Mauricio Pochettino rues Tottenham’s failure to ‘kill the game’ against Monaco
Tottenham Hotspur looked to ride a string of strong matches as they squared off against Monaco in preliminary Europa League play. But this summer was changed a lot and they have new team, full of young talents.
“Now we have to be ready for Swansea, another hard game“.
He targeted three wins at home to get them out of Group B, but having now dropped two points they may have to recover those in either Kazan at the start of the Russian winter or in the return fixture against Sion in December.
Just days after the departure of oft-maligned technical director Franco Baldini, so key to the signing, Lamela began and ended a move that gave Spurs a deserved lead – one chalked off by substitute El Shaarawy late on as Monaco secured a 1-1 draw. It represented another bright spot for the Argentinian midfielder as he continues his fine form in a Spurs jersey.
“I don’t know what has changed”, he said, conducting an interview in English for the first time.
Pochettino was unhappy at the result and admitted that even though his team were performing better, his players were unable to kill off the game, a factor which cost them all three vital points. We have to keep his feet on the ground but he’s very mature on and off the pitch.
Monaco is coming off of two wins, two draws and one loss in their last five matches. Monaco, who lost to Valencia in the play-offs this year, made it to the Champions League semi-finals last season thanks to a rock solid defence. Their recent exodus of players makes depressing reading.
Celtic who were disappointed to not qualify for the Champions League again this year were presented with a few decent fixtures in their Europa League group and to many people’s surprise including my own, managed to take a point from their first game in Amsterdam while taking on Ajax.
It was a good chance for the Belgian with Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic out of his goal after rushing out to confront Harry Kane seconds earlier.
Erik Lamela can not put his finger on the reason for this season’s upturn in fortunes, but the Tottenham winger is confident the best is yet to come. That was dealt a blow when they fell behind midway through the first half.
The on-loan AC Milan forward headed past Hugo Lloris from close range after a brilliant cross from Nabil Dirar.
Spurs will now travel to Anderlecht in their next group game still in control but this should have been far more comfortable.
However, it’s Basel who top Group I after winning their second straight game in the group, 2-0 over Lech Poznan.