Po­chet­tino proud with Spurs ‘dom­i­nance’ of Juve

Iran Daily - - Sports -

Tot­ten­ham man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino said his side “dom­i­nated” the 2-2 draw against Ju­ven­tus at the Al­lianz Sta­dium.

Spurs fought back from a hor­rific start to claim the as­cen­dancy in the tie af­ter goals from Harry Kane and Chris­tian Erik­sen, over­whelm­ingly win­ning the bat­tle for pos­ses­sion and pin­ning the Ital­ian cham­pion back in its own half for long pe­ri­ods, The In­de­pen­dent re­ported.

The statis­tics seemed to back Po­chet­tino up: Tot­ten­ham’s two goals were more than Ju­ven­tus had con­ceded in its last 16 games com­bined. Spurs had 67 per­cent of pos­ses­sion. Hugo Lloris com­pleted twice as many passes as Sami Khedira. Mousa Dem­bele com­pleted 100 passes on his own.

“For 83 min­utes, we dom­i­nated Ju­ven­tus,” Po­chet­tino said.

“That is a thing to praise. I don’t think many teams can come here and dom­i­nate a team like Ju­ven­tus. We dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion, we forced them to play deeper, and they only had the tran­si­tion and the coun­ter­at­tack to cre­ate chances.”

Po­chet­tino ad­mit­ted he feared the worst af­ter Ju­ven­tus raced into a two-goal lead within just seven min­utes.

“My feel­ing was so bad, be­cause you hope that sit­u­a­tion never hap­pens,” he said. “We need to be more solid to man­age the be­gin­ning to the game. But that was the start of an­other game. OK, noth­ing to lose. We started to feel more free­dom.

“And we started to show the pa­tience that we showed in the last few weeks. Of course, I feel so proud. We showed great char­ac­ter against a team that in the last three years played two fi­nals, with amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on the pitch. That shows how good we were.

“It is im­por­tant to say that we played with one day less. We played Satur­day, Ju­ven­tus played Fri­day, and in this type of com­pe­ti­tion one day is a lot. We had to play Manch­ester United, Liver­pool and Arse­nal. It’s al­ways emo­tional, you spend more en­ergy. And when you are 2-0 down, you need more and more en­ergy. The ef­fort was amaz­ing, fan­tas­tic, and I want to con­grat­u­late them.”

For Po­chet­tino, Tot­ten­ham’s fight­back demon­strated that this is now a side ca­pa­ble of chal­leng­ing for the very

big­gest prizes. “That,” he said, “shows we are ma­ture enough to com­pete in the Cham­pi­ons League. This is our fourth sea­son, and al­ways we are im­prov­ing. This as­pect [ma­tu­rity] was the last, but nec­es­sary to try to fight for big things.”

Mean­while, a fu­ri­ous Ju­ven­tus man­ager Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri rounded on his crit­ics in the Ital­ian me­dia for their in­flated ex­pec­ta­tions of his side.

“If some­one thought Ju­ven­tus could win 4-0, that was not re­al­is­tic,” he said.

“Win­ning the Cham­pi­ons League is not easy at all. We are not the fa­vorites. Ev­ery year we reach the fi­nal and we do our best.

“This re­ally drives me nuts. The size of the other teams is very im­por­tant. The top pri­or­ity of Ju­ven­tus is the sev­enth cham­pi­onship [in a row], which is a lot. We are mak­ing huge ef­forts and we are about to go through in the Coppa. But if you be­lieve a draw like tonight could sup­press us, that is some­thing I don’t ac­cept. We have a draw against Tot­ten­ham in the Cham­pi­ons League, and it is like a big loss. It is not like this.”

EUROSPORT Chris­tian Erik­sen (R) and Erik Lamela of Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur cel­e­brate the Dan­ish mid­fielder’s equal­izer in the 2-2 draw against Ju­ven­tus in Turin’s Al­lianz Sta­dium in Italy on Fe­bru­ary 13, 2018.

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