Alli credits ‘amazing’ Spurs manager after Chelsea triumph
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Tottenham Hotspur secured a vital three points in the Premier League on Saturday to start a massive week with a bang
Mauricio Pochettino didn’t agree, but many observers felt Spurs produced their best performance of the season on Saturday to see off rivals Chelsea by a 3-1 score.
Tottenham Hotspur looked in the mood from the off and it was no surprise when Dele Alli headed them in front after just eight minutes.
Wembley Stadium was full of noise and the decibel levels went up a notch when Harry Kane rifled home from range with 16 on the clock.
It was the start of a great night for the Lilywhites, but one of the stars of the show gave the plaudits to the boss.
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“I think working with Poch you know how good he is,” Alli told Press Association on Saturday evening.
“He’s an amazing manager tactically. A lot of it was the work we did tactically: on the front foot, pushing up high.
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“He’s managing the squad well, rotating when he needs to, picking the players that he feels are best on that day and that’s important for the team, to have players that are fresh and ready to go.
“Everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. He makes it very clear what you have to do, so going into the game, you know your role and what you have to do.
“You don’t have to worry about anything else, your football is natural, it’s what you’ve been doing for a long time so as long as we’re clear on our responsibilities and roles, we can enjoy playing.”
Tottenham’s excellent 3-1 win, which could have been by a greater margin, moved them up to third in the Premier League.
After 13 games they have 30 points with a goal difference of +12, but it should be more given the chances they failed to put away against Chelsea.
Going into the derby, the Blues had yet to taste defeat this season, but Maurizio Sarri saw his men lose for the first time.
After first-half goals by Alli and Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Juan Foyth went close before Chelsea’s Eden Hazard tested Spurs custodian Hugo Lloris.
Heung-min Son lacked a clinical touch during the opening 45, failing to make the most of a number of openings, but in the 54th minute he showed his class.
Feeling fresh after not competing for South Korea during the international break, he collected a pass from Alli, dribbled into the area and then slotted home for his first league goal of the campaign.
It was also his 50th goal for the club in all competitions and although Oliver Giroud pulled one back for Chelsea in the 85th minute with a powerful header, the night belonged to Spurs and especially Pochettino.
The Argentinian has not always earned plaudits for his tactical work with pundits in the past, on rare occasions, criticising the Tottenham manager for being outsmarted by his rivals on both the domestic and European front.
Many felt Massimiliano Allegri got the better of Pochettino when Juventus knocked Spurs out of the Champions League in March, but on Saturday the 46-year-old got his tactics spot-on.
Alli’s disciplined work on Jorginho starved Hazard’s supply line while the pressing from everyone all over the pitch was exceptional, especially considering it occurred after an international break.
Son’s selection would have surprised some, given Erik Lamela’s form, but after he stayed at Hotspur Way last week, his fresh legs caused Chelsea endless problems.
It resulted in Pochettino’s earning a doff of the cap from plenty of respectable figures in the game and even though he knows he’ll have to deliver the goods against Inter Milan and Arsenal this week, he has helped Spurs head into those games bang in form.