Nuno gives his verdict after Tottenham beaten by Palace
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Son Heung-min’s absence might cause Tottenham more problems than when Harry Kane is unavailable, former England striker Gabby Agbonlahor has suggested. Spurs fell to a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Crystal Palace without the South Korean, with Kane unable to make an impression.
Son was kept out of the loss at Selhurst Park by a calf injury suffered on international duty.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side performed disastrously in the 29-year-old’s absence. Lucas Moura had the North Londoners’ only shot which was easily held by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Kane failed to have a touch inside the Eagles’ penalty area, so dominant were centre-backs Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi.
The defeat was Spurs’ first in the Premier League this season – in the first game that Son has missed.
They began Saturday top of the league having won all three of their opening matches. One of those – the opening day victory over Manchester City – was without Kane. Son scored the only goal.
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And Aston Villa icon Agbonlahor believes Son might be more important to Spurs than England captain Kane.
“Spurs, for me, were very poor. Watching the game, I thought they lacked ideas,” Agonlahor told talkSPORT.
“We spoke in the week about [Steven] Bergwijn being out, Son being out.
“We talk about: can Spurs play without Harry Kane? But can they play without Son?
“Spurs looked very poor. [Lucas] Moura wasn’t really doing it. Dele Alli worked hard but he wasn’t really at the races.
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“Harry Kane looked a bit fed up. I’m just looking at him and he looked very fed up. Maybe he wishes that [Manchester City] move had gone through. He looked frustrated.
“Spurs do this a lot to their fan base – they get them excited and then knock them down. It could be one of those seasons for them.”
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A Wilfried Zaha penalty was added to by a brace from debutant Odsonne Edouard for a Palace side who earned their first win of the campaign.
Spurs had Japhet Tanganga sent off with the score goalless. Eric Dier was forced off with an injury inside the first 15 minutes.
Nuno bemoaned the challenges that his side faced throughout the game.
“We just look at the game so we had a lot of obstacles during the game to overcome. It was not easy for the boys today,” Spurs boss Nuno said about his side’s performance,” the 47-year-old said.
“But in the first half I think we were in control of the game, didn’t create too much but didn’t allow too much also.
“So both teams were in the game but like you said the team losing a player and all these things, but I think we overcame that and at half-time we spoke and the perspective was to improve in the second half, but it didn’t happen.
“Even in the beginning before the penalty, one man down, but even in that moment we showed resilience, we were strong. and the penalty came.
“But a lot of situations we have to look at and be fair to say that we didn’t perform as well as we should.”
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