Mauricio Pochettino proud of Tottenham for making Manchester City 'suffer' despite Wembley defeat

Spurs went down to Riyad Mahrez’s early strike but they pushed City back in the second half

Tottenham 2018/19 Premier League profile

Mauricio Pochettino was proud of his Tottenham Hotspur team for making Manchester City “suffer” in their 1-0 defeat at Wembley.

Spurs went down to Riyad Mahrez’s early strike but they pushed City back in the second half, Erik Lamela missing a golden chance to equalise in the final minutes. Given that Spurs lost 4-1 and 3-1 to Manchester City last year, and were dominated both times, Pochettino was proud of how his team took the game to City.

“I am so proud of the effort that we made, fantastic,” Pochettino said afterwards. “It was a very competitive, even game. We created a lot of chances. Last season it was difficult to compete against Manchester City in both games we played. In Manchester and here the gap between the level was massive between the teams. Today was a very competitive even game.”

City dominated possession in the first half but Spurs came back into the second half, impressing their manager.

“When you compete with this type of team like Manchester City, it is difficult to dominate because they play with a similar philosophy to us, trying to dominate the opposition,” he said. “In the first half we suffered a bit, and conceded so early, it’s normal they played with more security and trust. In the second half we dominated, it was very good. I’m happy with the performance. When you compare with last season we didn’t compete there, or here at Wembley. But today was a game we believed we can win. We didn’t win, but we did translate my messages.”

Pochettino admitted that there was not much he could do to keep pace with City given the gulf in resources. “We cannot compare ourselves with Manchester City,” he said. “We are on a different level. We still have not achieved the lelve of Manchester City. They are a team focused on winning titles. We are focused on different things, not only to win games. The gap is not big, but we need to respect the gap.”

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