Tottenham 1-0 Crystal Palace: Harry Kane breaks record for headed Premier League goals in a season as Spurs go sixth

Tottenham 1-0 Crystal Palace: Harry Kane breaks record for headed Premier League goals in a season as Spurs go sixth

Harry Kane’s record-breaking headed goal took Tottenham to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace and lifted his side up to sixth in the Premier League table.

At the end of an underwhelming first half, Kane made the difference for struggling Spurs, converting his 10th header of the season – a new Premier League record – to boost their European qualification hopes.

It was also Kane’s 209th goal in the competition overall, moving him clear of Wayne Rooney into outright second in the all-time scoring charts, with Alan Shearer’s total of 260 in his sights.

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Harry Kane broke Duncan Ferguson’s record from the 1997/98 season for the most headed goals in one Premier League season, scoring his tenth against Crystal Palace

When Palace boss Roy Hodgson, who gave Kane his England debut, was asked if the striker would eventually break Shearer’s record he said: “I expect it. At his age he has several good years ahead of him and he doesn’t get injured very often – touch wood.

“The only thing that stands between him and the record is will he avoid serious injury. Is he going to be able to get 20-30 matches a year behind him? Is he going to get help from his team-mates and play in a good team, which he’s been playing in… if all those things take place I’d expect him to break the record absolutely.”

While 26-goal Kane continues to rack up milestones, there remains an uncertainty from his team-mates. Cristian Romero had earlier hit the bar from a corner but Spurs found it difficult in open play to break down a well-organised Palace side. They looked like a team which had not won any of their last four.

In contrast, in-form Palace had arrived in a positive mood and will be kicking themselves for not capitalising on a strong start to the second half, which saw Wilfried Zaha and Ebe Eze fire off target. Their frustration was plain to see in the final stages.

Interim boss Ryan Mason, 31, the youngest head coach in the Premier League, will be satisfied to get the better of the division’s oldest manager, Roy Hodgson, 75, and see his side record a rare clean sheet after shipping 15 in their previous four games. His change of system to a back four was vindicated – and it could have been a more comfortable win had Sam Johnstone not saved Heung-Min Son’s late one-on-one.

Tottenham’s victory means they sit five points off fifth-placed Liverpool, who beat Brentford on Saturday evening on Sky Sports. With Chelsea winning at Bournemouth, Palace slip to 12th.

Player ratings

Tottenham: Forster (7); Romero (7), Lenglet (6), Davies (6): Porro (8), Hojbjerg (7), Skipp (6), Royal (7); Son (6), Kane (8), Richarlison (6)

Subs: Kulusevski (6), Dier (N/A), Danjuma (N/A)

Crystal Palace: Johnstone (7), Ward (7), Andersen (7), Guehi (6), Mitchell (6), Schlupp (6), Doucoure (7), Eze (6), Olise (6), Zaha (7), Ayew (6).

Subs: Hughes (6), Edouard (N/A)

Player of the match: Harry Kane (Tottenham)

How Tottenham got back to winning ways

On the day of the King’s Coronation, it was perhaps inevitable Tottenham royalty Kane would make his mark – and it was tempting to wonder when he headed in at the back post on the stroke of half-time what this club would do without him.

Up until that point, the atmosphere had been flat and Spurs’ football had been blunt. Romero headed against the crossbar from a Porro corner on 17 minutes but in open play Spurs – set up in a new-look 4-4-2 – struggled to break through a well-organised Palace side.

Team news

  • Tottenham made three changes from the defeat at Liverpool, with Eric Dier, Ivan Perisic and Dejan Kulusevski dropping to the bench, with Emerson Royal, Clement Lenglet and Richarlison coming in.
  • Crystal Palace kept the same side which beat West Ham last time out, with fit-again Nathaniel Clyne on the bench.

Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg should have done better after exchanging passes with Kane midway through the half but the visitors gave as good as they got, with Michael Olise hitting the target and Joachim Andersen looping an effort over the bar.

But Kane proved to be the difference, converting a move that justified Mason’s call to push Porro further forwards on the right.

Harry Kane celebrates his goal
Harry Kane celebrates his goal

Palace came out strongly at the start of the second half, with Zaha and Eze both going close before Son’s crucial header prevented Olise from running in on goal and Emerson Royal deflected a Zaha cross onto the roof of the Spurs net.

But after Cheick Doucoure shot at Fraser Forster’s near post, Spurs had a period on the front foot themselves, with Porro’s deflected shot tipped over by Johnstone. The goalkeeper was sharp again when Son latched onto Romero’s ball over the top.

The game finished in niggly fashion, with free-kicks disrupting the play as Spurs sought a first clean sheet in 10 league games. Ultimately Tottenham battled to an eighth home league win over Palace in a row. And a much-needed one at that.

Kane: European football would be small prize at end of tough season

Tottenham striker Harry Kane to Sky Sports –

On going clear of Rooney in Premier League scoring charts: “Amazing. Wayne is one of the best players the Premier League has ever seen and this country has ever seen so to go ahead of him I’m incredibly proud. I’m looking forward to scoring more goals and climbing the list.”

