Juan Foyth the hero as injury-hit Tottenham win at Crystal Palace
LONDON -- Three points on Tottenham's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace in Saturday's evening Premier League fixture.
1. Foyth heads Spurs to another away win
Tottenham continue to grind out results despite their injury woes after Juan Foyth's second-half header gave them their third successive 1-0 away win at Crystal Palace.
Spurs have had to play five games in the past 13 days and have lost a series of players to the treatment room, yet they've won their past four matches while only narrowly losing 1-0 to Manchester City at the start of this span. Against all odds, though, the north Londoners are now just two points off the top of the table, with all of their top-four rivals in action on Sunday.
Tottenham arrived at Selhurst Park without Davinson Sanchez, who picked up a hamstring problem against PSV Eindhoven in midweek, only for Kieran Trippier to then limp off in the 24th minute. Nine of the 12 Spurs players who went to the World Cup have now suffered injuries in the opening three months of this season -- Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen have also had spells on the sideline.
Mauricio Pochettino has been losing a player or two every week, which has limited his options for rotation and only served to exacerbate this issue. That cycle certainly affected Pochettino's team selection at Palace.
A lack of available midfielders meant Harry Winks has had to play throughout three successive matches against West Ham, Wolves and PSV in the past 11 days, so he was protected in south London on Saturday evening, spending most of the match on the bench. As a result, Spurs lined up with a central midfield partnership of Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko.
The concern when the lineup was announced was that while the pair boast plenty of power, they lack guile and invention; Tottenham did struggle to create clear-cut chances, only mustering two shots on target.
However, the soaking wet conditions played a part. And while a reliance on Winks' creativity in midfield remains a concern given that Dembele is out until the new year, this was another game where Spurs managed to win without a key player.
2. Foyth rebounds in style
Tottenham's 20-year-old centre-back didn't make a single appearance this season until the League Cup tie at West Ham on Oct. 31, but he's had a very eventful fortnight since.
The young Argentinian was the man of the match against the Hammers, making a series of superb last-ditch tackles and interceptions. But he had a chastening evening against Wolves three days later, conceding two second-half penalties.
Foyth was needed again at Selhurst Park and bounced back in some style. Solid defensively and commendably confident on the ball, despite what occurred the previous weekend, Foyth became Spurs' match-winner when he headed in at close-range midway through the second half.
Pochettino will be pleased with the youngster's show of character, and after his three outings this term, the defender is well in credit.
3. Palace's lack of goals will be their downfall
Saturday's defeat was the sixth in seven matches for Roy Hodgson's side, and the Eagles manager will be particularly concerned by his team's lack of goals. Palace have only scored four times in that run, with two of those coming in one match against Arsenal.
The absence of Wilfried Zaha against Spurs was certainly a blow. Trippier has been suspect defensively, and Hodgson would surely have liked to lined up his pacy winger against the full-back. Yet, with that said, Zaha has not scored in six matches.
It remains unclear where Palace's goals will come from, and Jordan Ayew did little to inspire confidence after being recalled: he has yet to score this season and was motionless when Foyth headed in the winner.
With Cardiff and Newcastle both winning on Saturday while Huddersfield, Southampton and Burnley each picked up a point, it has been another bad weekend for Palace. A long winter lies ahead.