N. Ireland’s DUP Says Opposition To Brexit Deal Remains

In this collage, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster (R) and deputy Nigel Dodds leave from 10 Downing Street in central London on September 10, 2019, while Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) leaves from the rear of 10 Downing Street in central London on October 16, 2019.

 

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party is holding out in opposition to the Brexit deal struck Thursday between London and Brussels — a stance which has the potential to sink the agreement.

The DUP, which supports Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, holds major sway in whether a divorce agreement can get through parliament.

In the desperate scramble for votes, DUP backing would have smoothed the path for hardline Conservatives to get behind Thursday’s Brexit package.

Northern Ireland has proved the sticking point in the Brexit negotiations, so satisfying the DUP, the province’s biggest party, has proved a key test on the road to an acceptable deal.

The DUP is a hardline group whose tough negotiating tactics were forged in the sectarian conflict over British rule in Northern Ireland that left thousands dead over three decades.

The party is known for its fiery rhetoric and steely determination in holding out, rather than its willingness to compromise.

“No” has been its classic watchword.

Hours before London and Brussels announced they had found an agreement, the DUP said it could not support what was on the table — notably on customs and consent issues, as well as sales tax arrangements.

The party said it wants a deal that “protects the economic and constitutional integrity” of the United Kingdom.

Following the news from Brussels, a DUP source told AFP that the earlier statement “remains our position”.

Clout

The hard-bargaining party has only 10 MPs in the 650-seat British parliament in London.

However, those votes could prove vital to the prime minister if he is to get any deal through the lower House of Commons.

The DUP propped up the Conservative government after the 2017 general election, giving it a slim majority in the lower house.

The alliance agreement with the government came at a price of £1 billion ($1.3 billion, 1.15 billion euros) in extra funding for Northern Ireland.

Since Johnson expelled rebel Conservatives in early September, the government is now well short of a majority — even with DUP votes.

Fundamentalists

Deeply socially and economically conservative, the DUP is firmly rooted in Northern Ireland’s Protestant, pro-British community.

It has softened its fiery anti-Catholicism since it was founded by the Protestant evangelical minister Ian Paisley in 1971.

The party has been led for nearly four years by Arlene Foster, 49, who survived a school bus bombing as a teenager.

The no-nonsense figure was Northern Ireland’s first minister throughout 2016 before the province’s power-sharing institutions collapsed in early 2017 over a lack of trust.

The DUP campaigned for Brexit but the four other major parties in Northern Ireland were all against it.

The DUP is the only Northern Irish party in the British parliament. Members of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein do not take their seven seats and there is one independent unionist.

On the lowest UK regional turnout of 63 percent in the 2016 EU membership referendum, 56 percent in Northern Ireland backed the UK staying in the European Union.

EU, UK Reach Brexit Deal

 

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Thursday that Brussels had come to an agreement with Britain on a Brexit withdrawal agreement to be presented to EU leaders.

“Where there is a will, there is a deal — we have one! It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions,” Juncker tweeted.

“I recommend that EUCO endorses this deal,” he said, referring to the European Council of the leaders of member states that was to meet later Thursday.

READ ALSO: US House Condemns Troops Withdrawal From Syria

Affirming Junker’s statement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also on Thursday announced what he said was a “great new deal” for Britain to leave the European Union, as leaders gathered in Brussels for talks.

“We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” he wrote on Twitter, calling on lawmakers in London to approve the agreement at a rare sitting of parliament on Saturday.

FG Pays P&ID £250,000 Cost Ordered By UK Court

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo

 

The Federal Government has paid the sum of £250,000 to Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) as running cost, following an order of the Commercial Court in London in September.

Justice Christopher Butcher gave the order on September 26 with a 14-day ultimatum to the Nigerian government, a deadline that expired on Thursday.

Nigeria is currently battling to reverse the judgement of the London court which awarded $9.6 billion in favour of P&ID over an alleged breach of a gas supply contract agreement.

READ ALSO: FG Insists P&ID Deal Is ‘Sham’, Confident Of ‘Fair Hearing’

The government has also appealed against the order of the same court, which asked that a $200 million security payment be made into its account within 60 days, as a condition for a stay of execution of the $9.6 billion judgement after granting the country leave to appeal the judgement.

The Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr Dayo Akpata, who confirmed this to Channels Television, explained that payment of the running cost ordered by the court was made pending the hearing of the appeal against the $9.6 billion judgement in favour of P&ID.

He added that the cost was a normal process and would be paid back if the appeal was successful.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Government, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has insisted that the P&ID contract was fraudulent.

Mr Mohammed, who spoke to reporters after the government sent a delegation to the United Kingdom, in its bid to overturn the judgement of the London court.

The team comprised two ministers, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as heads of the Nigeria Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the visit by the government delegation on Wednesday last week, Mr Mohammed noted that they recorded a huge success.

“It was indeed a huge victory, and P&ID has every reason to be worried that the 9.6 billion US dollars arbitration award to it has a good chance of being overturned.

“The Federal Government looks forward to its day in court in the Court of Appeal, where it is confident that it will receive a fair hearing of its case and that the order permitting enforcement of the arbitral award will be set aside,” the minister had said.

Chelsea Boss Lampard Backs Abraham To Shine For England

 

Frank Lampard has backed Tammy Abraham to score regularly for England after his impressive start to the season for Chelsea was rewarded with a call-up to the national squad.

The 22-year-old was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for this month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria alongside Blues teammates Ross Barkley, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on Thursday.

Abraham has eight goals in 10 appearances this season and Chelsea manager Lampard is pleased to see him back in the England squad after two previous friendly appearances in 2017.

READ ALSO: 2019 NBBF Premier League: Continental Battle Begins On October 13

“Everyone knows his form’s really good. I think he’s been in the equation probably for Gareth all season because of how he’s played and it’s a natural progression for him,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“I’m delighted for him. I know he’s a proud lad, as he should be proud to get a call-up.”

Abraham had flirted with switching his international allegiance to Nigeria, a country he qualifies for through his father, but will be committed to England if he appears in either forthcoming qualifier.

Lampard, whose Chelsea side travel to Southampton on Sunday, was cautious not to load too much pressure on the young forward’s shoulders.

“I think he has all the attributes to go there and be successful but it will be another step for him and I’m sure he has those attributes. I’m sure he has the attitude to take that challenge of being a goalscorer for England,” he said.

“And there’s competition there. When he steps into the squad he’ll see that there are great strikers in that squad already around him so it’s a good challenge for Tammy.”

While Abraham’s selection was expected, especially with the forward eligible for Nigeria, the inclusion of 21-year-old defender Tomori was more of a surprise.

Lampard, who was Derby boss last season, described the former Derby loanee as a “dream to work with” during the past 15 months they have spent together.

“It’s a great step up and it’s in his hands to go there and show what he shows us every day,” he said.

Prince Harry Launches Fresh Legal Claim Against UK Newspapers

 

Prince Harry has filed a new claim for breach of privacy against British tabloid newspapers, media and the publishing group concerned said on Friday.

“We can confirm that a claim has been issued by the Duke of Sussex,” News Group Newspapers, which publishes The Sun daily and the now defunct News of the World said in a statement without elaborating. Sky News said it concerned phone hacking.

Five Key Points Of UK’s New Brexit Proposals

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker outlining proposals that could lead to a revised divorce deal between London and Brussels.

Here are five key points in Johnson’s plan, which revolves around arrangements on the border between Northern Ireland — part of the United Kingdom — and EU member the Republic of Ireland.

– Removing the backstop –
The existing divorce deal between Britain and the EU has been rejected three times by British MPs. The only split scenario supported by a majority involved removing the backstop fallback provisions concerning the Irish border.

The backstop would ensure the Irish border stays open by keeping the whole UK temporarily aligned to EU customs rules.

Johnson’s letter said the backstop was intended as bridge to a future partnership in which Britain remained closely integrated with EU customs arrangements and laws, but as that is not where his government wants to go, the backstop is a “bridge to nowhere”.

NI to keep EU goods regulations

The plan provides for the creation of an “all-island regulatory zone” on the island of Ireland covering all goods including agrifood. This means Northern Ireland sticking with EU goods regulations to ensure they are the same on both sides of the border.

The move would eliminate “all regulatory checks to trade in goods” across the border.

To support the province through the transition, London would launch a “new deal” for Northern Ireland, with commitments to help boost economic growth, competitiveness, and infrastructure projects.

NI consent

The plan would mean Northern Ireland having significant sectors of its economy governed by laws which it has no say in making.

