Tottenham 1-0 Crystal Palace: Wanyama gives Spurs first win

20 Aug 2016 16:55:27
Mauricio Pochettino’s men picked up their first Premier League victory of the new season thanks to a second-half header from their summer signing to secure all three points

Victor Wanyama’s late goal ended Tottenham’s five-match winless run with a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane to extend their London rivals’ away-day woes.

Spurs had not tasted triumph since the 4-0 win over Stoke City in April at the bet365 Stadium – the same ground where Palace last won on their travels in the league last December.

But Wanyama marked his home debut in fine style with a close-range header to seal the points for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Vincent Janssen made his first start for Tottenham, and he missed a number of great chances as he sought his maiden goal in English football.

Alan Pardew’s visitors had won at White Hart Lane in the FA Cup last season, but rarely troubled Michel Vorm, standing in for injured captain Hugo Lloris, in the Spurs goal.

It appeared as if Palace would hold on for a point despite their lack of attacking threat, only for Wanyama to capitalise on some poor marking and settle the contest eight minutes from time.

The match came too soon for Pardew to call on club-record signing Christian Benteke, whose arrival was confirmed just hours before kick-off, but the visitors managed the first attempt on goal as Jason Puncheon saw an early thumping effort saved.

Spurs ramped up the pressure in response but were frustrated as Toby Alderweireld’s powerful header and Harry Kane’s angled drive each flew straight at Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Another Tottenham chance went begging when Wanyama nodded over from a corner, but their best opening came in the 27th minute as Janssen was twice denied from close range by the scrambling Hennessey, having profited from the rebound of Kane’s deflected strike.

Kane then flashed wide of the post late in a half in which Palace were lucky to survive having been second best for long periods.

England forward Kane had the first notable opportunity of the second period but only succeeded in steering Eric Dier’s measured cross narrowly wide.

Palace went close to breaking the deadlock in the 61st minute as substitute Yohan Cabaye’s first-time effort was deflected over.

Janssen then spectacularly missed after being sent through on goal, this time beating Hennessey but scuffing his shot way off target.

The Dutchman saw another chance diverted behind after Dele Alli had fired over but Wanyama atoned for his team-mates’ profligacy from the subsequent corner, flicking Kane’s header into the net to clinch a first win of the season for Spurs.

Man Utd 2-0 Southampton: Ibrahimovic puts Saints to the sword

The Swedish striker scored a superb header and also converted from the penalty spot, as the Red Devils eased to a comfortable victory over the Saints at Old Trafford

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Manchester United defeated Southampton 2-0 at Old Trafford on Friday.

Paul Pogba – who played the full 90 minutes – also impressed on his second debut for the club after completing his world record transfer move from Juventus and missing Sunday’s 3-1 win at Bournemouth through suspension.

Ibrahimovic put United into the lead after 36 minutes, the striker rising highest in the penalty area to thump in a header from Wayne Rooney’s precise right wing cross.

After Dusan Tadic had a goal ruled out shortly after half-time, Ibrahimovic sealed the points from the penalty spot when Jordy Clasie brought down Luke Shaw in the box.

Anthony Martial missed a chance to pick out Ibrahimovic for his hat-trick, but Jose Mourinho’s men closed out the match with ease in his first league home game.

Southampton had won 1-0 on their two previous visits to Old Trafford but they rarely threatened the United goal and their seven-match Premier League unbeaten run came to an end as Claude Puel continues to await his first win.

It was Pogba who had the first sight of goal after 12 minutes, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area lacked power and was comfortably saved by Fraser Forster.

Southampton were looking threatening on the break and Nathan Redmond ran clear of Eric Bailly only to hit his cross over the unmarked Dusan Tadic at the back post.

Shane Long flashed a shot into the side netting after 25 minutes, then Ibrahimovic hooked a bicycle kick just wide of the far post after superb play by Pogba and Juan Mata.

Tadic seized on a loose United pass to free Long, but the striker snatched at his effort and David de Gea saved easily, before Rooney’s long-range shot was dealt with by Forster.

United made Southampton pay for wasting their chances after 36 minutes, with Ibrahimovic scoring his third goal for United in three games.

Antonio Valencia slipped in Rooney down the right wing and the United captain’s cross was perfectly placed for Ibrahimovic to climb above Jose Fonte and power in an unstoppable header.

