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Defiant Pochettino proud despite collapse to Juve

London, Thursday @PeopleSports11

Mauricio Pochettino insisted Tottenham had nothing to be ashamed of after three minutes of madness ended their Champions League challenge in a painful 2-1 defeat against Juventus.

Tottenham were on course to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011 when Son Heung-Min rewarded their first-half dominance with the opening goal at Wembley on Wednesday.

After the first leg finished 2-2, Son’s strike put Pochettino’s side ahead on aggregate, but Juventus completely flipped the script in the second leg of the last-16 tie with a stirring second-half fightback.

Gonzalo Higuain punished poor Tottenham marking to steer in Juventus’s equaliser and Paulo Dybala bagged the winner three minutes later with a cool finish after splitting the hosts’ poorly-executed offside trap.

It was a bitter blow for Tottenham and the loss raised fresh questions about their ability to win major trophies under Pochettino. But, yet to land any silverware with the north Londoners, Pochettino bristled at suggestions Tottenham aren’t mentally strong enough to win on the big occasions. “All this talk is rubbish. At the end it is win or lose.

When you assess the game, I think only Tottenham was better for more than 70 minutes,” he said. “If Harry (Kane) scored at the end or we scored twice in the first half, maybe we are talking differently.

“I’m happy with my players. We did everything to try to win. “It was not a lack of experience, not a lack of concentration. How many chances did we concede? “We conceded three chances and they scored twice.

We had a lot of chances and only scored one. “We can talk about a lot of situations, but sometimes you need some luck to win.” Pochettino had spoken passionately this week about his dream of making Tottenham one of the best sides in England and Europe. -AFP

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