The plan proposes that the Northern Ireland Assembly and its executive — the province’s devolved regional government — should have the chance to endorse the arrangements before they enter force.

They would do so during the transition period and for every four years afterwards, otherwise the arrangement lapses.

The arrangements therefore could not be maintained indefinitely if they were not wanted — a key problem British MPs had with the backstop.

The assembly collapsed in January 2017 due to a breakdown in trust between the main parties representing the British and Irish communities.

– NI fully in UK customs territory –
The letter says it is “fundamental” that the UK leaves the EU customs union “whole and entire” at the end of the transition period.

It said Britain had to have control of its trade policy in future.

Electronic customs

Both sides should commit never to conduct checks at the border. The UK says it will never impose a hard border on its only land frontier.

All customs processes needed to ensure compliance with the EU and UK customs regimes should take place “on a decentralised basis”, with paperwork conducted electronically as goods move between the UK and Ireland.

It said a very small number of physical checks would need to be conducted at traders’ premises and other points on the supply chain.

Aubameyang Stars As Arsenal Triumph Over Aston Villa

 

Ten-man Arsenal twice came from a goal down to claim a much-needed 3-2 win over Aston Villa in dramatic fashion thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s free-kick six minutes from time at the Emirates on Sunday.

The Gunners’ winless run in the Premier League seemed set to stretch to four games when John McGinn gave Villa the lead and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s sending-off four minutes before half-time gave Unai Emery’s men a mountain to climb.

Nicolas Pepe’s first Arsenal goal from the penalty spot briefly brought the Gunners level, but Wesley soon restored Villa’s lead.

Arsenal heart and commitment was questioned after blowing a two-goal lead to draw at Watford last weekend.

But they showed no little spirit as Calum Chambers looped home an equaliser before Aubameyang took centre stage to rifle home a free-kick from the edge of the area.

READ ALSO: Liverpool Beat Chelsea To Extend Perfect Start

A vital three points, which lifts Arsenal up to fourth, is a huge boost for Emery, who has faced questions in recent weeks over his ability to lead the Gunners back to the Champions League next season.

The Spaniard still has to find the right balance in midfield to protect an ailing defence, but with Aubameyang and Pepe in attack, Arsenal always look capable of scoring.

Maitland-Niles’s nightmare afternoon began after barely a minute when he blazed over Arsenal’s best chance of the first half.

The right-back then dragged down Anwar El Ghazi for an early booking that was to prove costly.

McGinn was a constant threat to the Arsenal defence as the Scottish international twice tested Bernd Leno from outside the box.

However, the hosts did not heed those warning shots as McGinn was allowed to ghost in at the far post to turn home El Ghazi’s cross on 20 minutes.

Maitland-Niles then naively dived into a sliding challenge with Neil Taylor and saw a second yellow.

Emery sacrificed 18-year-old Buyako Saka on his first Premier League start for Chambers to fill the void at right-back.

Arsenal’s lifeline

And the hosts were handed a lifeline just before the hour mark when Matteo Guendouzi was bundled over in the box by Bjorn Engels.

Aubameyang stood aside to let Pepe net his first goal since joining Arsenal for a £72 million ($87 million) club-record move from Lille.

But Arsenal’s joy did not last long as their leaky defence was breached easily once more.

Jack Grealish galloped freely through the midfield before squaring for Wesley to prod in at the near post.

Arsenal almost responded once more as Tom Heaton turned Guendouzi’s long-range drive onto the post.

Heaton also tipped over David Luiz’s dipping free-kick, while Aubameyang could not turn Sokratis Papastathopoulos’s knockdown on target.

However, Chambers was in the right place nine minutes from time to score his first Arsenal goal since 2016.

In a topsy-turvy start to the season, Aubameyang has been the man Arsenal can rely on and he stepped forward again to win the game with his seventh goal of the season by drilling a free-kick he won beyond the unsighted Heaton.

Liverpool Beat Chelsea To Extend Perfect Start

 

 

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s thunderous strike inspired Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Chelsea as the Premier League leaders moved five points clear at the top on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side extended their perfect start to the title race as they became the first club to win their opening six games in consecutive top-flight seasons.

Alexander-Arnold’s blistering free-kick opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge.

