EPL

Ange Postecoglou hails Timo Werner display as Spurs beat Crystal Palace

By Sports Desk March 02, 2024

Ange Postecoglou hopes Timo Werner gains confidence after he scored to help Tottenham earn a much-needed 3-1 home win over Crystal Palace.

Spurs were set for a second consecutive defeat when Eberechi Eze curled home a sumptuous free-kick for the visitors just before the hour mark.

Werner had also been guilty of missing a glorious first-half chance but made amends when he tapped in with 77 minutes played after excellent work by Brennan Johnson to spark a late turnaround by the hosts, with Cristian Romero and captain Son Heung-min also scoring.

It was Werner’s first goal for Spurs since his January loan from RB Leipzig and also just his 11th Premier League goal in 62 appearances after a mixed spell at Chelsea but Postecoglou praised the contribution of the Germany forward.

He said: “I thought Timo, he missed the chance in the first half but he was a constant threat to them and was in the right area for the goal.

“I understand that with attacking players, goals make them feel better and make them more confident.

“I guess it relieves the pressure on them a little bit but just in general I thought he was really aggressive with his running.

“He kept taking on the full-back and I thought apart from the missed chance his general play was really good.

“A goal always helps, it was pleasing for us and it was an important time in the game. It was great for him to score.”

Tottenham struggled to break down Palace in the first half, although Werner should have scored after 19 minutes when Son sent him through but he tried to round Sam Johnstone and was thwarted.

It was the finish of a forward out of confidence and while Spurs started strongly after the break, Oliver Glasner watched his team take the lead when Eze produced a superb free-kick for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Postecoglou introduced Johnson and his tenacity created the equaliser after he robbed Joachim Andersen of possession, got the better of Jefferson Lerma and teed up Werner for a simple finish.

Three minutes later and the hosts were ahead when Romero flicked on James Maddison’s inventive cross with 80 on the clock before Son wrapped up the scoring in the 88th minute after Johnson put him clear.

“I was pleased with the whole game,” Postecoglou insisted.

“You need that goal to break open a team that is going to sit so deep. I still felt like we were putting enough work into them that at some point we would be able to break them.

“Obviously we conceded which was disappointing. You’re looking for a reaction and I thought the reaction was outstanding.

“They just had a real belief today in our processes and our football and I’m really pleased with the outcome.”

Postecoglou also attempted to clarify reports in Brazil that Richarlison may be fit enough for his country’s international fixtures with England and Spain later this month after the Spurs boss had ruled the forward out for “three-to-four” weeks with a knee injury on Friday.

He added: “We’ve still got, what, two weeks to go before then?

“I’m not a doctor, I don’t write prescriptions, I get sort of a guide and go from there.

“If he’s ready to go, he goes. If not, he’ll be with us.”

New Palace boss Glasner was disappointed his team could not hold on at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but credited the effort of his players.

“Yes, I think the players did a great job over 60 to 70 minutes,” Glasner said.

“They stick to the plan and we defended really well for most of the time. Then we scored a very nice goal but to win here at Tottenham you have to be perfect over almost the whole distance of the game.

“We are disappointed because I had the feeling before the 1-1 we can win the game but then it turned and in football one situation can change the game.”

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