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Pochettino pleased with Spurs’ performance despite home loss to City

As far as losses go, that was an especially encouraging one.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino walked away from his side’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City with the knowledge that his side comported themselves well. Playing on a bumpy, threadbare pitch that had hosted an NFL game the night before and still showed the yardage markers and NFL logo at center pitch, Spurs conceded an early goal thanks to a Kieran Trippier defensive error, but otherwise played City to a standstill, and on another day might have earned a draw.

The match also saw the return of midfielder Dele Alli, who was a second half substitute and made an immediate impact in the match. Spurs ended the match with a very strong lineup and played very well in the final stretches of the 2nd half, but weren’t able to get the equalizer.

After the match, Pochettino said that despite the loss he was pleased with the performance of his squad.

“I think it was a very competitive game. We conceded a goal so early in the game, so cheap and poor, that you cannot concede in these type of games. If you do, football punishes you. But I am so proud, I think the effort we made was fantastic. We were very competitive, it was an even game. I think we created a lot of chances.

“Last season it was difficult to compete against Man City in both games that we played in Manchester and here — the gap was massive between both teams. But today it was very competitive, an even game. Yes [we were] a little bit lucky because when they made a mistake we didn’t score and when we did they scored in one action. I’m disappointed in one way with the result, but happy with the performance.”

A win over City would’ve put Spurs into a tie for second place, two points ahead of the Citizens, and while the match was entertaining and even, Pochettino cautioned those who might suggest that Spurs aren’t that far behind Manchester City.

“You cannot compare ourselves with Manchester City. We are at different levels. We are still not achieving the level of Manchester City. They won the Premier League last season. It’s a team that is focused on trying to win titles. We are focused on different things, not only to win games. The gap is not big but we need to respect the gap and that is still not achieving the level of Manchester City.”

With the loss, Spurs drop down to fifth, five behind City and one behind Arsenal in fourth. Spurs now face a very short turnaround ahead of a return to the London Stadium on Wednesday — Tottenham play at West Ham on Wednesday in the League Cup Round of 16. Spurs’ next league match is Saturday at Wolves.