Southampton thought they had equalised shortly after half-time when Tadic flicked home a header, but he was adjudged to have fouled Bailly, and United then doubled their lead.

Clasie tripped Shaw in the box and Ibrahimovic stepped up to sweep the spot-kick home, sending Forster the wrong way.

Ibrahimovic then could have had his hat-trick but Martial failed to pick his fellow attacker out in the box, before the young France international wasted another presentable opening.

Despite failing to take advantage of a string of opportunities to add to the scoreline – including a late Pogba effort – Mourinho’s men closed the match out with ease to extend their 100 per cent record.

Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United: Rooney & Ibrahimovic score in comfortable win

14 Aug 2016 15:23:01
Jose Mourinho got off to the perfect start as the Red Devils boss as his side picked up three points in his first Premier League game in charge

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on his Premier League debut as Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United beat Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

The former Sweden captain, who netted the winner on his first competitive outing in the Community Shield, drilled in a superb low shot from distance to add to goals from Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney.

United, who also handed a first Premier League start to Eric Bailly, had found it difficult to gain control on a ground where they suffered a 2-1 defeat last season before surprise starter Mata pounced on an error from Simon Francis.

Artur Boruc twice made good saves to keep United at bay, but Rooney doubled the visitors’ lead just before the hour mark as he steered Anthony Martial’s miscued volley into the corner.

Ibrahimovic blasted in United’s third to set Mourinho on course for the ideal start to his first league campaign at Old Trafford, although Adam Smith’s fine 69th-minute strike gave Bournemouth some hope of a comeback.

But United saw out the closing stages to move top of the table, as Ibrahimovic – who has now scored on his debut in the Champions League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Premier League – celebrated in front of the visiting fans.

Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool: Coutinho inspires Klopp’s men to thrilling win

14 Aug 2016 17:47:00
A devilishly exciting game saw the visitors come from behind to lead by three before having to stave off a late fightback from their hosts in a memorable encounter

Liverpool were forced to hold off a resurgent Arsenal as Jurgen Klopp’s men clung on to begin their 2016-17 Premier League season with an enthralling 4-3 victory at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

In a remarkable encounter, Liverpool fell behind as Theo Walcott, who had missed a penalty a minute earlier, gave Arsenal a deserved lead.

But Philippe Coutinho – scorer of a stunning winner at Stoke City on the opening weekend of last season – repeated the feat with an unstoppable free-kick in first-half stoppage time.

Buoyed by that equaliser, Liverpool tore into their hosts after the break and scored three times in the first 18 minutes.

Adam Lallana put them ahead with a fine piece of control and a finish to match, before Coutinho doubled his tally by applying the finishing touch to Nathaniel Clyne’s delivery.

Along with Ragnar Klavan and Georginio Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane was making his competitive Liverpool bow and the Senegalese marked the occasion with a sensational solo goal, finished off with a rasping drive into the top corner.

The home side did pull one back almost immediately through substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – another virtuoso effort to rival that of Mane – before Liverpool saw Coutinho hobble from the field.

With 15 minutes remaining, Calum Chambers’ header set Liverpool nerves jangling further, but Klopp’s men held on to get their campaign off to a victorious, if not altogether convincing, start.

Arsenal had the better of the opening exchanges and a sharp seventh-minute combination between Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey culminated in the latter prodding straight into the arms of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

The Gunners were ahead in the 31st minute, but only after Walcott had wasted a chance from the penalty spot.

Alberto Moreno’s clumsy challenge inside the box brought down the England forward, who then saw his subsequent kick saved by Mignolet diving to his right.

But the respite was brief for Liverpool as Francis Coquelin won the ball back and, with Moreno caught upfield, Alex Iwobi played Walcott into the vacated space and his low strike was unerring in creeping inside the left-hand upright.

Liverpool reached half-time level, however.

Arsenal debutant Rob Holding was adjudged to have fouled Coutinho, who sent a stunning 30-yard free-kick beyond Petr Cech into the top-left corner.

And the visitors picked up where they left off at the start of the second half.

Liverpool forged ahead when Coutinho fed Wijnaldum and his lofted pass across the area was chested down by Lallana, who thumped a convincing finish past Cech from a tight angle.

Seven minutes later, a period of patient possession ended in Clyne sending in a low cross for Coutinho to steer expertly home with his left foot.

