Tottenham striker Peter Crouch savoured one of the most important goals of his career so far after netting the winner against AC Milan on Tuesday night.
Tottenham took a big step towards making it through to the Champions League quarter-finals when Crouch side-footed home his 80th-minute finish to give his team a vital 1-0 victory over the seven-time European champions at the San Siro.
Gennaro Gattuso's headbutt on Spurs assistant manager Joe Jordan and Matthieu Flamini's horror tackle on Vedran Corluka dominated much of the talk following the match but Crouch was keen to put the focus back on what was a robust and disciplined performance from the Londoners.
Crouch rounded off that performance with an easy finish from 12 yards after Aaron Lennon had split open the Milan defence and drawn keeper Marco Amelia off his line.
The England striker, who has scored 10 goals this season, admits it was a dream to join a long list of greats who have scored in the famous Giuseppe Meazza stadium.
He said: “I grew up watching Milan play at the San Siro. There have been some great teams here — (Fabio) Capello's team with (Ruud) Gullit and (Marco) van Basten. They are all great players so to have got a goal here means a lot to me.
“I'll have to go through all the others I've scored but I can tell you that it's right up there with the best.”
Corluka is expected to have an x-ray in the next 24 hours on his ankle, which bore the brunt of Flamini's two-footed tackle, while UEFA announced yesterday that they have launched an investigation into Gattuso's conduct.
Prior to the match, much had been made of Tottenham's poor defensive record in the group stages where they conceded 11 goals in four matches.
But William Gallas and Michael Dawson performed well to stifle the threat of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho and Crouch was full of praise for his side's defence.
“Sometimes we can make it difficult for ourselves but I thought we defended well,” Crouch said.
“It would have been frustrating if they had won because I think we fully deserved it.
“You always have to defend well away from home in Europe and it was backs to the wall at times but we were strong.”