Jose Mourinho has praised the “magic hands” of Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga following his side’s 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Argentinian shot-stopper has been thrust into the No 1 spot following an elbow injury sustained by Hugo Lloris in October, and he put in another fine performance on Sunday as Spurs clinched three points at the Molineux.
How has Gazzaniga fared this season? Five things to know…
- Paulo Gazzaniga started his professional career in England with Gillingham.
- He moved to Southampton in 2012 where he would play under Mauricio Pochettino.
- The ex-Spurs boss would bring the ‘keeper to north London in 2017.
- He has played 16 times for Spurs this season following Hugo Lloris’ dislocated elbow.
- Jose Mourinho described him as having “magic hands” following their win over Wolves.
Jan Vertonghen scored a stoppage-time winner at the weekend to secure maximum reward for his side in the West Midlands. The victory has moved the Londoners to within three points of the Champions League places, just behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who they play next.
They had to work hard to beat Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, and were indebted to Gazzaniga, who made some vital saves. And following the game, Mourinho was asked how important his ‘keeper proved in helping his side secure another three points.
“Magic Hands. Again, it’s important in that situation,” the Spurs boss told reporters.
“My father played in this stadium (Molineux) against Wolves in the UEFA Cup as a goalkeeper and he was always telling me: ‘A goalkeeper of a top team has to be different to the others because the goalkeeper of the top teams doesn’t have 10 saves to make.'”
“You have one, but when the one comes your magic hands have to be there and Paulo did that for us.”
Gazzaniga saved four of the five shots Wolves put on target, including a brilliant stop from Romain Saiss’ late header, which proved invaluable as Vertonghen went on to steal the points at the death.
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Spurs back in the top-four hunt
The win could prove exceptionally important come the end of the season for Spurs and Mourinho. The north London club face Chelsea at home this weekend and know a win over Frank Lampard’s Blues would see them leapfrog their opponents and move into the top four.
The Portuguese boss has overseen a superb upturn in form since his arrival at the club with Spurs, winning four of the seven games he has taken charge of.