Spurs bailed out by heroic Lloris


TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas praised a match-saving performance from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after he earned Spurs a point in Rome last night.

The France No1 has struggled to hold down a first-team place since arriving in the summer but pulled off a string of saves to sustain Tottenham’s bid to reach the last 32.

“It was important for him and he was a great help for the team,” said Villas-Boas. “He was decisive in a couple of moments.”

Spurs netted inside five minutes when winger Gareth Bale latched onto Tom Carroll’s perfect pass and rounded Claudio Marchetti, only to be wrongly ruled offside. Villas-Boas was frustrated the goal did not stand having had three goals denied in the reverse fixture.

“It’s difficult to see decisions go that way but we take the result,” he added. “We’re in a comfortable position to qualify.”

Lloris thwarted Libor Kozak on four occasions in the first half and also made a smart reaction save to tip Cristian Ledesma’s long range effort onto the crossbar.

Tottenham began to exert pressure in the second half but were soon in trouble again. Sandro was careless in possession and Kozak skipped passed Steven Caulker on the edge of the area but dragged his shot badly wide.

Lloris was the savour once again on 85 minutes when Michael Ciani’s bullet header forced the 25-year-old to adjust his footwork in mid-air to block from five yards.