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Friday 23 February 2018

Gazzaniga aims to keep calm and carry on at Spurs

Tottenham H 1 C Palace 0

Spurs’ Paulo Gazzaniga
Spurs’ Paulo Gazzaniga

Tottenham's stand-in goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga promised to "keep calm" after a fine performance helped secure a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

The 25-year-old made his Premier League debut for Spurs at Wembley on Sunday and produced a number of fine saves to seal the three points.

Son Heung-min's second-half goal proved the difference but Gazzaniga - who played in place of injured keepers Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm - was pleased with his showing.

He said: "I was nervous for the first three seconds, and after that you get the atmosphere.

"Last night I saw Michel wasn't very good so I prepared already and Toni (Jimenez), the goalkeeper coach, told me I was going to play today so I was ready from last night." Asked if he wanted to stake his claim for the number one jersey, Gazzaniga said: "Keep calm and step by step, little by little."

Difficult

Eric Dier was also full of praise for the former Gillingham stopper, saying: "It was a great day for Paulo, I thought he did really, really well.

"It was difficult circumstances for him, and he came in and did really well."

Spurs, who beat Real Madrid 3-1 in midweek, were subdued at Wembley but bounced back from their 1-0 defeat at Manchester United last time out in the Premier League.

Dier added: "We knew it was going to be difficult because of the midweek game, we had a lot of players missing as well, so this game was really important to continue that momentum from midweek.

"There's no point beating Real Madrid on Wednesday if you can't win at here at home on the weekend as well."

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino

The main talking point in a quiet first half came when Harry Kane picked up a knock following a challenge from Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Palace looked the more likely to break the deadlock at the start of the second half and should have taken the lead. Andros Townsend tested Gazzaniga with a low drive before Wilfried Zaha dragged an effort wide with an open goal at his mercy.

Dragged

Gazzaniga also had to be alert to deny Luka Milivojevic's close-range header and Palace were made to pay for their profligacy.

Son was on hand to curl an exquisite left-footed effort into the corner of Julian Speroni's net after 64 minutes to ease any Spurs nerves.

Son could have made the game safe in the final 10 minutes but dragged his shot wide when well-placed but it mattered little.

Tottenham's Son Heung-min scores their first goal
Tottenham's Son Heung-min scores their first goal

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson, whose side remain bottom, said: "I thought we worked hard and there weren't that many shots to worry about.

"At the other end I thought we had quite a few moments of our own so it's a bitter blow to lose the game 1-0.

"With any luck whatsoever we would have come away with some points from the game."

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