Crouch stroked home Aaron Lennon’s pass 10 minutes from time to cap another memorable European night for Redknapp’s men and give the north Londoners the upper hand ahead of the return leg at White Hart Lane in three weeks.
Lennon broke with the ball from within Tottenham’s half and stormed past Mario Yepes before playing an inviting pass across goal for Crouch to bury the winner past the helpless Marco Amelia.
“It was a fantastic performance, the lads were absolutely brilliant tonight,” said Redknapp.
“First half I thought we were by far and away the better team, we knew the stuff would come and they would put some pressure on and its hard not to drop deep when you get put under a bit of pressure, but the lads were magnificent at the back and we hit them on the break and got the goal and it was well deserved.
“I said at half time we had to keep giving the ball to Aaron Lennon because he really had the beating of the left back all day. We had to keep trying to get him on the ball as much as possible.”
The Spurs boss added: “You hear the crowd singing – it’s a great night for them, it’s a great night for Tottenham.”
And match-winner Crouch insisted Spurs were worthy winners on the night. The striker said: “It was a great game of football, I thought we deserved the win in the end.
“I thought we limited them to not many chances and I think we were the better side. It’s a fantastic achievement.”
Spurs’ celebrations at the final whistle were cut short by a touchline fracas which saw Milan captain Gennaro Gattuso appear to headbutt Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan as the players left the pitch.
Gattuso, who will miss the return leg of the last-16 tie through suspension after being booked, had already been involved in an altercation with Jordan when he looked to have shoved him in the face close to the Spurs dug-out.
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