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“One man less”: Nuno explains why he did not play Tottenham duo in Palace defeat

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Nuno answers why Bryan Gil and Tanguy Ndombele were unused subs for Tottenham vs Crystal Palace

Speaking after the defeat to Crystal Palace (h/t football.london), Nuno Espirito Santo explains that the red card for Japhet Tangaga was a major reason why Bryan Gil and Tanguy Ndombele did not feature for Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

Spurs came into this weekend undefeated in the league, having conceded no goals in their first three games. But their perfect record was shattered in the London derby at Selhurst Park after a red card for Tanganga around the hour mark.

The game opened up for Patrick Vieira’s team from there on and Ben Davies’ handball just 15 minutes from time handed Wilfried Zaha a penalty that he converted. Two late goals from Odsonne Edouard then sealed Spurs’ fate on the day.

Bryan Gil did not feature for Tottenham Hotspur against Crystal Palace.

Bryan Gil did not feature for Tottenham Hotspur against Crystal Palace. (imago Images)

Nuno started the game with Harry Kane and Lucas Moura in attack, with Dele Alli, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harry Winks, and Oliver Skipp featuring in midfield.

No Gil or Ndombele

Ndombele and Gil were on the bench, and fans would have wanted at least one of them to come on as Spurs were losing their grip on the match at the start of the second half. The former Wolves manager even had Gil warming up on the sidelines.

But when asked why he did not bring on the 20-year-old winger and the club’s record signing, Santo explained that the red card for Tanganga meant there was a need for another defender on the pitch.

Japhet Tanganga was shown a red card for Spurs against Palace.

Japhet Tanganga was shown a red card for Spurs against Palace. (imago Images)

“He (Gil) didn’t come on because I didn’t decide to put him on first. Like you say, I think you saw, our idea previously was just the right moment, then the precise moment we’re to make the sub we’re made one man less and we had to find the balance of the team again, to go for a defender, so the decision was made based on that.”

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The Welsh duo of Joe Rodon and Ben Davies came on for Spurs in the second half, and Nuno did not make a third sub in the game. It remains to be seen if Gil and Ndombele are trusted with minutes against Spurs’ Conference League tie against Rennes on Thursday.

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