Tag Archives: Tottenham

Pochettino: FA Cup victory would not change Tottenham’s life

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Mauricio Pochettino says that an FA Cup triumph this season would not change Tottenham’s life, as he looked ahead to Saturday’s semi-final against Manchester United.

“It would be fantastic to win the FA Cup,” the Argentinian said.

“But is it going to change our life? I don’t believe so. Every one of the semi‑finalists will fight to win but it’s not about who needs the trophy more.”

Tottenham have lost their previous seven FA Cup semi-finals — the most recent being the one last season against Chelsea. That defeat still hurts Pochettino but he remains consumed by the pursuit of glory in the Premier League or Champions League.

“If we are capable to win the Premier League and the Champions League, it is a moment you say the team has improved and reached the next level,” Pochettino added. “ To win the FA Cup or the League Cup — it will be fantastic for the fans but it is not going to move the club to a different level.”

“That is my opinion. Some people respect it; some people don’t. I want to play to win the Premier League and Champions League. If we can win the FA Cup, then fantastic. But if you are going to change the vision or put the club in a different level, you must compete for and then win the Premier League and Champions League.”

“People in England love to talk about perception and the changing of perceptions. We had a good Champions League group stage this season — beating Dortmund and Real Madrid — and we competed very well against Juventus [in the last 16]. The dimension of the club around the world changes completely [because of that].”

Quickfire Juventus double ends Spurs hope in Champions League

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Juventus produced two goals inside three second-half minutes to end any hope for Tottenham to progress in the Champions League by a 2-1 victory (4-3 on aggregate) in their last-16 match.

Spurs started with high-hopes nonetheless, with a goal following a scramble from Son Heung-Min strengthening the London club’s away goal advantage at Wembley.

They also saw both Son and Premier League top-striker Harry Kane wasting chances, while Juventus were denied a clear penalty when Douglas Costa was brought down by Jan Vertonghen.

But despite their control of proceedings, Sami Khedira’s flick was turned in through Gonzalo Higuain’s volley, giving Juventus a 64th-minute lifeline — which they capitalised on ruthlessly and Paulo Dybala raced clear for a decisive left-footed finish three minutes later.

It meant that Tottenham would get the undesirable record of being the third side out of 13 to have drawn 2-2 away from home in the first leg of the Champions League knockout stages to be eliminated — after Bayern Munich against AC Milan in 2007 and Porto against Manchester United in 2009.

Still, it gives testimony to Spurs’ ability as they scored 3 out of 4 goals Juventus conceded in 21 games, although the Italian champions were also unbeaten throughout the span of those games.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was “proud” of his side despite the end of his side’s European hopes.

“In less than three minutes we conceded two goals — two big mistakes — and that is why we are out,” he said. “In both legs we deserved more. We played fantastic football until that first goal and we dominated.”

“We are very disappointed, but it is part of growing. We will keep going.It was tough but very positive for the future. You need this type of game and experience to build you as a player to compete at this level.”

“They only came to our goal two or three times — not much — but they have quality so if you make a mistake they will score.”

Buffon: ‘Wounded’ Juventus will feel spurred on against Tottenham

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Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has compared his team to a wounded animal ahead of the Champions League last‑16 second leg against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, but insisted that they always raised their game when the odds were against them.

Buffon added that the outbreak of pessimistic atmosphere in Turin after the 2-2 first-leg draw was entirely normal as Juventus suffer is invariably magnified due to their domestic dominance in Italy over the last six years.

Additionally, with the Bianconeri manager, Massimiliano Allegri, suggesting he was ready to start with Gonzalo Higuaín, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa up front, Buffon sounded a note of optimism.

“When Juventus are wounded or we have our backs to the wall, it spurs us on,” the 40-year-old goalkeeper said. “It will be an uphill battle but sometimes you can get caught out if it’s all downhill all the way. It’s obvious there is a certain amount of pessimism after the first leg.”

One false step with Juventus and people start to fear the worst or criticise us. But we are capable of playing the right game. Spurs like to attack but by the same token they have a style of play which sometimes allows the opposition a few chances. It will be very even. The team that has the best clinical edge will be the team that goes through.”

Buffon also claimed the Tottenham striker Harry Kane reminded him of Gabriel Batistuta, the great Argentina No 9, but he was more vocal in his concerns regarding Juventus’s own attacking options.

Paulo Dybala is back from injury while Higuaín returned to training on Monday after an ankle problem.

“I don’t see any reason why they cannot both play,” Allegri said. “The fact that this is such a huge game – you want to play in a game like this, even if you’re not in tip-top shape. Douglas Costa could well play, too.”

Prediction:

Tottenham 2 – 1 Juventus

Jose Mourinho: Manchester United players deserve more credit

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Jose Mourinho has claimed that Tottenham’s victory over Real Madrid this week proves his Manchester United players deserve more credit.

Tottenham beat the European champions 3-1 at Wembley on Wednesday, just four days after they were beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Criticisms has been levelled at Mourinho’s styling of Manchester United this season, despite his team sitting second in the Premier League table and top of their Champions League group, and the United manager insists they should get more recognition.

“Honestly, just as an example,” the Portuguese said. “Tottenham beat Liverpool 4-1, Tottenham beat Real Madrid 3-1, Tottenham didn’t score against Manchester United so at least a little bit of credit my players deserve.”

“I know that it is a different way of analysing things for this reason or that reason. Similar performances for some clubs are magic, are examples of brilliant tactics and amazing attitude from the other players and for other teams the same kind of performance becomes conservative, becomes negative, becomes so many adjectives.”

Jose Mourinho is also due in court in Madrid on Friday to face allegations of tax fraud. While the Portuguese is set to appear in person but insists the hearing is not a distraction. “It is just a change of normal training time because I want to be there and I cannot be in the morning so I have to change the timings,” he added.

In the meantime, another tough challenge awaits United as the Red Devils, still without Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini, visit defending Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday. Both appears to have little chance to be fit in time to play against the Blues this weekend.

“We have to wait a little bit,” Mourinho added. “I am not very optimistic but I don’t want to lie. I don’t want you to say I lie when I said no chance of recovering so I just say two more days to confirm my expectations.”

On the other hand, Chelsea themselves suffered a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Roma, with club coach Antonio Conte claiming that his players lack “hunger” for success. Another point also goes to United in their record of claiming points even against top teams in the English top flight.

Prediction:

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United