Roberto Firmino increased Liverpool’s advantage before the interval and N’Golo Kante’s fine goal was not enough to give Chelsea tangible reward for a vibrant second half.

After Manchester City thrashed Watford 8-0 on Saturday, this was the ideal response from Liverpool as they bid to win the title for the first time since 1990.

READ ALSO: Aubameyang Stars As Arsenal Triumph Over Aston Villa

Pipped to the trophy by City on the final day of last season, Liverpool are playing with a burning desire to end their rivals’ two-year reign as champions.

In contrast to the Champions League holders’ scrappy midweek defeat at Napoli, this disciplined display showed the Premier League is Liverpool’s top priority this term.

They are on a club-record run of 15 successive league wins and have lost just once in 45 top-flight matches, going unbeaten in the last 23.

Significantly for their title prospects, Liverpool’s success at the Bridge was just their second win in 13 away league games against the other established top-six teams.

Although they were hanging on by the end, if Liverpool take more points against the big guns, even City might struggle to keep them at bay.

Frank Lampard’s raw side, 10 points behind the leaders, competed gamely to offer hope of a bright future.

However, Chelsea are a work in progress — yet to keep a clean sheet in seven games and without a win in their opening four home games in all competitions.

A frenetic start could have brought a Chelsea opener when Tammy Abraham stretched in a vain attempt to turn in Mason Mount’s teasing low cross.

Gifted prodigy

Those two Chelsea youngsters have caught the eye at the start of Lampard’s reign.

But it was Liverpool who took the lead in the 14th minute thanks their own gifted prodigy.

Fabinho’s pass broke to Sadio Mane and the Liverpool winger was bundled over on the edge of the penalty area by Andreas Christensen’s clumsy challenge.

Mohamed Salah back-heeled the free-kick into the path of Alexander-Arnold and the 20-year-old right-back smashed a sublime shot past Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner for his first goal since November 2018.

Abraham has already scored seven Premier League goals, but the striker fluffed his lines when he beat the Liverpool offside trap to meet Christensen’s long pass.

Clean through on goal, Abraham should have equalised but could only shoot straight at Liverpool keeper Adrian, who saved with his legs.

Chelsea thought they had equalised in the 27th minute when Cesar Azpilicueta prodded home from close range after Willian’s cross deflected to the defender off Fabinho.

But, in a huge momentum swing, the goal was disallowed after a VAR review showed Mount was offside in the build-up.

Lampard wore a rueful smile on the touchline and, moments later, the Chelsea manager’s expression was misery personified as Liverpool doubled their lead in the 30th minute.

Andrew Robertson curled over a free-kick from the left edge of the Chelsea area and Firmino, gifted far too much space by Christensen and Marcos Alonso, rose highest to head his third goal of the season.

Kepa made a good save to stop Firmino putting Liverpool further ahead from Alexander-Arnold’s cross early in the second half.

But Chelsea’s effort couldn’t be faulted and, having harried Liverpool onto the back foot, they reduced the deficit in the 71st minute.

Kante turned away from Fabinho with a graceful glide and, with Liverpool sitting deep, the France midfielder curled a superb strike into the top corner.

Michy Batshuayi was inches away from equalising in the final minutes, but Liverpool held on.

AFP

Facebook Teams Up With London Police To Track Terror Live Streams

 

Facebook on Tuesday teamed up with the London police to help its artificial intelligence tools track live streams of terror attacks such as the New Zealand mosque massacre.

A self-professed white supremacist used a head-mounted camera in March to broadcast live footage on Facebook of him attacking two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Facebook and platforms such as YouTube came under intense criticism for initially failing to detect the broadcast and then struggling to take down its uploads that proliferated online.

New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and other world leaders in May launched a “Christchurch Call to Action” against online extremism — a campaign major platforms joined later that month.

The California-based social media behemoth said Tuesday it was in the process of updating and refining its policies for dealing with extremism and online hate.

“Some of these changes predate the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, but that attack, and the global response to it in the form of the Christchurch Call to Action, has strongly influenced the recent updates to our policies and their enforcement.”

Machine Learning

London’s Metropolitan Police said the initiative will see it provide Facebook footage of training by its forearms command unit.

The videos will be captured on body cameras provided by Facebook that London’s Firearms Command officers wear during exercises.

This will help Facebook “capture the volume of images needed to train our machine learning tools,” the company said.

