03 Oct Lloris keeps a lid on Spurs win
Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris has warned his team-mates not to get carried away despite their emphatic victory over Manchester City on Sunday.
Spurs ended Pep Guardiola’s perfect start in the Premier League as an own goal from Aleksandar Kolarov and Dele Alli’s first-time finish helped the hosts lay down an early marker in the title race.
City were fortunate to escape a more emphatic defeat as Erik Lamela missed a second-half penalty that would have added extra gloss to an electric performance from Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
The visitors were unable to cope with Tottenham’s relentless pressing game and the result means Spurs move to within one point of the top of the table while standing as the only unbeaten side left in the division.
This is also the club’s best ever start to a season in the top flight, with 17 points so far, but goalkeeper Lloris insists now is the time for cool heads.
“As long as we keep the same mentality and spirit we can have ambition,” Lloris said.
“We have a young team with a lot of talent. We need to make sure we are not changing our minds, just being the same.
“That’s why we enjoy our time at Tottenham because the spirit is excellent.”
Spurs are the first of 12 opponents to keep Manchester City scoreless this season and their defence, the joint-tightest in the league last term, looks set to be a major strength again.
Sergio Aguero hit the post in the second half but otherwise struggled for his usual influence and Tottenham have now conceded only three times in their opening seven league matches.
The only team to boast a better record at this stage in the last six years were Southampton in 2013, also managed by Pochettino.
“Last season we were already one of the best defences in the league so I think it’s one of our basics to be strong at the back,” Lloris said.
“It doesn’t mean we are a defensive team, we are the opposite. We try to have a lot of risk in our game, trying to play as high up as we can on the pitch, putting pressure, as we did especially in the first half against City. This is our football style.
“But we have the ability to play with different options, like we did in the second half, playing a bit deeper, waiting and counter-attacking.
“Football is always about spirit and team performance and this was the perfect example.”
For City, the international break comes at a good time to take stock, with Sunday’s defeat their only blip on an otherwise superb start to the campaign.
Few teams are likely to carry out the pressing plan as efficiently as Tottenham this season but, when combined with Celtic’s success in the Champions League last week, opponents may feel a chink in the armour has been found.
“Of course you have to learn why they were better. Maybe it’ll happen again and we have to ensure it doesn’t,” Guardiola said.
“I have to review. From the beginning I didn’t feel we could adapt, we couldn’t make the build-up, play the way we wanted. Every time we attacked behind their high pressing, we caused problems and situations.
“But we had problems. We put long balls, they won the second ball and we had to go backwards. It was a bit difficult to control.”