BT Sport commentator Darren Fletcher praised both Emerson Royal and Wilfried Zaha after a moment he noticed between the pair during Spurs’ clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday (broadcast on 11/9; 14:00).
It proved to be a hugely frustrating day for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men. They were beaten 3-0 at Selhurst Park.
Tottenham were well short of their best throughout the contest. But the game really started to unravel in the second-half for the visitors.
Firstly, Japhet Tanganga was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession. And Palace went on to score three times late on to secure the win.
But one potential positive to be taken from the game was Royal’s debut display. He showed glimpses of his quality amid the backdrop of a tough battle against Zaha.
The two players certainly both claimed their fair shares of victories in the battles between the pair.
And Fletcher shared during the second-half a moment he noticed where Zaha and Royal seemed to express their mutual respect for each other.
“I tell you what is nice just out of picture while we were looking at Joe Rodon there, Emerson Royal has just walked up to Zaha and patted him on the back and they smiled at each other,” he told BT Sport.
“And I think they’re both enjoying that battle as much as the other one. It’s being played in a great spirit.”
It was not the best debut for Royal. However, the moments of quality hint that there is a lot more to come from the former Barcelona man.
Zaha is one of the league’s most dangerous players. So to hold his own against the Palace talisman is an impressive start.
Spurs fans will see what he can offer further up the pitch in future games.
But it was definitely a reasonable start on a really difficult day for Nuno’s men.