Pochettino is thrilled as red-hot Son burns bright
CSKA Moscow 0-1 Tottenham
Mauricio Pochettino hailed Son Heung-Min as being "on fire" after the South Korean forward scored his third goal in four days for Tottenham Hotspur.
Son followed his double at Middlesbrough on Saturday with the crucial late winner at CSKA Moscow last night, vindicating Pochettino's decision to move him into the middle.
With Harry Kane still at least six weeks away from returning to fitness, Pochettino heaped praise on Son for stepping up for the side, and said there was now "no limit" to what his team could do in the competition.
"It is very important that without Harry, who was good before his injury and scored, that now another player has scored, that is very important for the team," Pochettino said.
"I feel very pleased for Sonny. He is on fire as you say in the media and to keep this form is very important for us."
It was Pochettino's decision to move Son up front that turned the game and the manager was delighted that his change worked, and with the efforts of his players.
"We tried to find more mobility in our offensive position," Pochettino explained.
"It is for that reason we changed Vincent Janssen for Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, to have more pace down the sides. With their first touch they found the link and it was a fantastic goal. Sometimes when you change it goes well and sometimes it does not. That is football. It gave a solution to the team."
Pochettino challenged his players after they lost to Monaco, but this was the perfect response and Pochettino was thrilled with the attitude and personality they showed in winning such a difficult away game.
"It was a very tough game to come here and get the three points," he said.
"After Monaco I think our performance about passion and attitude, to play how we need to, was fantastic. Today I feel happy, this was a very important game. It is now about to recovering well and arriving in a very good form for Manchester City on Sunday."
Spurs are now in a far healthier position in Group E, especially as Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen drew 1-1 at the Stade Louis II.
That opens up the group again for Spurs, and Pochettino said that he "cannot set a limit" on how far they could go in the competition.
"It is too early to assess but football is always about belief, it is about working and trying to do things," he said.
"We are ambitious and we cannot set the limit. It is very open but it is too early to say what the team can achieve in this competition. Only to be free and feel all is possible and try to win games. It will be very important to try to go to the next round. Step by step is very important now."
CSKA: Akinfeev, Fernandes, V Berezutski (A Berezutski, 46 mins), Ignashevich, Schennikov, Golovin, Wernbloom, Tosic (Bebras Natcho, 72 mins), Eremenko, Milanov, Traore. Unused subs: Chepchugov, Nababkin, Strandberg, Gordyushenko.
Tottenham: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Eriksen, Wanyama, Alli (Winks, 82 mins), Lamela, Janssen (Nkoudou, 67 mins), Son. Unused subs: Vorm, Walker, Onomah, Wimmer, Carter-Vickers.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
Man of the match: Son Heung-Min
Match rating: 6/10