Spurs are home: Tottenham’s new era starts at £1bn stadium - reactions, videos and tweets
Son Heung-min is the ‘happiest guy in the world’ after scoring the first Premier League goal at the ground
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Crystal Palace 0
It was a memorable night for Spurs fans as the club christened its spanking new stadium with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, a result that takes them back above Arsenal into third place in the Premier League table.
They now lead their north London rivals by a point, having played a game more. Remarkably, it was Tottenham’s first Premier League win since 10 February when they beat Leicester City, and it came courtesy of second-half goals from Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen.
It was a scrappy, nervy display from the home side in front of a crowd of 59,215, understandable perhaps given the significance of the occasion.
‘A special moment, a special night’
For manager Mauricio Pochettino, the magnificent £1bn stadium is a challenge to his squad.
“We have to start to think it’s a new chapter and that Tottenham can be a real contender for big things,” Pochettino told reporters.
“We have to start to behave like a big club… it’s one of the best moments of my life. We started to feel that it’s home, that this is going to be such an important place for the future.”
The Argentine added: “It’s a special moment, a special night. I feel and believe it is the best stadium in the world.
“We knew the game was going to be difficult and tough. You don’t know how we’re going to react but, playing the way we played in the first half, we were going to score.
“I’m pleased for [chairman] Daniel Levy because of this fantastic project and I dedicate that victory to him.
“The emotion was amazing from the beginning. To win was so important to us. Today we touched the glory. Now we need to touch the glory of lifting trophies.
“Now is the start of a chapter. We close one chapter and open another chapter and bring victory to our fans.”
Club chairman Levy said: “We see it as bringing hope, prosperity and uplift to Tottenham, embracing the local community, building on the character and talents of the area.
“Our vision is that our neighbourhood is a prosperous mixed community. If you live here you should be able to study, work and play here. That is why we have delivered new, affordable homes, schools, shops and jobs alongside our stadium and embedded our Foundation.
“Unlike any developer, we are not here to develop, take a profit and leave – we are here for the long-term. This is our home.”
How the Spurs players reacted
After scoring the first Premier League goal at the stadium South Korea striker Son said: “It’s just amazing. The noise was just so loud. To score the first goal at this stadium. I just want to say to thank you to my team-mates and the fans. I’m the happiest guy in the world.
“White Hart Lane is our history but the new stadium... I can’t believe it. To play in it is an amazing feeling. It’s a bit different from Wembley. Wembley was not our home.”
Press reactions to the new stadium
BBC Sport: “Some fans were in tears. One former player called it a ‘different sense of beauty’. And the scorer of the first competitive goal at the magnificent £1bn stadium said he was ‘the happiest guy in the world’. It may have been ready six months late but it’s fair to say Tottenham Hotspur Stadium made a spectacular impression on all those present for Spurs’ 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.”
Barney Ronay, The Guardian: “Tottenham’s new home isn’t so much a football stadium as a statement of economic ambition. The souvenir programme showed the Spurs cockerel brooding over the London night sky like Batman: its eye turned not towards the nail bars and chicken shops down below, but to the bright lights of the city and the Docklands, seats of London’s super-city wealth.”
Anthony Hay, Daily Mail: “Twenty-two months after they said goodbye to White Hart Lane, Spurs finally open the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and held the perfect housewarming party, with a nod to the farewell observance they paid to their former ground.”
Dan Kilpatrick, London Evening Standard: “Tottenham’s new home proved just the spark they needed as Mauricio Pochettino’s side ended a dismal run of five matches without a win with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Heung-Min Son’s 55th-minute goal made history and lifted the tension that had begun to creep into the breathtaking stadium during the first half, when the ceremony and emotion of the occasion gave way to the reality that Spurs desperately needed to win.”