Real Madrid victory shows Tottenham Hotspur continue to move in the right direction insists Mauricio Pochettino
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Spurs produced a historic win at Wembley against the Champions League holders to book their place in the last-16 of the competition
Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham Hotspur’s stunning 3-1 victory over Real Madrid in Group H of the Champions League shows they continue to move in the right direction both domestically and on the European stage.
A brace from Dele Alli and a Christen Eriksen goal put Spurs three up at a rocking Wembley Stadium before Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back late on.
The night belonged to Tottenham, however, and this victory means they’ve reached the last 16 of the competition and could well now top Group H.
Pochettino said: “What is important for me is that we are in the next round, especially after last year when we were in the Champions League and out of the running in the group stage with two games to play.
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“This year we are in a very difficult group with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL, who have shown in their performances against Borussia that they are no pushovers.
“What’s important for us at the moment is that we go through a phase of consolidation and we are growing in confidence and starting to believe in our potential and our qualities.
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“We are able to compete now with the biggest teams on a physical and mental level and this is preparing us very well for what’s coming in the future and for us to achieve the goals we have. Those goals are to win and to win big competitions.
“This is what we dream of and whether we get there this year or whether we don’t, we certainly seem to be moving in the right direction.”
Alli took the headlines with his double and a performance which really announced himself to the rest of Europe.
But it wasn’t only the former MK Dons man who was in top form, Harry Kane battled brilliantly up front and Christian Eriksen was excellent.
Harry Winks produced a typical terrier display in the middle of the park while Eric Dier was colossal in midfield and then in the back five.
Jan Vertonghen was a real leader for Spurs and Kieran Trippier was outstanding with Ben Davies not far behind.
Hugo Lloris, Davinson Sanchez and Moussa Sissoko all deserve mentions, especially Tottenham’s captain.
Yet it was Alli’s two goals in his first Champions League match of the season which put his name up in lights and deservedly so after a tricky couple of months.
Pochettino added: “It was a great opportunity for him to show his quality and it was a fantastic opportunity for him up against Real Madrid and at Wembley.
“It was all a big motivation for him and he played and scored twice, but he should have got a hat-trick in the second half!
“No, it is fantastic and I said on Tuesday it feels like it is coming and I feel he is getting better and better everyday and of course we need him at his best to try and help the team achieve the things we want to achieve.”
Spurs may be without Toby Alderweireld for the immediate future though, after he suffered a hamstring injury in the first half.
The Belgium defender, who had started strongly, was replaced by Moussa Sissoko after 24 minutes.
“It is something with his hamstring, but we must wait until tomorrow to assess him. I am sure for Sunday (home to Crystal Palace) it will be difficult, but we’ll have to see,” said Pochettino.
Alderweireld’s injury couldn’t dampen a famous night for Tottenham and their loyal supporters with Wembley a cauldron of noise throughout.
One to 11, Spurs were better than Champions League holders Real Madrid and this must surely give this improving squad a huge amount of belief.
Sky really is the limit for this team and more performance’s like this one, and Pochettino and Tottenham will be celebrating winning silverware sooner rather than later.