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Spurs: Cristian Romero was an “animal” vs Palace

World Cup winner Cristian Romero helped Tottenham Hotspur to their first clean sheet in nearly three months in just his second game since his return from Argentina.

The 24-year-old could be forgiven for looking a little off in their defeat to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day, given his recent international exploits, but he refound that fine form with an imperious display against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday evening.

Sky Sports ‘Man of the Match’ Harry Kane was back among the goals, firing an early second-half brace, whilst young winger Bryan Gil also caught the eye in only his second start in the Premier League and in the injury absence of fan-favourite Dejan Kulusevski.

Spurs fans, who was your MOTM vs Palace?

KANE

KANE

GIL

GIL

ROMERO

ROMERO

DOHERTY

DOHERTY

However, the Argentinan colossus was an absolute “animal” – just as former teammate Pierluigi Gollini once hailed him – as he helped Hugo Lloris and co keep out the oppositions for the first time since mid-October – some 11 games ago – when the Lilywhites beat Everton 2-0.

The Eagles did carry plenty of offensive threat, with the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise all starting for Patrick Vieira. They even fired off more shots than Antonio Conte’s side (19 to 14) but to no avail.

And that was in large because of the influence of Romero, who won a whopping five tackles – the joint-most in the match and the most for Spurs – as well as two clearances, whilst he won six duels.

As ever, he was equally important with the ball at his feet, with much of Tottenham’s play starting through him. His total of 81 touches was only outmatched by midfield engine Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and similarly, few starters had a better passing accuracy than his 90%, via Sofascore.

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Of course, a lot of praise will heed towards Kane and Gil for their attacking contributions in the final third but given Spurs’ dismal defensive record this campaign, it’s the likes of Romero who deserve their flowers.

‘A dominant presence’ is how football.london reporter Alasdair Gold described the 6 foot 1 titan in his post-match ratings column, whilst the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick claimed he ‘stood up well to Palace’s threats’, thus contributing immensely to the clean sheet and three points.

Therefore, it could be argued that Romero – who cost the club around £48m – was the true standout star for Spurs in their win over Palace this week. He and Conte will be hoping to continue that form in the FA Cup, should he not be afforded the rest that he probably deserves.

AND in other news, Bye-bye “liability”: Spurs close in on dream 1st Jan signing in £35m “special talent”…