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Tottenham takes five-point lead in Premier League




Ange Postecoglou told Tottenham fans to dream after his side moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League for the first time.

The Australian’s 26 points from his opening 10 games in charge is the best return of any new manager in Premier League history.


After a subdued first 45 minutes, Spurs sprang into life early in the second-half as Joel Ward’s own goal and Son Heung-min’s strike earned the victory.

Jordan Ayew pulled a goal back in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late for the Eagles.

Not since Spurs last won the league in 1960-61 have they enjoyed such an advantage at the summit of the English top flight.

A title challenge still appears a remote possibility, but with no European football to sap their energy, the sky may be the limit for Postecoglou’s men.

“Let them dream, that’s what being a football supporter is all about and, fair to say, this lot have suffered a bit,” said Postecoglou.


After Tottenham’s last game on Monday, the former Celtic boss was not fully satisfied with his side’s performance, even though they beat Fulham 2-0.

It was more of a mixed bag from the visitors as they took 45 minutes to find their rhythm.

“We showed real discipline and focus. Really happy with the effort the boys put in,” added Postecoglou.

“It is never gonna be an open game of football here. They’re an organised team so I knew we needed to be patient. It is a different way for us to win a game.”

Goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario has been one of the unsung heroes of Spurs’ form and the Italian was needed to make a smart stop low to his left to prevent Odsonne Edouard opening the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes.


The signing of James Maddison has been the catalyst to Tottenham’s transformation under Postecoglou, despite the loss of the club’s record goalscorer Harry Kane to Bayern Munich.

Fired up by Postecoglou’s half-time team talk, Spurs emerged for the second period with greater intensity and Maddison created the opening goal as his driven low shot across goal was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Ward.

Postecoglou’s Midas touch was then in evidence as he introduced Brennan Johnson just after the hour mark.

The former Nottingham Forest winger was on the pitch just two minutes before he collected Maddison’s pass and crossed for Son to tap home his eighth goal of the season.

A fine night for Spurs had one final highlight as midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur made his comeback from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered back in February.


Ayew’s powerful strike into the top corner in the 94th minute was just Palace’s second goal in their last six games.

The Ghanaian escaped a VAR check for handball to set up a grandstand finish.

Palace had one big chance with virtually the last kick of the game when Matheus Franca sliced wide, but Spurs showed their resolve to survive 12 minutes of stoppage time.

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Haris Rauf’s BBL participation uncertain as PCB delays NOC: report




Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf’s participation in the Big Bash League 2023-24 is met with a potential hurdle as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to delay the issuance of the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) required for his engagement in the league.

According to ESPNCricinfo, Rauf’s NOC is likely to face a delay until at least December 11, just four days after the start of the BBL. There is no confirmation of an immediate issuance thereafter.

The explanation for the delay revolves around the ongoing National T20 Cup in Pakistan, scheduled until December 10, which the PCB expects Haris Rauf to fully engage in.


Last week, Wahab Riaz, Pakistan’s recently appointed chief selector, disclosed that Rauf had declined participation in Pakistan’s Test series in Australia scheduled for December-January.

Wahab openly expressed his displeasure at Rauf’s decision, with both sides differing on the events leading up to this point. Reportedly, the 30-year-old cited his inexperience in Test cricket as the reason for not agreeing to play in Australia. Rauf conveyed to Wahab that focusing on his white-ball game and fitness would be more beneficial.

Rauf’s potential absence from the BBL could raise concerns, especially for Melbourne Stars, who had enlisted him as a key player. Initially, it was expected that Rauf would only miss the BBL during Pakistan’s five-match T20 series in New Zealand in mid-January. However, further delays may disrupt the league’s plans.

Melbourne Stars had introduced special memberships named “House of Rauf” for the initial three games at the MCG this year, along with a dedicated seating zone called Haris Rauf Bay.

Ongoing delays in Rauf’s NOC issuance may raise concerns among Pakistan’s centrally contracted players in general. Two more players, Usama Mir (Melbourne Stars) and Zaman Khan (Sydney Thunder), are also selected for the league.


Contract discussions between the PCB and the players faced obstacles, partly due to disagreements over the number of foreign leagues players could participate in annually. They seem to have settled on a limit of two leagues, contingent on the PCB issuing an NOC for participation.

The BBL is set to start from December 7, 2023, to January 24 2024.