“First of all I want to say ‘thank-you’ to our supporters,” said Mauricio after the 3-1 win against CSKA Moscow in our final UEFA Champions League Group E fixture.
“This shows how big our Club is. I know they all feel disappointed after Monaco and for us, it’s the same, so it was great to see 62,000 fans (62,034) here, that’s fantastic.”
Below: Mauricio speaks to Spurs TV at Wembley
Those fans were treated to a convincing win thanks to Dele Alli, Harry Kane and an own goal from CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
The final shot count was 25-6 in our favour but it looked like we might be put through the wringer again at Wembley when the Russian champions took the lead completely against the run of play with their first effort in the 33rd minute.
This time, we responded quickly. Dele had missed a couple of gilt-edged early chances but made no mistake on 38 minutes with a delicious equaliser and Danny Rose set up Harry Kane for the lead in injury time. Dele wrapped it up when his header was saved by Akinfeev only for the goalkeeper to inadvertently knock the ball over his own goal line.
The win takes us into the Round of 32 of the Europa League where we’ll be seeded and play our second leg at home when the ties are played in February. The draw is in Monaco on Monday.
‘We’ve increased our level’
You wanted a win here and the players responded - what did you think of the performance?
Mauricio: “It was good, we started to show how we play against Chelsea and Swansea and today confirmed we’ve increased our level. We were much better. We struggled a little for one-and-a-half months for different reasons and it’s true, when we’re all available and all fit, we’re stronger.”
What were you thinking when CSKA scored with their first shot?
Mauricio: “It was like Monaco and Leverkusen. We had chances, they scored and it’s true, they were stronger teams than CSKA and it was difficult for us. This time we came back. I’m happy because we have the opportunity to play more games here and make Wembley our home, try to get more experience and we can go further (in Europe). That’s our objective - why not?”