Mauricio Pochettino: Spurs won’t fear anyone in the last-16 of the Champions League after defeating Real Madrid
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The Argentine reveals his pride at watching team go toe-to-toe with 12-time Champions League winners and come out on top
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes everyone will want to avoid Spurs in the last 16 of the Champions League after their 3-1 victory over Real Madrid last night at Wembley.
The Lilywhites produced a stunning display to overcome the title-holders thanks to a Dele Alli brace and a solitary Christian Eriksen strike.
Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back for Madrid, but with Wembley rocking, it was the home side who sent out a statement.
“Obviously this sort of win brings with it certain consequences in terms of making us more visible because everyone around Europe would have seen these two games against Real where we competed really well,” said Pochettino.
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“Now, the most important thing for us is we have qualifying for the next round, so we are where we want to be and so we’ll look forward to hopefully being well placed in the group and get a good draw for the next round.
“What’s important for us and motivates us is to improve as a team and improve as a group to achieve our targets.
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“You have all seen against Real that Tottenham is a big team. We are playing at Wembley in front of 80,000 people and these are historic occasions.
“We now belong in amongst the best not only in England, but in Europe and results like this help people to see where we are going.”
Pochettino will hope this victory can give his squad the belief to go up against any side and have no fear.
Regardless of who Tottenham face in the knock-out stages of the Champions League, they’ll back themselves to progress.
He added: “I’m so happy for this result and very pleased for the performance because it was fantastic.
“I think it’s an important victory for the club, for the fans and for the players and for everyone, so I’m so happy.”
The initial topic after the game centred on whether Spurs made Madrid look back or whether the Spanish giants are just in a bad moment.
Pochettino said it was down to others to decide, but couldn’t hide his pride at the way his team played against the 12-time Champions League winners.
He said: “I expected to see the very best of Real Madrid and as for the question about whether the praise should go to us for stopping them from giving their best or if it was Madrid who were not up to their level?
“That’s a difficult question and something the experts will look at, but all I can say is we played very well.
“We were competitive and we certainly played to our best and this is why we got the result we did.
“As for your question, it is very hard to tell a particular reason for a result and especially straight after the match.”
What is clear is Spurs belong among the best clubs in the world now, but this sort of result must be produced consistently and if it is, Tottenham will win gain greater rewards.