Tottenham were not at their Real Madrid-beating best, but Son Heung-min’s strike was enough to see off Crystal Palace.
Paulo Gazzaniga played an unlikely hero act for Tottenham, repelling a dogged Crystal Palace before Son Heung-min struck to secure a 1-0 win at Wembley.
Dele Alli’s absence from the teamsheet will have perturbed Spurs fans, but Gazzaniga’s presence was most eye-catching, the former Southampton goalkeeper making his Spurs debut in place of the injured Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm.
Gazzaniga had not played in the Premier League since December 2015 and overcame a rocky start to deliver a fine performance, making three excellent saves to stop Palace opening the scoring.
And Spurs’ only real moment of attacking quality was enough to seal it, Son slamming home his 20th Premier League goal to become the top-scoring Asian player in the competition’s history, surpassing his South Korean compatriot Park Ji-sung.
Such a scrappy affair was some comedown for Mauricio Pochettino’s men after beating Real Madrid at the national stadium in midweek, but a victory was key on a day in which the four teams joining them in the top five – Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United – take on each other.
Palace were left to rue Gazzaniga’s heroics and an open-goal miss from talisman Wilfried Zaha. They remain rooted to the bottom of the league, four points away from the nearest team.
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