On his headers record: “Every season I try to improve and find different ways of scoring goals and this year headed goals have been a big part of my game. It was a great delivery from Pedro today and it was nice to get on the end of it and time it well.”

Tottenham’s European bid: “We’ve got three games left, a big game against Villa next week away. Them dropping points today has helped a little bit. We just have to try to win all three games. Brighton have a couple of games in hand. If we can come away from this season with European football that’s a small prize at the end of a tough season. We’ll be fighting for that and to pick up three wins.”

Mason: We value Kane so much

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Ryan Mason was pleased to come away with a win and an important clean sheet against Crystal Palace

Tottenham interim boss Ryan Mason: “I’m very happy to win, a London derby, the clean sheet was important. We’ve worked hard on the training pitch. It was a cagey game but I thought we deserved three points.

“We wanted to engage Palace higher up the pitch because we know they’ve got individual brilliance and didn’t want them in our final third running at us. We tried to be brave. I have to compliment players – to make that change at this stage is very important for me.”

Ryan Mason applauds the Tottenham supporters after the win over Crystal Palace
Ryan Mason applauds the Tottenham supporters after the win over Crystal Palace

On Harry Kane: “We can sit here all day and speak about him. People see the goals and records but the individual brilliance from a technical point of view, he’s a team player, humble, works hard… he’s an example for any young player. He has an elite mindset and desire to keep improving. We appreciate Harry and value him so much. In this country we should really appreciate him.”

Hodgson: We took the game to Tottenham

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson: “I saw us on the ball for large periods of the game, attempting to get into the right areas. We didn’t have the success we had last week or in the weeks before but that’s credit to Tottenham for deciding to defend as they did against us. We took the game to Tottenham and it looked like we might create the chance we needed to get back into the game after Kane’s wonder goal.

“It’s football, it’s frustrating [to concede on stroke of half-time]. I didn’t think we deserved to go in 1-0 down. But it shouldn’t detract from the fact the first-half performance was what we were expecting from the team. We took the game to Tottenham all through the second half and ended up playing 4-4-2 to try to get the goal. But then we couldn’t get the ball out of the corner for the last eight minutes which was frustrating.

“Zaha was dangerous but we couldn’t get more from all of our flair players, who did fine but with a bit of luck could have done a little bit more. Even on their days when they’re not at their magnificent best, they’re still good enough. When we got to 40 points last week we definitely felt safe but the running and desire we put in [on Saturday] pleased me more than anything. That’s not easy.”

What do Spurs need for European football?

Fourth = Champions League. Fifth or sixth = Europa League. Seventh = Conference League.

Here’s why…

  • The top four in the Premier League qualify for the Champions League group stage
  • Fifth place and the FA Cup winners qualify for the Europa League group stage
  • The Carabao Cup winners qualify for the Europa Conference League playoff

However, as one of Man City and Man Utd are going to win the FA Cup and finish in the top five their Europa League qualifying spot for winning the competition will be passed down to the next highest Premier League finisher who does not qualify for Europe, so sixth place.

Also, because Man Utd won the Carabao Cup and will likely finish in the top five, their Europa Conference League qualifying spot from that competition will go to the next highest Premier League finisher without European football, so seventh place.

What’s next?

Tottenham head to their top-six rivals Aston Villa on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

Crystal Palace return to Selhurst Park on the same day and time to host Bournemouth in a mid-table fixture.

Tottenham’s remaining fixtures

May 13: Aston Villa (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 20: Brentford (H) – Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm

May 28: Leeds (A) – Premier League, kick off 4.30pm

Crystal Palace’s remaining fixtures

May 13: Bournemouth (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 20: Fulham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 28: Nottingham Forest (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm

Opta stats – more milestones for Kane

  • Harry Kane has now scored 100 home goals for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, becoming just the fourth ever player to reach that tally for a single club after Wayne Rooney (101 for Manchester United), Sergio Agüero (106 for Manchester City) and Thierry Henry (120 for Arsenal).
  • Kane has now scored 10 headed goals in the 2022/2023 Premier League season, the highest ever such tally by a player in a single campaign, overtaking the nine scored by Duncan Ferguson in 1997/1998.
  • Crystal Palace have now lost each of their last eight Premier League away games against Tottenham Hotspur and have scored just one goal in 10 away games against them since returning to the top-flight in the 2013/14 season.
  • There are 43 years and 308 days between Spurs’ Ryan Mason and Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson’s ages, the biggest gap between two managers facing off in Premier League history.
  • Crystal Palace have now lost each of their last two Premier League away games after winning their first two following Roy Hodgson’s return to the club (v Leeds United and Southampton).
  • Tottenham Hotspur have kept a clean sheet for the first time in 10 Premier League matches since a 2-0 home win against Chelsea in February – it was their longest run without a clean sheet since September-December 2019 (10).