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Mauricio Pochettino praises Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen’s anticipation and belief

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 February 2018

Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring after 11 seconds against Manchester United (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images).

Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring after 11 seconds against Manchester United (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

The Dane was at the heart of everything for Spurs yesterday and deservedly received plaudits for his display

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed the importance of Christian Eriksen after last night’s 2-0 win over Manchester United.

The ex-Ajax playmaker had missed Spurs’ last two games in all competitions – 1-1 draws at Southampton and Newport County – but returned for the visit of Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils.

It took the Dane just 11 seconds to make his mark after his return from illness as he scored the second quickest goal in Tottenham’s history and the third fastest in the history of the Premier League.

Pochettino said: “I think it was a great performance from Christian and he is such an important player for us.

“Not just against Manchester United because he created one and also scored, but always because he is the player who links everyone. When he is not there the team miss him and he is a player you miss on the pitch.”

The Spurs boss also made a point of highlighting the great anticipation of the 25-year-old for his goal.

Harry Kane made a nuisance of himself in the air and Dele Alli saw his effort blocked by Chris Smalling.

The ball rolled perfectly for Eriksen and he slotted home, but Pochettino said the goal was only possible because of the alertness of his player.

He said: “I think the action that is so important to see from Christian is the belief because the run he made was fantastic.

“Christian is not waiting for it to happen, he decided to anticipate and read the action and this is so important and should be shown to the young players on video.”

Pochettino was asked about whether Tottenham planned to score so early against the Red Devils and he revealed their usual plan from restarts.

“We prepare to play in the opposition’s half and from the beginning to be able to receive and of course if we can try to score, we will try, but as we all know it is very difficult,” said the Spurs manager.

“Obviously we prepared for that situation to arrive and play in the opposition’s half and show the opponent we want to play in their half and dominate the game and put pressure on them.

“You work and then this happens and I’m happy it happened after 11 seconds and that is football.”

It was the start of a brilliant night for Spurs and one which puts them firmly back in the mix for a top-four finish.

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