Things got even better for Liverpool in the 63rd minute as Mane embarked on an ambitious run down the right before wriggling between Chambers and Nacho Monreal and firing high into the net with his left foot.

Oxlade-Chamberlain responded in kind, bursting past Clyne and Jordan Henderson before his shot took a deflection off Dejan Lovren and deceived Mignolet, and the deficit was back to one when Chambers glanced in Santi Cazorla’s set-piece.

Arsene Wenger’s introduction of new signing Granit Xhaka at 4-2 down failed to have much of an impact, and Liverpool withstood late pressure to edge an early contender for game of the season, sparking a chorus of boos around the Emirates.

Everton 1-1 Tottenham: Lamela header denies Koeman opening win

13 Aug 2016 16:53:10
The Toffees took the lead thanks to a Ross Barkley free-kick after just five minutes, but Spurs fought back through the Argentine to earn a share of the spoils on Merseyside

Ronald Koeman’s first competitive game in charge of Everton ended all-square as Erik Lamela’s second-half header earned Tottenham a point on the opening day of the new Premier League season.

Despite an in-different pre-season that culminated in the sale of John Stones to Manchester City, Everton got the Koeman era off to the perfect start as Ross Barkley curled a free-kick past Hugo Lloris after five minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for Tottenham soon after when captain Lloris had to be replaced by Michel Vorm after picking up a hamstring injury.

Everton, who won just six home games last term, continued to impress and Gerard Deulofeu should have put them further ahead when he went through on goal, only to fire a tame strike straight at Vorm.

And the hosts were made to pay for their inefficiency in front of goal when Lamela restored parity with just over half an hour remaining with a well-timed header.

Tottenham dominated proceedings late on and if not for two world-class saves by Maarten Stekelenburg that denied Vincent Janssen and Lamela respectively, they would have sealed the three points.

Koeman, shorn of the injured Seamus Coleman and Romelu Lukaku, as well as new signing Ashley Williams, had openly questioned the readiness of his squad in his pre-match press conference.

However, Everton showed no sign of any lingering fitness issues as they got off to a flying start when Barkley’s free-kick evaded the Tottenham defence and floated into the right-hand corner of Lloris’ goal – the third consecutive time the England midfielder has netted in the first game of a new campaign.

Tottenham came on strong as they looked for a response but it was Everton who came closest to doubling their lead with Lloris called into action to deny Deulofeu, before producing a superb finger-tip save to prevent Phil Jagielka heading in.

Bar the suspended Mousa Dembele, Tottenham were at full strength but the visitors failed to test Stekelenburg until Christian Eriksen’s effort was well-held by the Dutch goalkeeper.

Tottenham suffered another blow in the opening period when Mauricio Pochettino was forced into a first-half change with Lloris having to be replaced by Vorm.

But the former Swansea City man did brilliantly to prevent Deulofeu, operating as a striker for Everton, netting from close-range on the stroke of half-time.

Pochettino made a second change soon after the restart as summer signing Janssen came on for Eric Dier, and the former AZ Alkmaar striker almost made an immediate impact as he teed up Dele Alli, but he could not keep his strike down.

However, Tottenham finally found their leveller just before to the hour mark as Lamela got half a yard on Mason Holgate to head home Kyle Walker’s cross.

Everton refused to let their heads drop, though, and Idrissa Gueye nearly capped a superb debut with a goal, only for Victor Wanyama to produce a wonderful last-ditch challenge.

Tottenham continued to build momentum as the game neared its conclusion, and would have taken the lead through Janssen if not for a terrific stop by Stekelenburg, with the Everton goalkeeper producing another stunning save to tip a Lamela strike onto the bar moments later.

Burnley 0-1 Swansea City: Fer fires visitors to opening day victory

13 Aug 2016 16:53:07
The Netherlands striker was on target as Francesco Guidolin’s men sealed an important result on the road in their first Premier League game of the season

Leroy Fer was on target for Swansea City as they sealed a 1-0 victory at Burnley in their Premier League opener on Saturday.

The clash looked set to end in stalemate after a goalless first half, while the hosts saw Michael Keane squander a golden opportunity before being denied by Lukasz Fabianski after the break.

Burnley were made to pay, as Fernando Llorente got on the end of Jefferson Montero’s cross to see it saved, but Fer was on hand to tap in the rebound for a vital result.

