Heung-Min Son scored an excellent goal which was very much out of keeping of an otherwise scrappy game as we edged past Crystal Palace at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.
The forward struck in the 64th minute, his 20th Premier League goal and one which saw him become the all-time leading South Korean goalscorer in the competition, overtaking Ji-Sung Park.
But while he took the plaudits for the goal, it was a fine performance from goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga that ensured the points were won. Our summer signing from Southampton was drafted into the side following injuries to Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm and made a string of excellent saves on his debut to preserve our clean sheet.
A lacklustre first half saw opportunities at a premium, Palace’s centre-half pairing of Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann sweeping up our crosses into their box while the only real chance fell to the visitors, Gazzaniga producing a fine save from Dann’s header.
We were indebted to our goalkeeper on a number of occasions in the second half as he made top-class saves to deny former Spur Andros Townsend and Luka Milivojevic, although when Wilfried Zaha rounded him on the edge of the area when clean through, it looked for all the world as if he was going to give Palace the lead, only to slide his effort wide of the far post.
The winner arrived soon after, the ball pinging around the Eagles’ area before falling at the feet of Son, who curled a left-foot shot into the top corner past Julian Speroni.
He could have added a second late on when through on goal, only to send his shot into the side-netting, but one was to prove enough to settle a tight contest.