Super Lloris

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

TOT­TEN­HAM HOT­SPUR’S coach Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino hailed goal­keeper Hugo Lloris’ “bril­liant” dis­play to res­cue a Cham­pi­ons League away point in their goal­less draw at Bayer Lev­erkusen yes­ter­day.

Af­ter a quiet first-half which his side dom­i­nated, the French­man had a busy sec­ond 45 min­utes at the BayArena as Lev­erkusen beefed up their mid­field and fired in 16 shots at the Spurs goal.

Af­ter Dele Alli, Vin­cent Janseen and Erik Lamela all went close with first-half chances for Spurs, Po­chet­tino sin­gled out Lloris’ out­stand­ing dis­play to re­peat­edly deny the Lev­erkusen at­tack.

“We were bet­ter in the first half, they were bet­ter in the sec­ond,” said Spurs Ar­gen­tinian coach.

“Some bril­liant saves from our keeper kept us in the game I can only say good things about him, he’s a fan­tas­tic goal­keeper, one of the best in the world.

“He showed in ev­ery ac­tion that he’s one of the best, I think he’s hav­ing the best mo­ments of his ca­reer.”

Lloris agreed the re­sult was good for Spurs.

“We can be pleased with the point,” said the French goal­keeper.

“The game turned in the sec­ond half, Lev­erkusen pressed high and we strug­gled a bit. I think the draw is a good re­sult for us.

“In two weeks we’re go­ing to face them again and we need to be ready for this other bat­tle. I think we all want to come back to Wem­b­ley.”

Hav­ing now drawn their three group games, Lev­erkusen are third with three points while Spurs stay sec­ond be­hind lead­ers AS Monaco who drew 1-1 at bot­tom side CSKA Moscow.

Po­chet­tino was pleased his side has ev­ery­thing to play for when the sides meet again in Lon­don on Nov 2.

“It was a strong point, an im­por­tant one for us, so we need to be happy with that,” he said.

“We’re still in the same po­si­tion we were be­fore the game, we’re still fight­ing.

“It’s a very com­pet­i­tive group, it was im­por­tant to get a point from here, es­pe­cially as CSKA Moscow and Monaco drew.”

Spurs are now un­beaten in their six away games in all com­pe­ti­tion, but Po­chet­tino says they must be more clin­i­cal in front of goal.

He ad­mit­ted Spurs strug­gled in mid­field when Lev­erkusen in­tro­duced burly Aus­trian Ju­lian Baum­gartlinger af­ter the break.

“It’s one of the most dif­fi­cult things to be clin­i­cal in front of goal, but the team cre­ated lots of chance and dom­i­nated the firsthalf,” said Po­chet­tino.

“They changed things around af­ter the break and I think they were bet­ter when they strength­ened their mid­field, so we have to be pleased with the point.

“We need to be more clin­i­cal, we have a lot of play­ers who can score, with a bit more luck we would have taken the chances in our last few games.

“It was tough, the pri­or­ity was to win, but when you an­a­lyse Lev­erkusen they are a good team who played well, so at the end of the day the re­sult is fair.

“We are still fight­ing for the next round. We have to win our re­main­ing games and be­lieve we can get to the next round.”

Lev­erkusen were frus­trated to fin­ish with another draw, de­spite an im­pres­sive dis­play.

“We had plenty of chances to score and we should have re­warded our­selves with a goal,” said cap­tain Lars Ben­der.

“There were two very good teams on the pitch tonight, so we need to live with the draw now.” – AFP

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