Mauricio Pochettino hailed Hugo Lloris as one of the best in the world after his superb goalkeeping performance earned Tottenham a hard-earned point with a 0-0 draw against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.
Lloris made a string of excellent stops in the second half at the BayArena but one was exceptional, as he denied Javier Hernandez a certain goal from point blank range – with goal-line technology confirming the ball didn’t cross the line.
Hernandez was free at the back post and had the goal at his mercy, but the Frenchman darted across and scrambled the ball off the line in incredible fashion.
Spurs dominated the first period in Germany but in the end had Lloris to thank for a result that keeps them second in Group E and only a point off the top with two home games to come.
“I think after two years here and a few months, my third season at Tottenham, only I can say good things for him,” Pochettino said.
“He is a fantastic goalkeeper, one of the best in the world. Today in the second half he was brilliant again.
“I have not changed my opinion about him, that he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, he showed in every action today he is top quality, one of the best.
“I think he is in the best moment of his career and always it is important to have a keeper like him.”
Lloris was particularly busy on a night when Tottenham lacked composure at both ends of the pitch and missed Toby Alderweireld’s leadership at the back and Harry Kane’s precision up front.
The pair are on course to make earlier returns from injury than initially thought, with Pochettino confirming after the match that Monday’s scan on Alderweireld’s leg had revealed no major problems.
Pochettino said it would be “difficult” for Alderweireld to face Bournemouth on Saturday but a return against Leicester the weekend after remains a possibility.
Kane, meanwhile, has begun light training this week but he is further away in terms of match fitness.
Tottenham could have both players back for the return fixture against Leverkusen at Wembley next month, when victory would put them in a commanding position to progress.
Vincent Janssen headed against the crossbar here while Dele Alli and Erik Lamela both spurned chances to score but Pochettino was satisfied with a point.
“In the first half we were better and in the second half they were better and some brilliance from our keeper kept us in the game,” Pochettino said.
“It is a strong point, we need to feel pleased with the point. When you analyse the game, the point is important and we need to be happy with that.”