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Pochettino “disappointed but proud” after Tottenham crash out of Champions League

It was a heartbreaking way to go out, but Pochettino insisted that his squad did well.

Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur received a gut-punch of a loss yesterday at Wembley Stadium. Spurs scored late in the first half in their Champions League tie against Juventus, but conceded two second half goals in four minutes and lost 2-1 to the Italian champions. The loss ended a Spurs’ Champions League campaign that saw them defeat Dortmund and Real Madrid and take Juventus to the limit, before ultimately coming up just short.

After the match, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for his squad despite the bitterly disappointing way to go out, and said that his squad would not give up challenging for silverware.

“I am disappointed because we missed a lot of chances and of course because the team deserved more. We made mistakes and it was a little bit disappointing. But not only me, the changing room and the players [too] because I think the performance was fantastic.

“We can count less than three minutes [of letdown] if you now praise a lot of the play but I think it was a little bit unfair to concede these two goals. It’s tough because until that moment I think Tottenham were much better and the game was under control.

“That is football. Keep going and now to try to see the future, a lot of games ahead to play, two competitions and in football you cannot stop.”

Tottenham certainly had their share of chances thanks to Son Heung-Min who scored Spurs’ only goal and Harry Kane, but for whatever reason the chances just wouldn’t hit the back of the net. Kane in particular had an agonizing chance in the 90th minute after his header hit the post and traipsed along the goal line before finally being cleared.

Pochettino acknowledged that Spurs’ luck abandoned them a bit against Juventus on Wednesday.

“When you assess the game and watch it again, I think only Tottenham, for more than 70 minutes was much better and we created a lot of chances.

“Yes, [we were] unlucky because if Harry scored in the end, if it crosses the line, with the chances we had in the first half, maybe now we are talking in a different way, but that is football, it is only about the result. We can only assess the game, with the result at the end of the game.”

Spurs’ attention now turns to the two competitions the club is still involved with: the race for Premier League top four (and qualification for next year’s Champions League) and the FA Cup. Spurs travel to Bournemouth in the Premier League this weekend, and then to Wales to face Swansea in the FA Cup on Sunday, March 17; a win will take them to the semifinals, and oddsmakers have tapped them as one of the favorites to lift the FA Cup trophy at the end.