Sean Dyche put his trust in the players that won the Championship last term, with sole outfield signing Johann Berg Gudmundsson starting on the bench, but Andre Gray – the top scorer in the second tier in 2015-16 – was not his clinical self.

Fabianski also made several outstanding saves – including denying Dean Marney excellently following Fer’s opener – as the Swans departed Lancashire with all three points.

The hosts fired the first warning shot within six minutes as Sam Vokes caused a fuss in the Swansea penalty area before teeing up a good effort from Scott Arfield on the edge of the box.

Modou Barrow’s pace caused problems for Burnley left-back Stephen Ward early on, before Llorente stung Heaton’s gloves with a 25-yard effort just after the 20-minute mark.

Gray saw two chances go begging after being released in behind the Swans’ defense, the former Brentford forward snatching at the first before blasting a second effort straight at Fabianski five minutes before the interval.

The away side’s insistence on interchanging their wingers resulted in the best opportunity of the first half, as Barrow provided a cross for Wayne Routledge to hammer wide. Jordi Amat then saw a headed effort cleared off the line by Arfield on the stroke of half-time.

Burnley opened up the second half in the same way as they started the first, with Marney finding the roof of Fabianski’s net with a looping header before Keane somehow bundled a finish wide of the back post from all of four yards out.

Vokes was the next man to fail to break the deadlock after some good interplay between Gray and Arfield. The Wales international saw a low drive pushed around the post by Swansea’s busy goalkeeper.

The best chances continued to fall to centre-backs, with Federico Fernandez failing to keep a six-yard effort down when it looked easier to score, resulting from a corner delivery that was flicked on well at the near post.

Further drama ensued as referee Jon Moss waved away a penalty appeal from Marney after 73 minutes, before a fantastic cross from Matt Lowton forced Fernandez into some heroic defending deep inside his own box.

The travelling Swans, however, were able to weather the second-half storm and went ahead with eight minutes left when Fer popped up to scramble home after good work down the left from substitute Jefferson Montero, who crossed for Llorente to test Heaton.

Fabianski capped a fine display by denying Burnley a late equaliser with a reaction save to frustrate Marney and hand Swansea the victory.

 

Middlesbrough 1-1 Stoke City: Shaqiri stunner earns draw after Negredo opener

13 Aug 2016 16:57:55
The hosts took the lead after just 11 minutes, on their return to top flight action, but were denied all three points by a great second-half strike from the Switzerland star

A delightful Xherdan Shaqiri free-kick secured Stoke City a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday, denying the promoted side all three points after ending their seven-year Premier League exile.

New signing Alvaro Negredo had initially given Boro an early lead, taking just 11 minutes to make his mark after two years away from English football, but a moment of genius from Shaqiri ultimately levelled things up in the second half.

Stoke were lucky not to find themselves 2-0 down at the break, though, as Gaston Ramirez hammered against the post shortly before the break.

The visitors failed to produce much of a response but did eventually grow into proceedings in the second half and drew level with 23 minutes left – Shaqiri finding the net with a fine finish from a free-kick.

Boro continued to fight back in search of a late winner but both sides cancelled each other out in the end, with the promoted hosts given a timely reminder of the concentration and quality on show in the Premier League.

Aitor Karanka gave full debuts to five of his nine new arrivals from the start and his team showed no signs of struggling to gel, attacking Stoke with great ferocity in the early exchanges.

And the most high-profile of those new additions made a telling impact 11 minutes in, as Negredo bundled in from close range after Ramirez – another close-season acquisition – nodded Albert Adomah’s cross into the danger zone.
Boro lost some momentum when a suspected hamstring injury for Marten de Roon ruined the Dutchman’s Premier League bow after just 20 minutes, but Stoke failed to capitalise.

The hosts found their feet again after the half-hour mark and went agonisingly close to doubling their lead in the 36th minute, only for Ramirez’s low drive to clip the right-hand post following a driving run into the area.

Boro began to sit back a little more after the break, but they still remained a potent threat on the break.

Albert Adomah initially did brilliantly on the right in the 58th minute, skipping past Erik Pieters on the counter and bursting into the final third, but he inexplicably failed to pick out Negredo in the centre.

And Stoke made the most of that let-off in the 67th minute, as Shaqiri sent a fierce 25-yard free-kick across goal and into the bottom-right corner to equalise in style.

Both sides poured plenty of men forward during the latter stages as they eyed respective winners, but the frequent long balls did not cause great difficulty for either goalkeeper.

There did prove to be one final chance and it fell to Stewart Downing at the back post following a fine Adomah cross, but the winger headed straight into the arms of Shay Given and Stoke held on for a point.

Everton 1-1 Tottenham: Lamela header denies Koeman opening win

13 Aug 2016 16:53:10
The Toffees took the lead thanks to a Ross Barkley free-kick after just five minutes, but Spurs fought back through the Argentine to earn a share of the spoils on Merseyside

Ronald Koeman’s first competitive game in charge of Everton ended all-square as Erik Lamela’s second-half header earned Tottenham a point on the opening day of the new Premier League season.

Despite an in-different pre-season that culminated in the sale of John Stones to Manchester City, Everton got the Koeman era off to the perfect start as Ross Barkley curled a free-kick past Hugo Lloris after five minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for Tottenham soon after when captain Lloris had to be replaced by Michel Vorm after picking up a hamstring injury.

Everton, who won just six home games last term, continued to impress and Gerard Deulofeu should have put them further ahead when he went through on goal, only to fire a tame strike straight at Vorm.

And the hosts were made to pay for their inefficiency in front of goal when Lamela restored parity with just over half an hour remaining with a well-timed header.

Tottenham dominated proceedings late on and if not for two world-class saves by Maarten Stekelenburg that denied Vincent Janssen and Lamela respectively, they would have sealed the three points.

Koeman, shorn of the injured Seamus Coleman and Romelu Lukaku, as well as new signing Ashley Williams, had openly questioned the readiness of his squad in his pre-match press conference.

However, Everton showed no sign of any lingering fitness issues as they got off to a flying start when Barkley’s free-kick evaded the Tottenham defence and floated into the right-hand corner of Lloris’ goal – the third consecutive time the England midfielder has netted in the first game of a new campaign.

Tottenham came on strong as they looked for a response but it was Everton who came closest to doubling their lead with Lloris called into action to deny Deulofeu, before producing a superb finger-tip save to prevent Phil Jagielka heading in.

Bar the suspended Mousa Dembele, Tottenham were at full strength but the visitors failed to test Stekelenburg until Christian Eriksen’s effort was well-held by the Dutch goalkeeper.

Tottenham suffered another blow in the opening period when Mauricio Pochettino was forced into a first-half change with Lloris having to be replaced by Vorm.

But the former Swansea City man did brilliantly to prevent Deulofeu, operating as a striker for Everton, netting from close-range on the stroke of half-time.

Pochettino made a second change soon after the restart as summer signing Janssen came on for Eric Dier, and the former AZ Alkmaar striker almost made an immediate impact as he teed up Dele Alli, but he could not keep his strike down.

However, Tottenham finally found their leveller just before to the hour mark as Lamela got half a yard on Mason Holgate to head home Kyle Walker’s cross.

Everton refused to let their heads drop, though, and Idrissa Gueye nearly capped a superb debut with a goal, only for Victor Wanyama to produce a wonderful last-ditch challenge.

Tottenham continued to build momentum as the game neared its conclusion, and would have taken the lead through Janssen if not for a terrific stop by Stekelenburg, with the Everton goalkeeper producing another stunning save to tip a Lamela strike onto the bar moments later.

Manchester City 2-1 Sunderland: McNair own goal gives Guardiola winning start

13 Aug 2016 19:22:29
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for the hosts before Jermain Defoe levelled as the Spaniard took three points from his opening game and left goalkeeper Joe Hart on the bench

Manchester City gave new manager Pep Guardiola a winning start to his Premier League career with a 2-1 victory over Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium.

Jermain Defoe cancelled out an early Sergio Aguero penalty, but David Moyes’ side were denied a share of the spoils as debutant Paddy McNair turned into his own net with just three minutes to play.

Guardiola, in his first competitive match in charge, had just four minutes to wait for the opening goal, as Aguero converted a penalty following Patrick van Aanholt’s rash challenge on Raheem Sterling.

City, who handed debuts to Nolito and John Stones, enjoyed close to 75 per cent possession in the first half but were unable to capitalise on their dominance, and only a smart save from Willy Caballero – starting ahead of Joe Hart – denied Defoe an equaliser four minutes before the break.

