Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Southampton – Reaction
MAURICIO POCHETTINO was pleased with his dogged Spurs side as they overcame adversity at the end of a tough week to take all three Premier League points against Southampton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The North Londoners had followed a league defeat at Leicester City with a shock Carabao Cup exit at League Two Colchester United during the week, drawing a storm of criticism towards both Pochettino and his players from agitated fans.
And despite Tanguy Ndombele firing Spurs ahead, the mood soon turned sour when Serge Aurier was given his marching orders. Picking up his second yellow card in quick succession, after clipping Ryan Bertrand.
The Liilywhites faithful soon had their heads in their hands again. Hugo Lloris inexplicably trying a disastrous ‘Cruyff turn’ after receiving Toby Aldereireld’s backpass – Danny Ings gratefully picking up the pieces to level the contest.
However, Harry Kane restored Tottenham’s advantage two minutes before the break. The home side produced a resolute rearguard action throughout the second period to claim the points – Lloris making up for his earlier error with two superb saves to deny James Ward-Prowse and Maya Koshida.
“To be honest I am not surprised about the character of the team,” the Spurs chief enthused.
“We have the character. Sometimes we need to realise that every time we compete – we have to use this character in different circumstances. In some games, we struggle to show that, but we have an amazing squad and amazing players.
“A few months ago we played in the Champions League final, not because of luck, it was because we fully deserved to be there. We cannot have changed too much in a few months.
“I feel proud – I was so happy for them, my players, my squad, we have unbelievable players, only we needed to recover the spirit that we showed today.”
The game was fantastic because 1-0 up and Serge sent off and we start to play with ten men and then we concede a goal 1-1. Then we scored with one less and 2-1 and how we fought in the second half against a very good team like Southampton, to keep the clean sheet in forty-five minutes I think showed that we have an amazing spirit, we are all together. That is the point to start to work and keep going and be consistent in the future.
Speaking about Hugo Lloris recovering from his early error, Pochettino added: “I am not surprised, we are talking about, if not the best, the three or five goalkeepers in the world.
“I don’t want anyone to blame him, in this action I want the blame because I demand him to do what he was doing. He is so strong mentally and of course, showed that he wasn’t affected by this situation.”