Apr 27, 2017
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‘Title race remains alive’ – Three things learnt from Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham

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Tottenham have moved back to within four points of league leaders Chelsea to keep their slim title hopes alive. It remains unlikely that Spurs will manage to overtake the Blues before the season ends, but they continue to do their bit.

Crystal Palace were difficult opposition, who kept things tight at the back and posed a threat on the counter-attack. The home side had been on a run of good results, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men put in a professional performance to take the three points and underlined that they are one of the best two teams in the league.

Here are three things that we learnt…

The title race remains alive

Chelsea may have beaten Southampton on Tuesday, but Tottenham made sure that they stayed in touch with the Blues with a good win over Crystal Palace. After the disappointment of losing in the FA Cup semi-final, it would have been understandable for Spurs to lose focus on their league campaign.

However, they responded in the perfect way and showed that they are a force to be reckoned with. Although they didn’t play as well as they can, they did get the right result and have kept the title race alive.

There is reason to believe for Tottenham as well, as Chelsea haven’t kept a clean sheet in the league since January and there is a chance they will drop points before the end of the season.

It will be a tough ask for Spurs to win all of their remaining games, but given their recent form, it isn’t completely out of the question. If they do manage to do it, they will have a very good chance of winning the Premier League for the first time in their history.

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Palace have a real foundation under Sam Allardyce

It took a while for Sam Allardyce to have the desired effect on this Crystal Palace squad, but they have been picking up good results lately and this performance showed that they are now a team in their manager’s image.

They were difficult to break down, restricting Tottenham to shots from range, while they offered a threat on the counter-attack.

A top half finish is within their sights and that would be a remarkable achievement for the club.

Although they were flirting with relegation for the majority of the season, there won’t be many that are surprised by the club’s recent form.

Allardyce has a reputation for saving sides from the drop and he has done so again with Palace. However, there is a lot of talent at the club and they were in a false position under Alan Pardew.

This summer offers Palace with a huge opportunity to push on and establish themselves in the top half of the Premier League.

Ben Davies showed why he should have started at Wembley

The Welshman would have been extremely disappointed to have missed out on the starting eleven in the FA Cup semi-final and he responded in the perfect way.

On Saturday, the left-hand side was a clear weakness for Tottenham as Son Heung-min was used as a wing back on that side. He didn’t look comfortable in the position and conceded the penalty that led to the second goal.

Davies showed on Wednesday why he should have played against Chelsea.

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During the match, he completed four tackles and won five aerial duels to help his side to a clean sheet. His positioning was spot on and it is evident that he is developing in the more advanced role that he is being asked to play.

He caused problems with his movement in attack and completed three key passes, which was fewer than only one other player on the pitch, Christian Eriksen. Although Danny Rose is the first choice at the club, Davies has shown himself to a very capable deputy and Pochettino will regret not starting him at the weekend.

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Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.