Wembley hoodoo now history – Pochettino
MAURICIO Pochettino says Tottenham’s 3-1 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund has finally killed off their Wembley curse.
Pochettino’s side opened their Group H campaign with an impressive display at their temporary Wembley home on Wednesday as Harry Kane’s double and a Son Heung-Min strike sealed the points.
It was only Tottenham’s third win in their last 13 matches at Wembley and their first since moving to the English national stadium this season while White Hart Lane is being redeveloped.
Having lost eight times at Wembley in recent years, including defeats against Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen that contributed to their Champions League exit last season, Tottenham boss Pochettino knew it was essential his team got up and running at the first attempt this time around.
“I hope that can help us to stop the talk of hoodoos and everything. It’s fantastic to start well in the competition, but also to stop everything that was around the squad here,” Pochettino said.
“Today means more than three points. It’s Wembley, it’s the perception that we had to change for our future.
“To win here is so important for our confidence, for the players and the fans and the perception of what we can do in the future.”
After last season’s tame performances in Europe’s elite club competition, Tottenham are desperate to make the knockout stages this term and on this evidence they look up to the task.
Son put them ahead early on and although Andriy Yarmolenko equalised for Dortmund, Kane produced two typically predatory finishes to make it four goals in two games for the England striker.
Pochettino believes Tottenham are beginning to learn the harsh lessons of last year’s flop. “It was a fantastic performance. It was massive to start that way with three points.
“It was so important to get the points against a fantastic team like Dortmund. It’s massive for our confidence.
“They dominated the game, but we were very clinical. In the second half we increased our level and the game was under control.
“When you don’t dominate the game, you can still show different characteristics.”
Kane’s brace maintained his strong start to September, which also includes two goals for England and backed his claim this week that he is ready to shine on Europe’s biggest stages.
Pochettino has no doubt Kane is already among the top strikers in the tournament.
“Harry was fantastic. When you score goals in the Champions League you receive the credit you deserve. For me he is one of the best strikers in the world.”
The only frustration for Pochettino was the late red card for Jan Vertonghen after he caught Dortmund’s Mario Gotze in the face with his forearm. – AFP