Hugo Lloris silences critics in Tottenham Hotspur's 2-0 win over Watford and shows why 'he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world'
PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 May 2018
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The 31-year-old has struggled for form in recent months and had his class questioned, but responded with an excellent performance at Wembley
There were not too many positives for Spurs to take from last night’s 2-0 win over Watford at Wembley Stadium, but the most pleasing aspect of the Premier League victory was a return to form for Hugo Lloris.
After recent defeats to Manchester City and United and a 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion, Tottenham Hotspur needed to get back on track against the Hornets and managed to thanks to goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane.
It was a tough match though, and if it wasn’t for Lloris, Mauricio Pochettino’s team could have seen their winless run extend to four games in all competitions.
The Spurs captain made his first big impact in the 26th minute when Etienne Capoue put Andre Gray through on goal, but his low effort was impressively saved by the Frenchman.
10 minutes later and Lloris was called into action again – this time saving a deflected effort from Abdoulaye Doucoure, which was in all fairness routine.
A more noteworthy moment for the goalkeeper occurred a minute before half time when Watford had two excellent chances.
First Richarlison went through following Gray’s pass, but Lloris was equal to his shot and tipped it away before Will Hughes tried to play Doucoure in on goal and yet the Spurs number one raced out and slide in to thwart the danger.
The final opportunity of the half was the most satisfying aspect of Lloris’ involvement in the first 45 as it appeared an almost identical scenario to the recent penalty he gave away against City for fouling Raheem Sterling.
Pochettino was reminded of it in his post-match press conference and said: “First of all the Sterling tackle wasn’t a penalty (it was outside the area).
“It was a great tackle against Watford and I talk a lot and very well of Hugo because the goalkeeper with us - their job is to be focused for 90 minutes, but to also help the team because our defensive line is high.
“We demand a lot from the goalkeeper and we are so happy with all of them, I think we have great goalkeepers.
“Hugo is one of the best, Michel (Vorm) can play in any team in the Premier League and Paulo (Gazzaniga) is potentially a great goalkeeper.
“Of course, I think Hugo showed he is brave and his performance and quality showed he is one of the best in the world, no doubt.”
Lloris was less busy after the restart, but did make an important stop in stoppage time when Andre Carrillo went past Ben Davies and fired towards goal, but Tottenham’s number one again showed form is temporary, but class is permanent.
It was the 31-year-old’s first clean sheet since the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town on March 3 and Pochettino discussed the significance of the shut-out.
He added: “Always it’s important - a clean sheet for a goalkeeper is so, so, so important. It’s a big satisfaction for him and I’m happy for him and of course happy for the team. It wasn’t a great performance.
“I repeat, it wasn’t a great performance and we cannot be too happy with the performance, but we can be happy about the three points.
“It keeps us fighting for the top four and for a place to be in next season’s Champions League and this will be a massive thing for us and I’m happy more about that than other things.”
Although the Watford match is not one which will live long in the memory, it allowed Lloris the chance to silence his critics and he duly delivered.