Tottenham finally got reward against ‘the wall’ beams Pochettino
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Spurs left it late, but clinched a crucial three points against Brighton in the battle to finish inside the Premier League top-four
Mauricio Pochettino admitted it was a tactic of Spurs to take shots from long-range during the 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Tottenham Hotspur had 29 shots overall and eventual matchwinner Christian Eriksen had seven of them.
Nearly all were from outside the area, but Mat Ryan was rarely tested in the Seagulls goal before he had to stop a thunderbolt from Danny Rose in the 66th minute.
Spurs’ ambitious efforts seemed a sign of their frustration, yet in the end it paid off as Eriksen drilled into the corner from 25-yards with 88 minutes on the clock.
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While it was a wonderful strike and some much-needed magic for Tottenham, it was also just reward for their perseverance according to their manager.
Pochettino said: “You know when the opponent plays so deep it is difficult to find the space to penetrate.
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“Of course we tried to create in the first half and played very wide with Lucas (Moura) and (Heung-min) ‘Sonny’ going for the one-v-one and finding space.
“But in the end always we crashed into the wall and they defended really, really well and we needed to find some alternative and a different way and one of the ways was to shoot from outside the area.
“There are a lot of players in front of the goal and it is difficult for the goalkeeper to see the ball and I think it was this action which delayed the reaction because there were a lot of legs in front of the goalkeeper and always it is difficult.
“So that was one of the situations we talked and in the last two minutes we scored and we are so happy.
“If you try, try, try in football, sometimes you get reward and sometimes not and unlucky for Brighton, but for us it is an amazing three points.”
The late show was nothing new from Tottenham, who have changed results a number of times this season in the dying embers of a match.
It adds to what has already been a ‘fantastic season’ in Pochettino’s eyes with not just the club, but the players dealing with various circumstances from the outset.
A large contingent of the squad returned late ahead of the league opener at Newcastle United because they had been involved in the latter stages of the World Cup.
Then Spurs’ move back home was delayed and they didn’t get in N17 until the start of April as it was.
While no new players have arrived at the club in either transfer window this campaign and the injury problems continue to pile up.
But with three games to go, Tottenham are third, have reached the semi-finals of the League Cup and are two games away from a maiden European Cup final.
“The performance of the players, it is so important they are consistent during the whole season and in the season we have some ups and downs, but I feel very proud,” Pochettino added:
“All the players deserve big praise from us and we are so proud of the effort they are doing.
“Of course after five years I am happy with all the players, but this season was so special with a lot of circumstances. I think we are doing a fantastic season and I am so proud of them.”