Alderweireld hails ‘big heart’ of team after dramatic Wembley win
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
The Belgian discussed the state of the pitch and the display against PSV on Tuesday
Toby Alderweireld praised the performance of Spurs after they defeated PSV 2-1 to clinch a first win in this season’s Champions League Group B campaign.
For long periods, it seemed like it would be a night to forget for the Lilywhites, but Harry Kane’s late brace inspired a comeback win.
Tottenham needed to secure all three points and after recovering from Luuk de Jong’s second-minute opener, they got the victory required, but only after lots of missed chances.
“We played very well against a team, especially in the second half, who dropped back and counter-attacked, so it made it difficult,” Alderweireld said.
“I am not going to make an excuse, but on this pitch, to play this type of football, is difficult, but we created a lot of chances and it is a positive for the team to get the win.
“Everyone was everywhere on the pitch before we scored the second goal and I think this team has a big heart. We really wanted to win.”
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The Wembley Stadium surface was not in vintage condition, but was better than the surface which Spurs and Manchester City played on almost two weeks ago.
It was still well below-par and so were Spurs inside the opening minutes as de Jong headed home from a corner to stun the hosts.
With the travelling PSV fans making plenty of noise, Mauricio Pochettino’s side set about trying to silence them, but found away stopper Jeroen Zoet in top form.
He made superb saves to deny Lucas Moura, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli in the first half and thwarted Kane after the break before the late, late show arrived.
The introduction of Fernando Llorente and Erik Lamela made an impact and the Spanish ace set up Kane for the equaliser in the 78th minute.
After rifling into the corner, the Spurs captain for the night urged his team-mates to remain calm as they attempted to find a winner in the final 12 minutes.
Llorente almost provided it in the 84th minute, but his header was straight at Zoet and that only occurred after Paulo Gazzaniga had brilliantly denied PSV substitute Trent Sainsbury.
Then, with seconds of normal time left, the all-important second goal for Spurs finally came as a Ben Davies cross was headed home by Kane via two deflections.
“Harry is playing well and we know he can always score and in the last two games he has scored,” Alderweireld said.
“He gives us confidence, but up front we have a lot of possibilities and in this game with PSV Fernando come on and got a good assist.
“Fernando is a different kind of player (to Harry), but it gives us a lot of options for the future.”
After four games, Tottenham are third, but crucially they still have a chance of coming second in Group B and qualifying for the round of 16.