The Frenchman's close-range effort was enough to give his team a deserved win in the first leg of the last-32 tie between the two sides, and Spurs have it all to do when they host the Belgian outfit at Wembley Stadium next week.
Mauricio Pochettino made just two changes to the side which suffered a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, and it was the visitors who created the first opportunity of the game as Dele Alli fired marginally wide from 25 yards.
However, that was as good as it got for the Premier League side as they failed to get out of first gear against a Gent team who only took confidence from being able to match their more illustrious opponents.
Kenny Saief was the danger man for the home team and he almost tested Hugo Lloris before seeing his goalbound strike blocked by a defender, while Brecht Dejaegere volleyed over from the edge of the area.
The English outfit returned for the second half with much more intent and during the opening stages, Harry Kane was unlucky not to break the deadlock when striking the post with a shot on the turn.
Gent responded through Danijel Milicevic, who volleyed wide of the far post, but just before the hour mark, Spurs fell behind when Jeremy Perbet sent the ball into the bottom corner from 10 yards after initially seeing an effort blocked by Toby Alderweireld.
Spurs needed to offer a response but their best effort came from a tame free kick from Eric Dier and they were fortunate not to fall further behind with less than 15 minutes left.
Milicevic was put under no pressure on the edge of the penalty area before directing a shot towards the bottom corner, but Lloris dived to his left to tip the ball onto the post.
During the closing stages, Pochettino introduced Christian Eriksen but the Dane was unable to inspire his side to an unlikely equaliser and they must now come from behind when the teams face off in the second leg next week.