Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson told the Evening Standard after Wednesday night’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur that the new Stadium’s pitch was too slippery.
Goals from Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen in the second half saw Spurs earn a comfortable 2-0 win over the Eagles. Mauricio Pochettino’s side dominated from start to finish, with Palace having little to shout about.
There have been critics suggesting that moving into the new ground gives Spurs an unfair advantage for the remaining six weeks of the 2018-19 campaign.
While former England manager Hodgson did not criticise the timing of Spurs’ move, he did have harsh words about the new pitch – claiming it caused his Crystal Palace players a number of problems.
“I don’t know if the stadium was a factor. It was always going to be a tough game,” Hodgson said.
“The pitch was outstanding but maybe a bit slippery and I think one or two of our players, once-or-twice, found that a bit harder to deal with than maybe they expected.”
Spurs were always going to be at the top of their game, when returning to their home ground. For almost two seasons, the north Londoners have had to play without a home – and it certainly has proved difficult.
But Pochettino has manoeuvred Spurs in the top four and they are right in the thick of attempting to qualify for 2019-20 Champions League football. The pitch was hardly to blame for Palace being dominated.
Spurs were excellent, and even if the pitch had not hampered the Palace players, Spurs would have earned three points.