Where does Paulo Gazzaniga’s performance against Liverpool rank in the list of greatest save makers in a single Premier League match?
Tottenham Hotspur‘s poor start to the 2019/20 campaign continued this past weekend when they lost 2-1 to Liverpool at Anfield. It was their fourth league defeat thus far and their 17th since the beginning of last season, whereas the Reds have only lost once over the same period.
While the Merseyside outfit are embarking on their best start ever, Spurs are having their worst under manager Mauricio Pochettino, having gained just 12 points from 10 games. The visitors did have the better start though, as Harry Kane opened the scoring inside the first minute. The England striker capitalised on the rebound from Heung-min Son’s long-range effort to give them the lead.
In an effort to restore parity in the scoreline, the hosts peppered the goal with shots, ending the game with 21 in total. The only reason Spurs went in at half-time with their lead and a clean sheet still intact was their goalkeeper.
Paulo Gazzaniga was in exceptional form on Sunday, keeping Liverpool’s deadly trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah at bay as they chased an equaliser. There were too many saves to pick out just one, as several of them were spectacular. Ultimately he was let down by his defence; firstly Danny Rose, who failed to track Jordan Henderson’s run in the 52nd minute, and then Serge Aurier, who clumsily kicked the back of Mane’s leg.
Without Salah’s penalty with 15 minutes to go, the North London outfit may well have come away with a draw. The Argentine netminder did not look like conceding for much of the game, making an incredible 12 saves. Only nine players have made more saves in a Premier League fixture since Opta began tracking those statistics.
The record currently stands at 14, which was first achieved by Tim Krul when he lined out for Newcastle United against Spurs in 2013, and most recently equalled by David de Gea in 2017. That was in the infamous game between Manchester United and Arsenal, who lost 3-1 despite having 15 shots on target. Then-United boss Jose Mourinho said it was a “world’s best” goalkeeping performance.
Gazzaniga was not quite on that level on Sunday, but he has proved himself to be a more than capable deputy to Hugo Lloris, who is out for the rest of 2019 due to injury. Now if only Spurs could sort the rest of their team out…
Most saves in a single Premier League match:
=10. Paulo Gazzaniga – 12 (Liverpool vs Spurs, 27 Oct 2019)
=10. Edwin van der Sar – 12 (Arsenal vs Fulham, 30th Nov 2003)
=4. Vito Mannone – 13 (Sunderland vs Chelsea, 19 Apr 2014)
=4. Lukasz Fabianski – 13 (Spurs vs Swansea, 28 Feb 2016)
=4. Boaz Myhill – 13 (Man City vs West Brom, 21 Mar 2015)
=4. David James – 13 Man City (Spurs vs Man City, 8 Apr 2006)
=4. Mark Crossley – 13 (Newcastle vs Fulham, 7 Nov 2004)
=1. David de Gea – 14 (Arsenal vs Man United, 2 Dec 2017)
=1. Vito Mannone – 14 (Liverpool vs Sunderland, 19 Apr 2014)
=1. Tim Krul – 14 (Spurs vs Newcastle, 10 Nov 2013)
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