There will possibly never be another afternoon when Hull City's goal-keeper Boaz Myhill departs a pitch with so much credit, after his wonderful display left Tottenham bitterly frustrated. Myhill's manager, Phil Brown, compared one of his saves, a double stop that kept out Wilson Palacios and then Robbie Keane, to Jim Montgomery's heroic 1973 FA Cup final save for Sunderland that denied Leeds United's Trevor Cherry and Peter Lorimer.
He also made six other marvellous stops here to help the Tigers move out of the Premier League's bottom three, and left the home manager, Harry Redknapp, scratching his head. On a day when he should have been toasting his 500th Premier League game in charge, Redknapp was instead reflecting on one of the best goalkeeping displays he had ever seen.
Palacios, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch all had efforts kept out by the outstanding Myhill, while Luka Modric and Keane were both twice denied. "The keeper had an unbelievable day, he'll never play like that again in his life, probably," Redknapp said.
"He made some miraculous saves. We did open them up, but we just couldn't find that goal. Of course you hope to win matches like this, but I couldn't have asked any more from my players. If one had gone in, it may have been game over. But we just couldn't get that one. It's one of the best goalkeeping displays I've seen, for sure."
Hull must have travelled to north London with some fear given their goal difference of minus 22. Only Wigan had a worse record ahead of the weekend, and they were thrashed 9-1 when they visited White Hart Lane this season. Brown later revealed that before heading to the capital he had spoken to the management teams at Wolves and Stoke, who both picked up surprise 1-0 victories here.
His plan was to pack midfield and frustrate the home side, and it worked. Tottenham's first opportunity did not arrive until the 37th minute, and that was when Myhill made the stop that left his manager crowing. A drive from the Honduran international Palacios was pushed away, and then Keane saw his effort from the rebound pushed clear of the crossbar by the Hull goalkeeper. "It was Montgomery-esque," Brown claimed.
Before half-time, Defoe poked a shot towards goal but was thwarted as Myhill stood firm. It seemed it would only be a matter of time before Tottenham's superior pressure would pay dividends, yet that was without accounting for Myhill's capabilities.
A Modric volley was pushed away in the second half and Myhill blocked another follow-up effort from Keane, who was just two yards from the goal-line. "Robbie would normally bury them, but it just wouldn't go in today," said Redknapp.
Crouch came on in place of Keane midway through the second period, but it was Modric who came close next as Myhill batted away a fierce left-footed drive. Then it was the turn of Crouch, who steered a header goalbound but looked on in disbelief as Myhill clawed the ball away.
"It was a great defensive performance, highlighted by the display of our goalkeeper," said Brown. "Our mentality was spot-on, and we could have nicked it."
He was not wrong, as midfielder Nicky Barmby wasted a fantastic opportunity when his shot eight yards out squirmed into the side-netting.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the match: Myhill
Match rating: 6/10Reuse content