A 4-0 thrashing to Champions league finalists is usually anticipated by clubs who struggle to the carry out the unwavering aim of scoring goals in a game of football. However, this was not the typical away day that Palace are accustomed to, in fact, it was the total opposite. 

To put it into context, before the fixture Palace traveled to North London knowing that in the last two-years under Hodgson they have the best away record outside the top six in the Premier League. After adding Manchester United to their list of scalps that already included champions Manchester City last season, and due to Tottenham’s abysmal form Palace and their fans felt confident. 

Palace had only conceded twice in the Premier League before they allowed Heung-min Son to run rampant as the South Korean and Serge Aurier turned Palace’s strength that won them the game at Old Trafford into a weakness. 

Pochettino must have watched back van Aanholt’s winner against United two weeks ago and saw an opportunity. He saw the space his errant runs left in behind, and the Dutchman’s nature of drifting inside. 

It only took Pochettino’s men 10 minutes act on their manager’s plan when Alderweireld’s peach of a long ball intricately found Son whose run had pierced through Sakho and van Aanholt. Son controlled it with his left thigh, cut inside and wrongfooted Guatita with a drilled shot that hit the inside of the post. 

Enter Erik Lamela, the hallucination whom would lead van Aanholt into the middle by making diagonal runs, then Aurier who exploited the vacuum of space before Son volleyed it past Guatita at the back post for his second. 

It was a short tragedy that was repeated throughout the first half but the characters swapped roles as Aurier’s cross was bundled by the left-back two minutes later before Lamela provided the final blow on the stroke of half-time by turning in Harry Kane’s cross to add Tottenham’s 4th and final goal. 

It was a capitulation that was so out of character, but one that highlighted the issues with this current Palace side. 

Their away day blueprint has been studied, mastered and countered by Pochettino’s brilliance and the squad yearns for an innovator that will bring a balance to their midfield which will allow their defenders defend and their strikers to score goals. 

“It was the first half that cost us – clearly," Gary Cahill said of the defeat.

"In terms of our shape, in terms of the way we went about the first half was very disappointing. We had an idea why in terms of what was happening but it is easy to correct one or two things in the game but it is difficult to correct four or five and in the first half we was all over the place. 

“With a good team like this they smell blood and you are two or three down before you know it. 

“The first goal was a killer and the second, which was an own goal, left us two-nil down with the shape not as you would want it to be. 

“I can only speak from the time I have been here, but that isn’t our character. We way we have been playing in the start of the season – it has been basics. Being in the right position, closing gaps at the right times but there were so many gaps and space all over the pitch in the first half.”