Harry Kane returned for his first start since September 18 and Kevin Wimmer made his first Premier League start of the campaign as Mauricio went with a 3-5-2 system of Wimmer, Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen as the three central defenders and Kane partnered by Heung-Min Son in attack. Dele Alli was a late withdrawal through injury.
We started well and Kane went close but then had to recover as Arsenal took a somewhat fortuitous lead just before half-time, Wimmer heading into his own net with two Arsenal players looking offside from Mesut Ozil’s free-kick.
“I was very quiet at half-time and the message was ‘come on, keep going’,” said Mauricio. “We had to carry on because that was the way for us to change the game.”
Below: Mauricio speaks to Spurs TV in the tunnel at Arsenal
We did just that. Kane levelled from the spot after Mousa Dembele was brought down and we had chances to win it - Petr Cech denied Christian Eriksen, who then struck the woodwork.
“It was a strong performance, I’m very pleased, happy for the players because we worked a lot. I thought we were fantastic,” said Mauricio.
“We finished strong and it was good after a month that was difficult, some small issues happened, but happy now to have two weeks to try to recover all the players so we can compete better.”
On the 3-5-2 system
Mauricio: “We played that system at Watford last season and it’s about flexibility to try to find the right solution, to try to score goals and win games. It’s important to have different options.”
On responding to Leverkusen
Mauricio: “We changed that. We turned bad to good. That is a good way to finish the month and now we look forward and try to be strong for the next one.”
On Harry Kane’s return
Mauricio: “I’m happy with him. It’s always important to have your main striker back. It was a good impact for us.”
On feeling positive
Mauricio: “We’re very positive. We always expect to win games but we’re 11 games unbeaten, that’s important and we’re looking forward.”