The versatile England international dropped into the back four in the absence of Jan Vertonghen, who took a knock in training the day before the trip to Selhurst Park, and performed well alongside Davinson Sanchez to keep home forwards Alexander Sorloth and Christian Benteke under control.
But it wasn’t quite as straightforward at the other end as we kept probing and pushing for an opening, only to find our path blocked or, in the case of Harry Kane and Serge Aurier in particular, see good chances go begging.
Thankfully, Harry popped up with an 89th-minute header from Christian Eriksen’s corner to give us a 1-0 victory, leaving Eric feeling relieved after a third consecutive late show in SE25.
“It felt at times like it was going to be one of those annoying days where we squandered a couple of chances in the first half and a couple of chances in the second half,” he said.
“On the corner, I saw the ball go around the back and it looked like it was going out of play but Harry has done fantastically well to get all the way around there – I think he was almost on the byline but we expect so much of him that it becomes normal when he does something like that!
“It was a fantastic header and such an important goal for us. We’ve had that feeling a lot here in the last couple of years – Christian last year, Dele the year before – where we’ve always managed to score late goals, which means mixed feelings really. It’s a relief. It makes for a better game and the fans can enjoy that moment, but it’s always nice if we can score earlier and make it a more comfortable afternoon.”