Goalscorers: Mikele Leigertwood 66, Danny Granville 70, Andy Johnson 77 PEN
Crystal Palace: Gabor Kiraly, Emmerson Boyce, Danny Granville, Fitz Hall, Mikele Leigertwood, Gonzalo Sorondo, Michael Hughes, Tom Soares (Gary Borrowdale 88), Wayne Routledge, Dougie Freedman, Andy Johnson (Wayne Andrews 88)
Tottenham Hotspur: Paul Robinson, Erik Edman, Noe Pamarot (Thimothee Atouba 72), Ledley King, Noureddine Naybet, Reto Ziegler (Stephen Kelly 44), Michael Carrick, Dean Marney (Mark Yeates 83), Pedro Mendes, Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane
Referee: Chris Foy, Attendance: 23,723
Tottenham arrived at Selhurst Park in January 2005 for a London Derby with Crystal Palace as one of the form teams in the Premier League. Martin Jol’s side had lost only one of their last 10 matches and that had been to the current Premier League leaders Chelsea. On the other hand, the Eagles were firmly in a huge battle with three other teams to preserve their Premier League status but had beaten Aston Villa in their last league home fixture.
It was Spurs who produced much of the early running. Reto Ziegler curled a free-kick just over the crossbar, whilst Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity. Palace goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly also made a couple of acrobatic saves to deny Ziegler and youngster Dean Marney who had scored his first senior goals three weeks earlier in a victory over high-flying Everton.
Goalless at half-time, Jol could feel unfortunate that his side didn’t hold a lead at the interval, so he and his side were in for a shock as the Eagles ran rampant in a deadly 11-minute spell. First on 66 minutes, Tom Soares put in a fantastic ball into the box and defensive midfielder Mikele Leigertwood arrived to thrash home from close-range for his first-ever Premier League goal.
Four minutes later, Iain Dowie’s side got themselves into a fantastic position as they doubled their lead. Wayne Routledge’s incisive pass split open the Tottenham backline and on the overlap, full-back Danny Granville made an unchecked run to finish past England goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Tottenham had been stunned and seven minutes later, their situation got worse. Andy Johnson drove at the retreating defenders and was on a wrong end of a poorly-timed tackle by Pedro Mendes. Referee Chris Foy pointed to the penalty spot and Johnson picked himself up, dusted himself down and emphatically drove his spot-kick down the middle of the goal. This sealed a vital victory for the Eagles, matching their biggest margin of victory in the season which had been earlier achieved in October over West Bromwich Albion.
Dougie Freedman nearly made it 4-0 in the closing stages but he was kept out by Robinson and Dowie’s side were more than happy to settle with the final outcome of a 3-0 final scoreline. It was a result that would have given Jol and his coaching staff at Spurs plenty of food for thought.
Crystal Palace would go on to record further home victories over Birmingham City and Liverpool FC and Johnson ended with 21 goals but were relegated for the fourth time in the Premier League era on a dramatic final day. Tottenham ended in ninth position but were putting in the foundations for better campaigns in the future under their Dutch manager who had succeeded Jacques Santini in November. This though was Crystal Palace’s day and one of their best performances of the 2004-2005 season.