Mauricio Pochettino bemoans Tottenham's unexpected defeat to West Ham as 'key moment' in title race

Spurs manager frustrated as his team lose the chance to close the gap to Chelsea

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The Independent Football

Mauricio Pochettino bemoaned Spurs losing a “key moment” at the London Stadium this evening as they lost 1-0 to West Ham United, almost handing the Premier League title to Chelsea.

Spurs’ defeat means that Chelsea can win the league by winning their next two games, against Middlesbrough on Monday and West Bromwich Albion on Friday. Tottenham did not play well and Pochettino said afterwards that teams who want to win titles have to find a way to win the most important games. On Friday night Spurs tried to but they could not.

“To win a league or a trophy is a key moment,” Pochettino said. “Today was a key moment.

“It’s not about to play good or bad or to run more or less, but when you win, you win. If you want to be champions you must win. How, I don’t know. We were missing a little bit but we move on and try to finish in the best way the season, still fighting.”

Pochettino said that he was trying not to think about Chelsea’s lead over Spurs at the top of the table now, a lead that will surely see Chelsea win the title next week.

“It’s so difficult to focus now on Chelsea,” Pochettino said. “You go to win and put pressure on them and everything that happened is the worst. With the games to play, when you have the opportunity to close the gap and win, it’s better to forget a little bit and see what happens.”

Pochettino tried not to be too critical of his players after a very disappointing defeat.

“I’m calm, disappointed because we missed opportunity to close the gap to Chelsea,” he said. “It wasn’t our best day. The performance was just OK. We lose because we concede and the way we conceded and it was difficult to come back into the game.”