David Moyes endured a 4-1 defeat as Manchester United manager on his last visit to the Etihad Stadium, but his disciplined side kept City frustrated for long spells in the second half despite seeing so little of the ball.

Moyes was given cause to celebrate as Defoe converted Jack Rodwell’s pass 19 minutes from time, but substitute McNair’s unfortunate own goal gave City all three points in front of a relieved home crowd.

Duncan Watmore headed over a promising early chance for the visitors, but City needed just four minutes to take the lead.

Van Aanholt’s clumsy tackle brought down Sterling in the area, and Aguero made no mistake from 12 yards, tucking the ball into the bottom-left corner.

Caballero gave Sunderland the chance of a swift response as he gifted them possession with a poor kick, but debutant Lynden Gooch’s low cross evaded Fabio Borini and City were able to clear.

Nolito and Kevin de Bruyne both saw efforts from the edge of the area fly narrowly wide, but Sunderland almost snatched an equaliser before half-time, with Caballero blocking Defoe’s prodded effort from close range.

City’s dominance of the ball continued after the break, though they had little by way of clear-cut chances until the hour mark, when Aguero dragged the ball wide of the near post after Sunderland failed to clear Sterling’s low cross from the left.

Moyes handed Adnan Januzaj his debut off the bench as Sunderland sought an equaliser, and the Manchester United loanee played a part as Defoe snatched the leveller after 71 minutes.

Januzaj and Borini combined before releasing Rodwell, who slipped a clever reverse pass beyond centre-back Aleksandar Kolarov and into the path of Defoe, who finished low past Caballero from 12 yards.

City pushed on in the closing stages and forced the winning goal with 87 minutes played, as McNair, four minutes after coming on, headed into the net from point-blank range after Jesus Navas’ cross skidded across goal.

 

 

Crystal Palace 0-1 West Brom: Rondon punishes Pardew’s men

13 Aug 2016 16:52:58
The Selhurst Park outfit got the new Premier League campaign off on the wrong foot, as the Venezuelan fired the visitors to an important away result

Crystal Palace opened their Premier League campaign with a disappointing 1-0 home loss to West Brom on Saturday, secured by Salomon Rondon’s second-half winner.

The Venezuela striker glanced in James McClean’s free-kick to hand all three points to the visitors and inflict an opening-day defeat on Palace that extends their poor run in 2016 to 13 defeats in 20 Premier League games.

West Brom, who had lost on just three of their last 13 visits to Selhurst Park in the top flight, came close to an early opener through Rondon, but looked content to sit deep and frustrate a below-par Palace side in a dreadful first half.

The hosts should have taken the lead early in the second period when Wilfried Zaha was denied one-on-one by Ben Foster and Alan Pardew’s side looked the most likely to break the deadlock as they continued to control possession.

That was until the 74th minute, however, when Rondon rose highest to glance substitute McClean’s free-kick beyond the reach of Wayne Hennessey and hand West Brom only a second win on opening day in 11 years.

The striker gave Palace an unsettling opening 10 minutes in, forcing an early mistake from Damien Delaney before steering a header goalwards that Hennessey had to palm clear.

The Baggies dealt comfortably with Palace’s efforts and Andros Townsend’s weak shot from distance was the sum total of the home side’s attacking threat during a scrappy first half desperately short on quality.

Pardew seemed to have injected some impetus into Palace at half-time, as they came close to breaking the deadlock just six minutes into the second period.

Having won the ball near the halfway line, Zaha was played through on goal by Lee Chung-yong, but he was denied by two superb sprawling saves from Foster before Jonny Evans cleared.

Foster held a fierce Jason Puncheon shot from the edge of the area after a good run by Townsend, before Jonas Olsson looped a header a fraction over the crossbar following Craig Gardner’s free-kick.

With frustrations building as Palace struggled for attacking inspiration, Rondon and Saido Berahino finally combined to give the former England youth striker striker a sight of goal from 20 yards, but Hennessey held on well to deny a half-chance on the rebound.

But Rondon at last made his mark with just over a quarter of an hour to play, rising highest to glance McClean’s fine delivery into the right-hand corner of Hennessey’s net from just outside the six-yard box to snatch maximum points for Pulis against his old club.