Tottenham forward Heung-min Son was high in praise of “superman” Hugo Lloris after his terrific display in the 4-0 win at Aston Villa.
Son took the headlines after a superb hat-trick, along with Dejan Kulusevski’s fine strike, to send Spurs three points clear of Arsenal, making them favourites for Champions League qualification.
But they were indebted to Lloris’ heroics in the first half as after Son’s early opener Villa laid siege on Spurs’ goal.
The Frenchman made seven saves in the opening 45 minutes, including a wonder stop from Jacob Ramsey, which was the most by a Spurs keeper since data collection began.
That allowed their lethal front three, with Harry Kane again notching two assists, to run riot in the second half.
“What can I say? He saved us. We are scoring goals but if Hugo wasn’t there we were probably 3-1 or 4-1 down,” Son said of his captain.
“Because Hugo saved us in a tough time when we needed him, he was turning like a superman, like a cat. It is insane, when he made the first save (from Ramsey) it was really close to him and the shot came really he just had them. He was like a cat. Hugo saved us.
“It is a really special day for the team. It is a really hard place, we showed great personality, great character, especially after the first half.
“Some teams are going to lose this situation because they can’t deal with it. We turned up in the second half really, really well and scored the second goal, third goal and fourth goal. I am really proud for the team.
“The Premier League there is never one easy game. You go away from home and the supporters are different.
“These are difficult places to go, 4-0 sounds easy but it is never easy. We did really well in the second half, we turned up and changed the game.”
The only negative of a brilliant day for Spurs was an injury to Matt Doherty, who hobbled off in the first half after a heavy challenge from Matty Cash.
He tried to play on but had to give up and was seen leaving the ground with a brace on his right knee.
Boss Antonio Conte said of the injury: “I hope nothing serious, I hope. The doctors are going to check on him tomorrow (Sunday).
“I hope nothing serious because he wanted to try to continue to play but then at the end he preferred to come off.
“I hope so because Matthew is an important player for us and I hope this injury is not serious.”