Pochettino: Fantastic win should stop talk of hoodoos
Mauricio Pochettino claimed Tottenham Hotspur exorcised their Wembley curse by beating Borussia Dortmund and admitted the Champions League victory meant much more to the club than three points.
Two goals from Harry Kane and a Heung-min Son strike secured a 3-1 win for Spurs and got them off to the best possible start in Group H.
But Pochettino felt the victory had wider implications than the table and proved Spurs can win at Wembley, where they have lost to Chelsea and drawn with Burnley this season. In last season’s Champi-
ons League, Spurs only won once at Wembley against CSKA Moscow.
The Spurs manager said: “Maybe people will stop talking about hoodoos like they have been for the past year. It’s fantastic not only because of three points. I hope it will stop the talk that has been around the team and the club.
“It’s massive to start in that way. It was so important against a fantastic team, who have unbelievable players. It’s massive for our confidence. The game was so tough and they dominated. But we were very clinical and found a way to win.”
Pochettino also believes Kane will earn more respect outside the Premier League if he scores regularly in Europe. “To score goals in the Champions League means he will get the credit he deserves,” said Pochettino. “He is one of the best strikers in the world.”
The only downside for Tottenham was Jan Vertonghen’s late sending-off after collecting a second yellow card for catching Mario Gotze in the face with his hand. Vertonghen will miss the trip to Apoel Nicosia and Pochettino said: “We need to see because I think it was not the intention of Jan. He told us.”
Meanwhile, the Football Association has appealed to Fifa to rule on Dele Alli’s middle-finger gesture before England’s next game against Slovenia in a bid to help him escape a World Cup ban.
Fifa opened an investigation over Alli’s salute that he made in England’s World Cup qualifying victory over Slovakia and the case will be reviewed before the end of the month. If found guilty, Alli could face a four-game ban that would rule him out of at least the first two games of the World Cup.
Up in arms: Jan Vertonghen was sent off after catching Mario Gotze in the face