London: On Sunday, Tottenham Hotspur faced their second defeat in English knockout football in a matter of days as they lost 2-0 to Crystal Palace in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Connor Wickham gave the unfancied Eagles, 29 points adrift of Spurs in the Premier League, a ninth-minute lead before a penalty by former Tottenham winger Andros Townsend made it 2-0.
Following Thursday's shoot-out defeat by Chelsea Spurs' Kieran Trippier missed with a penalty before half-time as Tottenham suffered more spot-kick woe, another of their London rivals, in a League Cup semi-final.On Sunday, FA Cup-holders Chelsea had no such problems later as they marked Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain's club debut with a 3-0 win at home to Championship side Sheffield. Willian scored twice either side of a goal from highly-rated English teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi, linked with a transfer window move to German giants Bayern Munich.
Earlier, Tottenham's reverse left Mauricio Pochettino still searching for his first trophy as their manager since the Argentinian joined from Southampton in 2014, with Spurs' last piece of silverware the 2008 League Cup.
It is also bound to intensify the debate over whether Spurs need to change their transfer strategy and spend big in the closing days of the January window.
Spurs were without injured England stars Harry Kane and Dele Alli, while the in-form Son Heung-Min had still to return from international duty with South Korea at the Asia Cup. Pochettino, however, decided to omit Christian Eriksen, with the influential playmaker not even among Spurs' substitutes at Selhurst Park.For all they are third in the Premier League, Spurs are nine points adrift of leaders Liverpool.