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Proud Pochettino left gutted as Tottenham's golden chance slips away


By Andy Sims

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believed his side deserved to progress in the Champions League after they were eliminated by Juventus at the last-16.

A three-minute double salvo from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala at Wembley saw Juventus take the tie 4-3 on aggregate and broke Spurs hearts.

Pochettino's side, who took the lead through Heung-min Son and saw a Harry Kane effort come off the post with just a minute to go, once again saw their European dream cut short by the Italian giants, frustrating the manager.

"In less than three minutes we conceded two goals - two big mistakes - and that is why we are out," the Argentine lamented.

"In both legs we deserved more. I feel proud. We played fantastic football until that first goal and we dominated.

"Of course we are very disappointed but it is part of growing. We will keep going. But we are very disappointed. We created a lot of chances. It is clear that we deserved a lot more. In football it is not about deserving, you have to score goals and not concede.

"Juventus only came to our goal two or three times - not much - but they have quality, so if you make a mistake they will score.

"We played another massive team. For us it was tough.

"It was very positive for the future. You need this type of game and experience to build you as a player to compete at this level."

Defender Kieran Trippier echoed his manager's sentiments, believing that the London side had enough chances to kill the game off.

"We had a lot of chances in the first half and put in a great performance. It's a difficult one to take," Trippier said.

"(Juventus) changed their formation and they had a lot of the ball. We just need to settle down a little bit.

"The lads are gutted because of the way we started the game. It's a tough one to take. We wanted to come out fast in the second half, but they killed the tempo."

However, there was delight for Juve captain Giorgio Chiellini, who said his side knew they would come out on top.

"We believed in the win," the Italian said. "We said 'keep calm and the chances surely would arrive'.

"We had to be concentrated and score when we had the chance - we did it."

On his late Italy team-mate Davide Astori, the Fiorentina captain who died on Sunday, Chiellini added: "We dedicate it to him."

Belfast Telegraph


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