07 Mar Juventus did not teach Spurs a lesson, says Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino dismissed as “rubbish” suggestions Tottenham had been taught a harsh lesson by Juventus following their elimination from the Champions League.
The savvy Italians largely resisted Spurs’ youth and energy before two goals in four second-half minutes secured a 2-1 victory at Wembley and the 4-3 aggregate advantage that took them into the competition’s quarter-finals.
Pochettino’s team led at half-time after Son Hueng-min’s third goal in two games, but having been fortunate not to concede a penalty for Jan Vertonghen’s challenge on Douglas Costa, succumbed to finishes from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.
Harry Kane’s 90th-minute header was also cleared off the line by Andrea Barzagli after it bounced off the post as Juve otherwise absorbed late pressure, but asked if they had been given a tough lesson, the Spurs manager responded: “All that we are going to talk about now is rubbish. In the end it’s win or lose.
“(There was) no lack of experience. No lack of concentration. How many chances did we concede in the first leg and the second leg? We concede three chances and they scored twice. We created a lot of chances and only scored once.
“We created many, many chances. Sometimes you need some luck to win but I feel very proud. We competed very well against a very good team like Juventus. We dominated. Overall in the two games we were much better but in this type of level in three minutes I think the tie was for Juventus.
“I feel relaxed and happy. Disappointed of course, but the quality and the capacity and performance of the team was very good.”
Pochettino, 46, was then asked if having previously described himself as a “dreamer”, going so close to reaching the quarter-finals and missing out represented a nightmare, and he said: “A nightmare? Why?
“That is football, eh? I am still a dreamer. Of course I am disappointed. (But) when you compete in the Champions League and against this type of club, you can win or you can lose.
“We create a lot of chances but it wasn’t enough to win the game. That is all.”
Victory means Massimiliano Allegri’s Juve remain on course for their third Champions League final in four years.
The Italian’s change of shape inspired their second-half recovery, just days after they regained the initiative from Napoli in their pursuit of a seventh successive Serie A title, but even in such a positive week the Italian insisted they had “suffered”.
“We did suffer a lot, but that’s normal in football,”, said Allegri, 50. “We’re really happy.
“They put us under pressure, most of all when we lost the ball, but after all Tottenham are a quality side, so the team has done really well here.
“We did very well to bide our time and strike at the right moment. We were under the cosh at times in the first half, but only at certain moments.”