“This will mean our AI tools will be able to more accurately and rapidly identify real-life first-person shooter incidents and remove them from our platform.”

The London police said its footage will be combined with video Facebook is already using from law enforcement agencies in the United States.

The new technology will “also significantly help prevent the glorification of such acts and the promotion of the toxic ideologies that drive them,” Britain’s Special Operations assistant commissioner Neil Basu said.

The Metropolitan Police said Facebook decided to ask London for help because it has created the world’s first counter-terror internet response team focused on online hate.

The machine learning tools will also be applied to Facebook’s hugely successful Instagram platform as it captures more and more younger users worldwide.

The London police said it will further share its training footage with the UK interior ministry so that it can then offer it to other interested social media networks as the initiative grows.

“Firearms Command regularly train in how to respond to a wide variety of scenarios, from terrorist incidents to hostage situations, on land, public transport and water,” the London police said.

“The footage they provide will show a ‘shooter’ perspective in a broad range of situations.”

‘Crisis Intervention’

The speed with which the videos spread and Facebook’s initial inability to track them all down redoubled public and government scrutiny of the world’s biggest social media company.

The Christchurch images were broadcast live for 17 minutes — and remained online for a further 12 minutes — before Facebook was alerted by a user and took it down.

Yet millions of upload and shares continued to spread for days.

Facebook on Tuesday defended its track record but conceded that “bad actors will continue to try to get around our systems”.

It reported banning 200 white supremacist organisations and removing 26 million “pieces of content” or terrorist organisation such as the Islamic State.

Facebook said Tuesday that it was also expanding to Australia and Indonesia a US programme in which users who search for extremist content on the platform are directed to a special support group.

The US group was “founded by former violent extremists that provides crisis intervention, education, support groups and outreach,” Facebook said.

Boris Dealt Another Blow As Lawmaker from UK PM’s Party Defects Over Brexit

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a fresh blow on Saturday after another member of his governing Conservatives defected to an opposition party seeking to reverse Brexit.

Former universities minister Sam Gyimah was announced as a new member of the Liberal Democrats at its annual conference in Bournemouth, on the southern English coast.

Gyimah resigned from former premier Theresa May’s government last year over her strategy to take Britain out of the European Union.

He has since been vocal in calling for a re-run of the 2016 Brexit referendum, and is strongly critical of Johnson’s threat to leave the bloc with no deal with the EU on October 31.

READ ALSO: I Will Rather Die Than Delay Brexit, Says Boris Johnson

The 43-year-old was once viewed as a rising star in the Conservatives and briefly ran against Johnson for the party leadership in June.

But he said Saturday: “Boris Johnson created a stark choice for moderate, progressive MPs in the Conservative party — to accept a no deal Brexit or walk away from public life.

“I choose to continue to fight for the values I have always believed in, as a Liberal Democrat.”

His defection comes just days after a similar move by Conservative MP Phillip Lee.

He becomes the sixth lawmaker to join the Lib Dems this year, taking their numbers up to 18 MPs in the 650-seat House of Commons.

“It is clear that the Liberal Democrats are the rallying point for people who want to remain in the EU, and who value an open, fair and inclusive society,” party leader Jo Swinson said.

Gyimah was one of 21 Tory MPs who Johnson ejected from the party earlier this month for voting with the opposition against his Brexit plan.

They backed legislation that would force Johnson to delay Brexit if he cannot secure divorce terms with the EU, or persuade MPs to back no deal.

Johnson, who took office in July, says he is working to get an exit deal with Brussels but must be able to leave next month if he fails.

Michael Owen Says Father Was Driving Force And Reveals Son’s Blindness

 

Former European player of the year Michael Owen says he owes his success to his father, who insisted he was given steak for dinner as a child while his four siblings made do with baked beans on toast.

The 39-year-old former Liverpool and England striker told The Times he even climbed into the boxing ring because his father Terry said he needed to “toughen up”.

Despite this Owen, who won both his bouts, tweeted on Wednesday on his father’s 70th birthday he was “the kindest man I ever met”.

“I was the only one allowed a steak on a Tuesday,” said Owen.

“My dad said, ‘You’re all having beans on toast, Michael’s got to have steak because we need to build him up for when he’s going to be a footballer.’

“I did feel special, definitely. He was planting the seed constantly.”

