Three reasons Tottenham were beaten by Crystal Palace

Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace - 23/02/2014

The North Londoners relinquished a 1-0 lead to end up with nothing yesterday in a disappointing evening at Selhurst Park.

Tottenham put together an excellent string of results over the festive period that saw the club’s fans receive fresh optimism over the team’s chances of finishing in the top four this season.

However, Spurs’ travelling support will have felt decidedly deflated after Mauricio Pochettino’s men threw away a 1-0 lead yesterday at Selhurst Park to lose 2-1 to London rivals Crystal Palace.

Here are three reasons why Spurs lost the game and now need to go back to the drawing board.

Danny Rose’s inability to shackle Jason Puncheon

Left-back has been an area of concern for Tottenham for a number of seasons, with Danny Rose’s conversion from a winger to a full-back failing to convince many of the White Hart Lane faithful.

The former Leeds man had one of his worst games of the campaign yesterday in defeat to Palace, with Rose not offering much going forward, sloppy in possession and completely outplayed by Jason Puncheon.

The signs were there in the first half when Rose was caught ball-watching, with the Spurs defender allowing Glenn Murray a one-on-one chance that was defused by the excellent Hugo Lloris.

In the second half in particular, Rose failed to get to grips with Jason Puncheon, who scored the winning goal and was a key man in Palace’s resurgence.

In the long run, Pochettino must closely examine the left-back berth and make an upgrade.

Conceding too many unnecessary free-kicks in dangerous areas

Tottenham were by far the better team in the first half and showed their superiority over Palace by their slick passing and domination of possession, with the hosts having little momentum or impetus in the final third.

However, after new manager Alan Pardew’s half-time team talk, Palace came out of the traps quickly and were much more aggressive and purposeful in the second 45.

Although their two goals did not come from set pieces, a barrage of corners and free-kicks put Tottenham under pressure and on the back foot, while simultaneously buoying the home side and the crowd.

Most of the free-kicks that Palace won and then used to put the ball in the box were from complety unnecessary and pointless fouls by Spurs players in their own half.

Sitting back after taking the lead

After Harry Kane’s well-taken opener, the game was there for Tottenham to close out and the three points were their’s to lose.

Lose them they did. Although Palace must be credited with heart and resolve in their plucky comeback, Tottenham immediately dropped deeper after they scored and invited pressure.

Spurs also failed to keep the ball in the same manner as had seen them boss first-half proceedings, with Andros Townsend in particular guilty of being wasteful in possession.

Pochettino should have urged his side to continue to attack and look for the second goal, or at least to diffuse Palace’s head of steam by keeping the ball for substantial periods of time.

Spurs instead regressed into the negative side of days past, with the predictable Palace comeback cancelling out the excellent win over Chelsea on New Year’s Day.

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