Spurs vs Crystal Palace: Paulo Gazzaniga denies the Eagles
Heung-Min Son handed Spurs three points in Sunday’s premiership clash at Wembley, but it was new goalie Paulo Gazzaniga who denied unlucky visitors Crystal Palace a point.
Following the electric atmosphere and triumph of their midweek Champions League win over Real Madrid, Spurs almost came crashing down. Had it not been for Gazzinaga, the Eagles may have landed three points.
It certainly was a comedown in tempo, on and off the pitch, with the atmosphere as chilly as the November air in Wembley Stadium.
It could have at least been level pegging with Roy Hodgson’s Eagles had it not been for an excellent first shift by Spurs’ summer signing Paulo Gazzaniga.
The former Southampton ‘keeper found himself on the frontline following injuries to Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris, and second man Michael Vorm.
Last minute call for Paulo Gazzaniga
Those that had questioned the significance of his acquisition in the summer, were silenced as the young Argentinian made two vital stops. A bright light in a lacklustre and dull London derby.
Wilfred Zaha missed an early chance to the give the Eagles the lead in the tie that saw Spurs also without defender Toby Alderweireld, and midfielder Dele Alli.
Zaha made impressive runs in, seeing Palace make their presence felt in midfield. Ex-Spurs man Andros Townsend caused trouble, and had an excellent game. Gazzaniga again deflected Scott Dann’s superb headed shot just wide, to the dismay of Roy Hodgson.
Harry Kane and Harry Winks took a knock each as the battle carried on, with Winks being replaced by Mousa Dembele. Both have now been ruled out of the England friendlies.
Palace came out the hungrier side despite Spurs dominating posession, with only Danny Rose coming near in the early part of the game, heading just over the bar.
Palace found themselves on the break again when a dreadful loose ball from Serge Aurier found a lurking Andros Townsend. Townsend sent Zaha free and clear on the counter attack. Gazzaniga hesitated before rushing out leaving Zaha in front of him. To the despair of Palace, Zaha dragged it wide of the far post.
Just a few minutes later, despite looking the more likely to score, Crystal Palace found themselves a goal behind.
Poor defending from Dann saw his clearance land at the feet of Korean star Heung-Min Son, who controlled and curled it in with his left foot.
Fernando Llorente came on to replace Harry Kane with twenty minutes to go. Once again the latest Tottenham signing made no impact on the proceedings.
Son should have made it two with ten minutes left when Jan Vertonghen put him through. He shot wide of the target though, with only Palace ‘keeper Julian Speroni to beat.
It was three points for Spurs, and vital three, but was again a drab and dogged display. Mauricio Pochettino will be glad of the international break to heal his wounded side. Tottenham face rivals Arsenal in the North London Derby away at the Emirates in two weeks time.
Roy Hodgson and his Eagles will have to wait a little longer for any points that will lift them out of the danger zone.
Pochettino; “There was no doubt about his quality.”
Mauricio Pochettino spoke to BT Sport following the win of his new ‘keeper.
“I think he was fantastic, but it’s not a surprise. We had Paulo Gazzaniga in Southampton, and he played with us in the Premier League. When there was the possibility to sign here, there was no doubt about his quality.”
The three points mean that Mauricio Pochettinos team lie level on points with second placed Manchester United. Both teams are eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
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