Crystal Palace brought Tottenham Hotspur back down to earth in emphatic fashion over the weekend, ending their unbeaten start to the season and catapulting themselves into dreamland in the process.
The Eagles secured their first win under new manager Patrick Vieira thanks to a Wilfried Zaha penalty and a well-taken brace from summer signing Odsonne Edouard.
It was Edouard’s maiden outing in Palace colours since arriving from Scottish giants Celtic on transfer deadline day, but he wasted no time introducing himself to the home crowd, netting his first strike just 28 seconds after coming off the bench as a late substitute.
The 23-year-old’s effort was the fastest by a player on their Premier League debut and instantly highlighted his intelligence inside the box and his goalscoring instinct, taking a touch to steady himself before slotting the ball past an outstretched Hugo Lloris.
Palace’s problems in attack have been well documented over the past two seasons. The Eagles bagged just 31 goals in 2019/20, with relegated duo Watford and Bournemouth outscoring them.
Last season saw an improved return of 41, but that measly tally still saw 13 Premier League clubs put the ball in the back of the net more frequently.
The south London outfit also began Saturday’s early kick-off having managed just five efforts on target this season, the lowest of any club in the English top flight as Vieira’s new-look setup struggled to get firing in the final third.
For large periods of their performance against Spurs, it appeared as though it would be another frustrating day’s work. Despite their domination, Palace lacked the precision needed to unlock a well-drilled defence until Ben Davies conceded a 75th-minute penalty.
Zaha scored from the spot, and Edouard then arrived from the substitutes’ bench, injecting fresh impetus and raising hopes that the Eagles may finally have found the solution to their longstanding issues in front of goal.
The goalscorers combined for the Frenchman’s first goal as Palace’s talisman turned provider, and the duo will now be confident of forming a formidable partnership capable of taking on any Premier League defence.
Therefore, Vieira must unleash his new star striker – who was once hailed as “magnificent” by his former boss Neil Lennon – against Liverpool and see if he’s capable of producing a similar performance against one of the division’s best defences.