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Crouch's header seals it for Spurs

Heurelho Gomes produced three crucial second-half saves to keep Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification as Harry Redknapp's team emerged from Ewood Park with victory.

Having taken a third-minute lead through Peter Crouch, Spurs proceeded to endure a testing evening against Blackburn.

But 'keeper Gomes proved the difference between the two teams by making reflex saves to deny Junior Hoilett, Mame Biram Diouf and Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Tottenham might have produced some bewitching performances in the Champions League this season, but their prospects of participating in the competition next term have diminished in recent weeks with a haul of just two points from their last three games.

Chelsea's £75m deadline-day investment in Fernando Torres and David Luiz stiffened the competition for fourth spot before the champions' 4-2 victory at Sunderland on Tuesday evening.

But despite being without the injured Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, Tottenham made the perfect start by taking the lead inside three minutes through Crouch. The England forward outjumped Chris Samba to head Rafael van der Vaart's cross past Paul Robinson from six yards.

Blackburn responded well and Steve Kean's team should have scored before the interval. Tottenham full-back Vedran Corluka was given a torrid time by Hoilett and Crouch was forced to clear the Canadian youngster's goalbound shot on 14 minutes.

Hoilett and David Dunn proved too slick for Redknapp's defenders who were playing a dangerous game by allowing Blackburn to exert constant pressure.

However, the blistering pace of Aaron Lennon almost created a second Spurs goal on 58 minutes when he sprinted 60 yards before teeing up Jermain Defoe, whose shot was well saved by Robinson.

Gomes ultimately proved to be Tottenham's matchwinner, though. Hoilett's 20-yard strike produced in a full-stretch save, while the keeper reacted brilliantly to keep out Diouf's volley. The best was saved for Pedersen, though, with the Norwegian's 20-yard free-kick somehow repelled.

Crouch's name may be on the scoresheet, but Tottenham owe the victory to Gomes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent