Monaco 2-1 Spurs - Mauricio's reaction
22 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Disappointment, frustration - Mauricio Pochettino felt it all as defeat at the hands of AS Monaco on Tuesday night ended our hopes of progressing in the Champions League.
The 2-1 loss in Matchday Five at Stade Louis II consigned us to third or fourth place in Group E with one game remaining against CSKA Moscow at Wembley on December 7. We could yet draw level on points with Bayer Leverkusen after MD6 but the German side would qualify by virtue of a better head-to-head record.
There were few arguments on the night. The home team, competing for the Ligue 1 title, impressed and Hugo Lloris was outstanding, keeping us in the game with a string of top-class saves including denying Radamel Falcao from the penalty spot and an incredible reflex tip over at point-blank range from Kamil Glik.
Djibril Sidibe headed Monaco in front three minutes into the second half but even with our backs to the wall, we managed to claw our way back into the game when Harry Kane levelled from the penalty spot after Dele Alli was hauled down.
The feeling of a potential turn around didn't last long though as straight from the kick-off, Thomas Lemar drilled home what turned out to be the winner.
“At this level, you cannot concede the way we conceded,” reflected Mauricio. “You pay, because it’s the Champions League, the toughest competition in the world with the Premier League.
“We conceded chances and you will always pay in this competition. You need to be focused and to compete in the best way.
“To analyse the game now is not right because we’re out of the Champions League. Last season or the season before we always rotated in the Europa League and this season, it’s exciting to be in the Champions League but difficult to rotate and that’s the difference we need to analyse and to learn.
“It’s the first experience for us (coaching team) and most of the players in the Champions League and it’s completely different. That is our challenge.”
Views on the game
Mauricio: "I’m very disappointed in the way we conceded. The first half was open, we created some chances but Hugo kept us in the game. In the second half we conceded after three minutes, then we came back but in the next action, we conceded. It’s true we’re much, much better than we’ve showed in the Champions League but we need to learn that to compete in the Premier League and Champions League demands a lot of mental energy and that’s our challenge for the future."
Mauricio: "Now we need our heads up and to lift ourselves. Chelsea have had a clear week to prepare for us, and now we can start to prepare for Chelsea. It’s an advantage but we need to be ready, we need to be strong and like always, to show character and to be competitive."
Message to the fans
Mauricio: "I’m disappointed for the fans, disappointed for the players, it’s a bad situation because the expectation was to go to the next round of the Champions League but now we need to be focused against Chelsea and then try to win against CSKA to try to go to the Europa League."