Mauricio Pochettino hailed his Tottenham Hotspur squad after their 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the first North London Derby of the season. Harry Kane’s penalty kick goal cancelled out a Kevin Wimmer own goal just before halftime as the injury-riddled Spurs put in a spirited performance against their arch-rivals at the Emirates Stadium.
After the match, Poche said he was very pleased with his team’s performance, in a post-match interview by the BBC.
I’m very happy with the performance. It was a strong performance that we showed today. Maybe the feeling is that we deserved more, but the way we played today was fantastic.
The players deserve full credit. Big effort, and I think it was a very competitive game. A nice game. A good game to watch.
Poche was also asked about the 3-4-3 formation that he put forward against Arsenal. This was only the second time that Spurs have played with three at the back during Pochettino’s tenure; the other time was last Spring’s 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road.
We worked very hard to try and find a better solution, to put our fullbacks farther forward and play with two strikers, with Christian Eriksen behind [Harry] Kane and [Son Heung-Min]. I think it worked because we were very focused and tried to always think to play it forward and into the opposition half. We had possession in a place that is always difficult to play, and I’m very pleased with our performance.
I think we suffered a little bit [after the own-goal] but after that it was good. We handled the game, we created chances, were unlucky with the post. But I’m very happy with the strong mentality we showed because after the own goal, one nil down after the first half, it’s difficult. But in the second half we started very well and it didn’t affect us how we conceded the goal.
The match was Spurs’ 11th consecutive league match without a loss, but they now have more draws (6) than wins (5) in the Premier League season and are in fifth place heading into the international break.