Champions League

Pochettino 'so proud' of Spurs' comeback kings

2018-02-14 09:35
Mauricio Pochettino (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Tottenham Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was over the moon following his team’s comeback against Juventus in their last-16 first leg Champions League match on Tuesday in Turin.

Gonzalo Higuain’s brace in the first 10 minutes had spelled disaster for the Premier League side, but they hit back through Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen to grab a valuable 2-2 draw.

Kane's goal was the first Juve had conceded at home since November 5 last year and the draw was the first time they had not tasted victory in 11 games.

"I feel so proud," said Pochettino. "We showed great character against a team that played two finals in three years, with amazing experience on the pitch. We are a young team in this competition. To show that performance is to be proud and to congratulate the players because they were fantastic.

"I can only praise the team. The effort was amazing, fantastic. Big congratulations to the players. The performance and the effort was amazing. Two nil down, always you need more energy.

"We have experience, but not like Juventus in this competition. We start, not in a good way. But we showed we are mature enough to compete in the Champions League. We showed great character.

"The good thing, this is our fourth season and we are always improving in different aspects. This aspect was the last, but it was necessary to try to be competitive and fight for big things.”

Pochettino admitted he was worried after Spurs’ terrible start, but praised his side for fighting back so bravely.

"My feeling was so bad. You never hope that happens, to concede a goal," he said.

"Maybe it was offside, but I don't want to complain. We start a little bit sloppy. We need to be more solid. But for 83 minutes we dominated Juventus and that is a thing to praise. Not many teams come here and dominate Juventus."

Tottenham will head into the return match at Wembley on March 7 as slight favourites, and Pochettino added: "I am happy because the tie is open. The second leg will be fantastic, the atmosphere will be great and our fans hope to go to the quarter-finals and it is there, only 90 minutes."

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