It’s Timo time at Tottenham, as Werner gets his first goal for Spurs as Ange Postecoglou’s side come from behind to beat Crystal Palace and keep Champions League qualification hopes alive

Timo Werner first entered English football as a goalscoring machine after more than thirty seasons in the Bundesliga, but those days are over.

Perceptions changed during his two years at Chelsea, where he never came close to the blistering goal tally of his first spell at RB Leipzig. Instead, he earned a reputation for missing chances and being sidelined, and few were upset in the summer of 2022 to see him return to where he came from.

Goals have failed the 27-year-old Werner, and yet his efforts have never failed. So when he scored for the first time in a Tottenham shirt, the equalizer in a 3-1 comeback win over Crystal Palace, after missing a glorious chance, one-on-one with the goalkeeper while the match was goalless, there was a real swell of affection and a sigh of relief.

“I’m very happy for him,” Son Heung-min said. ‘Timo works very hard. I wish he had scored in the first half to make the game a bit easier, but he was very happy with his first goal for Spurs. He deserved it and there will be many more to come.

“When you miss a big opportunity you think the world is against you, but Timo stepped up and didn’t give up. He plays fantastic. I hope he enjoyed a goal that can help the team, but Timo can’t celebrate anymore because the fans and the players expect more from him. I hope he continues to work hard and help his team.”

Timo Werner’s first goal for Tottenham Hotspur was the equalizer against Crystal Palace

Son Heung-min, who also scored, was 'happy' for Werner, because he works hard

Son Heung-min, who also scored, was ‘happy’ for Werner, because he works hard

It was a crucial goal in Tottenham’s comeback after they fell behind to Eberechi Eze’s brilliant free-kick. It broke Palace’s resistance as three minutes later Cristian Romero headed Spurs into the lead and Son broke clear to score the third late on.


TOTTENHAM (4-3-3): Vicario 6; Royal 7, Romero 7.5, Van de Ven 7, Udogie 6; Bentancur 5 (Johnson 63min, 8), Bissouma 6.5 (Lo Celso 90), Maddison 6.5 (Sarr 82); Kulusevski 6, Son 7 (Scarlett 90), Werner 6.5 (Hojbjerg 82).

Scorers: Werner 77, Romero 80, Son 88.

Booked: Bentancur.

Administrator: Ange Postecoglou 7.5.

CRYSTAL PALACE (3-4-3): Johnstone 6.5; Department 5.5, Andersen 5, Richards 5; Munoz 5, Wharton 6.5 (Hughes 71, 6), Lerma 6, Mitchell 6; Ayew 6.5 (Edouard 71, 5), Mateta 6, Eze 7 (Franca 66, 5).

Scorer: Eze 59.

Booked: Lerma, Johnstone.

Manager: Oliver Glasner6.

Referee: John Brooks6.

Attendance: 61,339.

It also fueled thoughts of what could happen if Ange Postecoglou could fix the Werner goal machine.

“After what happened in Leipzig in the first half of the season, I feel very comfortable here,” Werner said. ‘The group, the manager and the trainers made me feel like I am needed here, they want me here. With the goal it helps a striker to be more patient. I won’t wait any longer, now that the time has come, hopefully I can score many more.’

Postecoglou refused to agree with the theory that Werner desperately needed that goal. For him, the German has been a solid contributor on the left wing since joining on loan from Leipzig in January.

Werner’s pace, energy and relentless determination to threaten in the space behind the full back is exactly what the Spurs boss wants. It creates disorder in well-drilled lines of defense and creates opportunities for others.

There is no obligation to make the loan permanent and perhaps what happens from now until the end of the season will decide that, but Werner has been a useful addition with Manor Solomon and Richarlison injured, and Son absent on international duty.

According to Postecoglou, the most satisfying aspect of Werner’s first Tottenham goal was seeing one winger get on the end of a cross from the other, in this case delivered by Brennan Johnson. A key tenet of his football style is seeing wide men attack the back post. He had earlier uttered a rare roar of desperation when Werner delivered a low cross and Dejan Kulusevski was not in the right place to convert a simple chance.

“Timo played a very good match,” Postecoglou said. ‘Aggressive, it takes up his entire back. He had the chance in the first half, but for that crucial goal he was in the right area, winger to winger. It’s something we work on every day.’

Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou was also impressed with the way Werner performed in the match

Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou was also impressed with the way Werner performed in the match

Crystal Palace's first defeat under Oliver Glasner reminds us of the work that still needs to be done

Crystal Palace’s first defeat under Oliver Glasner reminds us of the work that still needs to be done

For Palace, a first defeat under Oliver Glasner is a reminder of work still to be done. They next host Luton, which they will see as an opportunity they must seize to move away from the relegation bracket while they get to know their new manager.

For Tottenham, another win from behind highlights the spirit under Postecoglou, cleanses the recent defeat to Wolves from the system and keeps them five points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa ahead of Sunday’s trip to Villa Park.

“Playing against Villa after that, it was important to get this win,” Werner said. ‘The three points kept the pressure on them and if we win there, which we have to do if we want to play in the Champions League next season, then with one game in hand it will be good for us.’