London (AFP) – Tottenham ground out another Premier League away win to move to within two points of leaders Manchester City as Juan Foyth’s first senior goal secured a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace.
Once more Mauricio Pochettino’s men were not at their best and needed a great late save from Hugo Lloris to claim all three points as a torrential downpour affected conditions at Selhurst Park.
However, a run of five straight league wins on the road means Spurs move level with Chelsea and Liverpool and four points clear of local rivals Arsenal, all of whom are in action on Sunday.
At the end of a gruelling run of five games in 12 days, Pochettino made six changes from the side that battled back from a goal down against PSV Eindhoven in midweek to keep their hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16 alive.
However, Palace were also missing star man Wilfried Zaha due to a hamstring injury and missed the Ivorian’s end product.
Spurs were dealt an injury blow when Kieran Trippier limped off midway through the first half and is now a doubt for England’s upcoming internationals with the USA and Croatia.
Trippier is just the latest of Spurs’ large contingent that went far at the World Cup to be affected by a muscle injury.
And Pochettino’s men looked like a side tired out by their congested fixture list in the heavy conditions as they took nearly 30 minutes to begin to threaten.
Harry Kane pounced on a slack touch by Palace captain Luka Milivojevic and fired goalwards from 25 yards to force Wayne Hennessey to turn the ball behind.
Lucas Moura then got in Dele Alli’s way as the England international look set to meet Serge Aurier’s inviting cross from the right.
Shorn of Zaha’s pace on the break, Palace looked most likely to score via a set-piece and James Tomkins headed wide when unmarked at the back post from Milivojevic’s corner just after the break.
Yet, it was ultimately Palace’s own inability to defend a simple corner that saw them lose for the sixth time in their last seven games.
Argentine centre-back Foyth had conceded two penalties on his Premier League debut last weekend at Wolves.
But the 20-year-old will have happier memories of his second start as he gratefully headed home from close range while Jordan Ayew dithered.
Palace did at least ensure a frantic finale as Jeffrey Schlupp’s shot from just outside the box forced Lloris into his first serious save.