Palace 0-1 Spurs - Mauricio's reaction
26 April 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
It was a case of the best kind of deja-vu for Mauricio Pochettino at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.
Fifteen months ago, he darted down the touchline to join the celebrations after Dele Alli’s wonder goal put us 2-1 up against Palace in a match we’d eventually win 3-1.
It was the same end and not far off the same time this time around and Mauricio was off again down the touchline, this time an typical outburst of emotion after Christian Eriksen rattled home a crucial winner against Palace in the 78th minute.
It was a goal that meant so much after the team had taken a big hit by playing so well yet losing Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley, and the pressure was applied further in terms of the Premier League as Chelsea beat Southampton 4-2 to move seven points clear.
Questions were being asked and the players delivered again, this time Christian providing the magic moment.
“It was a fantastic goal, ‘Golazo’ as we call it in Spain. It was amazing,” said Mauricio, who explained his dart down the touchline. “In that moment there was a lot of intensity and that goal was massive. I felt free to run!”
Questions were asked on the night as well as Palace pushed us in the first half. Mauricio made changes at half-time - explained below - as Moussa Sissoko and Heung-Min Son replaced central pair Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama. That meant Eric Dier moved out of the back three into midfield, Ben Davies from wide left to the back three and Sonny left of the 3-4-3.
It worked a treat as we began to boss the game and Dele Alli went closest before Christian found space and let fly into the corner from 30 yards.
The win also helped this team break records. Eight league wins on the spin is the second-best sequence in the Club’s history dating back to our first season in the Football League in 1908-09, bettered only by Bill Nicholson’s double-winners with 13 in 1960.
Three points took us to 74 - already our best points tally in the Premier League era. We’ve now toppled the 72 points gained in the 2012-13 season. Meanwhile, 22 wins also topples our previous best of 21 (2009-10, 2012-13, 2013-14) in a Premier League season.
What are your thoughts on the win?
Mauricio: “It was a fantastic achievement to get the three points. I’m very pleased and the players deserved this win. It’s true it was tough. The first half was even but we dominated the second half. We created chances and they didn’t really have a shot. It was a fantastic performance and I’m pleased because to prepare for a derby with a victory is always better.”
What was the thinking between the two big changes at half-time?
Mauricio: “Mousa twisted his ankle and Victor had a yellow card and it was difficult for him. We needed to do something different to try to find the way to create chances, to dominate and win the game and it worked well. Sometimes, when you make changes and change the shape it doesn’t work, but this worked very well.”
This feels like a huge win, do you feel the same?
Mauricio: “Yes, when you think about coming here and the momentum they have, we knew it would be tough. It was a massive three points for us to be in the race for the title. That is a great belief for us and now we’ll try to prepare for an exciting weekend. The derby will be fantastic and our fans our waiting for that.”
What did you think of Christian’s goal?
Mauricio: “It was a fantastic goal, ‘Golazo’ as we call it in Spain. It was an amazing goal. We’re very pleased for him.”
And you were off down the touchline again!
Mauricio: “It was tough - in that moment there was a lot of intensity and that goal was massive. I felt free to run!”
That is eight league wins in a row - now the second-best sequence in the Club’s history…
Mauricio: “It’s a fantastic achievement for this team, these players, everyone working at the Club. We’re talking about amazing things, especially Tottenham because with that history, it’s not easy to break records. I can only talk highly about the players and everyone involved at this Club.”