jostles with defenders in the Tottenham area.

New Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth (No 9) jostles with defenders in the Tottenham area.

A shivering crowd lived in hope for nearly 90 minutes but ultimately lost 0-1 to Tottenham. A disappointed Jamesey reports.

Palace's heartening unbeaten run came to an end at Everton (Feb 10) and after a period when it looked like the Eagles were pulling clear of the drop area.

The club are now dangerously near the bottom three and the run-in could depend on the nightmare of anxiously wishing ill on other strugglers as well as trying to pick up points.

Nevertheless, it would be a difficult task to get anything out of a match against high-flying Tottenham (Feb 25).

The threadbare team which included new Nordic striker, Alexander Sorloth, and Academy kid Aaron Wan-Bissaka were facing an array of world-class talent from across the Thames and easy it certainly wouldn't be.

The red-and-blue supporters were still hoping that the strike-shy striker Christian Benteke could show them something to cheer. The Belgian lined up in his usual centre forward role while Sorloth patrolled the left wing.

Despite the late change from a Monday evening to an early Sunday kick-off, Selhurst Park was bulging at the seams.

As expected, Spurs grabbed the lion's share of possession and to be honest they oozed class as the first half progressed.

Keeper Wayne Hennessey nearly gave a goal away with a nervous misjudgment. Wayne was, however to atone for this in the second period with some magnificent saves which raised the Palace hopes of keeping the score at 0-0 or even nicking it.

To this supporter's eyes the two outstanding Eagles were Wan-Bissaka and Andros Townsend.

The youngster, playing as a right-back, harried and hustled anything in a white shirt and, unlike some of his team-mates, never gave up on chasing probable lost causes.

It was an impressive debut which must give the manager an extra option for the team-sheet.

Andros Townsend, roaming the right wing, has looked a little off-colour in recent games.

Here, in the absence of fellow winger Wilfried Zaha, he gave his all and more, out-running defenders and creating most of the few openings against Tottenham.

At times Townsend showed why he won his England caps and even made up for Benteke's usual lacklustre offerings.

What on earth has happened to the big Belgian striker? As so many times this season he gave meaning to the expression "lead in his boots".

Even in the one area which he is known for, outjumping opponents for headers, he seemed inadequate.

Perhaps it's time for Roy Hodgson to give the Belgian a rest and put Sorloth in the middle? The Scandinavian looked a little out of his depth in this match but made one superb run at the Spurs goal which had the Eagles crowd on their feet.

As the second half progressed, Tottenham class began to tell and, more and more, the Eagles were forced to defend desperately, with Hennessey's sterling saves contributing.

Two minutes from time came the event which CPFC supporters had feared.

Harry Kane (who else?) lost his marker, late substitute Damien Delaney, and hopes of a precious point and a 0-0 draw were shattered when he settled the game with a goal.

With the next two games against Man Utd and Chelsea, one can only hope that Wilf, Yohan Cabaye, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Joel Ward, Mamadou Sakho, Bakary Sako, and any more among the walking wounded are available.

It's going to be tough, so Palace fans must be brave and resolute to face a difficult few weeks.

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