Owen says Terry, who was also a professional footballer with lower league clubs including Chester with whom he reached the League Cup semi-finals — struggled to adjust to life after football so devoted as much of his time as possible to his son.

“He got jobs that would be perfect so he could come and watch me, even in a PE session, a poxy cross-country training run, or playing rugby,” said Owen.

“My dad would be on the other side of the bush watching me. Unbelievable.

“If he wasn’t there I’d still push through the pain barrier, because of my inner will to win, but, Jeez, my dad being there, I can’t have him see me coming second.

“I’d prefer to die than my dad to think I’m second best.”

‘Clinically he’s blind’

Owen, who won the Ballon D’Or after Liverpool won the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup in the 2000/01 campaign, admitted he hated boxing but he did not want to deny his father.

“When my dad said, ‘You’re going boxing, because you need to toughen up’ do you think I liked getting punched in the face?,” said Owen, who is now a successful thoroughbred racehorse breeder.

“I went to boxing for three years. I bloody hated it. I fought in front of 2,000 people in Anglesey and 2,000 people in Deeside.

“It was the most scary thing in the world, knowing I was going to fight. But I knew I was making dad proud.”

Owen, who burst onto the international scene when he scored a solo goal in the 1998 World Cup finals against Argentina, said his son James will never grace a football pitch.

“My son’s got an eye condition,” says Owen, whose eldest daughter Gemma represents Britain at equestrianism.

“I’ve never said this. I don’t want a big headline.

“Clinically, he’s blind. He’s got Stargardt disease, a degeneration of his retina.

“I used to go and watch him and bollock him about his positioning.

“He can’t see the ball until it’s five yards away.

“As much as every father wants their son to play, it is almost a relief to me.”

Son At The Double As Spurs Thump Crystal Palace

 

 

Tottenham emphatically allayed concerns about their ability to break down teams at home with a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Spurs had laboured in their previous home matches this season, having to come from behind to beat newly promoted Aston Villa and then falling to a 1-0 defeat against Newcastle.

Tottenham fans may have feared another frustrating afternoon against London rivals Palace.

Roy Hodgson’s side arrived lying fourth in the league table and boasting the best defensive record, having conceded just two goals in their opening four matches.

The Eagles have also developed a reputation for winning away against top-six sides, having triumphed at all of those elite teams apart from Spurs since the start of the 2016/17 season.

READ ALSO: Abraham Leads The Way For Five-Star Chelsea

But Mauricio Pochettino’s side blew their visitors away with four first-half strikes, Son Heung-min scoring either side of a Patrick van Aanholt own goal before Erik Lamela got in on the act in a victory that took the north Londoners up to third in the table.

Pochettino made just one change to the side that had drawn 2-2 with Arsenal before the international break, selecting Serge Aurier at right-back in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

It was Aurier’s first league start since February 23, and the Ivorian would probably have been overlooked once again if Juan Foyth or Kyle Walker-Peters had been available.

Spurs warning

In the very first minute, Son found himself in space inside the box and sent a low shot at goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Toby Alderweireld then dissected Palace’s centre-backs with a ball over the top to Harry Kane, who was also unable to beat Guaita.

The visitors should therefore have spotted the danger when Alderweireld sent another long pass up towards Son but Mamadou Sakho got caught underneath the ball, allowing Son to bring it down, cut inside and find the bottom right corner.

Eleven minutes later Aurier fired in a low cross that deflected in off Van Aanholt at the near post, and two minutes after that the right-back hung up a cross to the far post, where Son arrived unmarked and volleyed home six yards out.

It was the South Korean’s fifth goal in his four home league matches against Palace, and he was involved in the move for the final goal before the break, passing wide to Kane, whose low cross was finished by Lamela.

Son nearly completed his hat-trick after half-time when he burst past Sakho and lobbed Guaita from a tight angle, only to find the near side netting, while a powerful Aurier shot was blocked.

Pochettino said at the start of this month that when the European transfer window closed, ending speculation about the immediate futures of some of his players, he would “make a big party and celebrate”.

Content his side were safe, the Argentine’s thoughts turned to Wednesday’s Champions League match against Olympiakos and he withdrew Harry Winks, Danny Rose and Kane.

Palace, having suffered a ninth straight league defeat to Spurs, will wonder how long it will be before they are next in the top four again.