Wem­b­ley hoodoo now his­tory – Po­chet­tino

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - SPORT -

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 He­ungMin 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

PIC­TURE: EPA

DOU­BLE DE­LIGHT: Spurs striker Harry Kane.

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