Po­chet­tino: Fan­tas­tic win should stop talk of hoodoos

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Matt Law at Wem­b­ley

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

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