Tottenham Wembley curse dead, says Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham’s 3-1 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund has finally killed off their Wembley curse.

Pochettino’s side opened their Group H campaign with an impressive display at their temporary Wembley home on Wednesday as Harry Kane’s double and a Son Heung-Min strike sealed the points.

It was only Tottenham’s third win in their last 13 matches at Wembley and their first since moving into the English national stadium this season while White Hart Lane is being redeveloped.

Having lost eight times at Wembley in recent years, including defeats against Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen that contributed to their Champions League exit last season, Tottenham boss Pochettino knew it was essential his team got up and running at the first attempt this time.

“I hope that can help us to stop the talk of the hoodoo and everything. It’s fantastic to start well in the competition, but also to stop everything that was around the team here,” he said.

“Today means more than three points. It’s Wembley, it’s the perception that we had to change for our future.

“To win here is so important for our confidence, for the players and the fans, and the perception of what we can do in the future.”

After last season’s tame performances in Europe’s elite club competition, Tottenham are desperate to make the knockout stages this term and on this evidence they look up to the task.

Son put them ahead early on and, although Andriy Yarmolenko equalised for Dortmund, Kane produced two typically predatory finishes to make it four goals in two games for the England striker.

Pochettino believes Tottenham are beginning to learn the harsh lessons of last year’s flop.

“It was a fantastic performance. It was massive to start that way with three points,” he said.

“It was so important to get the points against a fantastic team like Dortmund. It’s massive for our confidence.

“They dominated the game, but we were very clinical. In the second half we increased our level and the game was under control.

“When you don’t dominate the game, you can still show different characteristics.”

Kane’s brace maintained his strong start to September, which also includes two goals for England, and backed his claim this week that he is ready to shine on Europe’s biggest stages.

Under pressure

Pochettino has no doubt Kane is already among the top strikers in the tournament.

“Harry was fantastic,” he said. “When you score goals in the Champions League you receive the credit you deserve. For me he is one of the best strikers in the world.”

The only frustration for Pochettino was the late red card for defender Jan Vertonghen after he caught Dortmund’s Mario Gotze in the face with his forearm.

“It wasn’t the intention of Jan, but we have to see the replays. It’s a little bit of a shame he received a red card,” Pochettino said.

After starting the season unbeaten in German domestic action, this was a major setback for Dortmund, who controlled possession for long periods, only to see two goals contentiously ruled out for offside.

Dortmund boss Peter Bosz was furious that Christian Pulisic’s strike, with the score at 2-1 to Spurs, was ruled out.

Asked if the goal should have stood, he said: “Yes, 100 percent. Christian scored a good goal but it didn’t count.

“We put them under pressure but they did the same to us.

“It’s only the first game. It’s not the end of the matter.

“The group is still open and we have to meet again in Dortmund.”

Bosz also revealed Gotze needed treatment on his teeth after the clash with Vertonghen and could be sidelined as a result.

“He’s got problems with his teeth and he has to go to the doctor today. It doesn’t look good with his teeth and that hurts us as well,” he said. – Agence France-Presse

Steve Griffiths
Guest Author
Advertisting

Salie-Hlophe accuses Goliath of lying and racism

In response to Goliath’s gross misconduct complaint, Salie-Hlophe says Goliath has ‘an unhealthy obsession with my marriage’

Treasury is still seeking SAA funds

The government has committed an additional R2-billion to the airline, but has yet to pay it out

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide
Advertising

Press Releases

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.