It’s an age-old saying ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ and one echoed by Mauricio Pochettino after another late, late show secured a priceless 1-0 win against Brighton in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
We had 29 efforts at goal to Brighton's six in a match we dominated at the new stadium.
Mat Ryan made point-blank saves, Dele had an effort cleared off the line, Toby Alderweireld hit the inside of the post and saw the ball run agonisingly across the line to safety.
Brighton sat in deep, shots were blocked, crosses cleared, shots rained in left, right at centre. Was it going to be one of those nights?
As the clock ticked onto 88 minutes, we’d had 28 efforts at goal. Christian Eriksen had six of those shots. He pulled the trigger a seventh time from 25 yards and this time found a gap between defenders and the ball rifled into the bottom corner.
It’s the third crucial late winner from the Dane this season - Inter in the Champions League and Burnley in the Premier League the other two, both 1-0 wins - and this one comes at a crucial time to strengthen our position in the race for a place in the top four.
“It’s a fantastic result for us, three points we wanted,” said Mauricio. “We’re so happy. We tried, tried and tried and in the end, we achieved. It was a great goal from Christian.
“I’m so happy because after the performances in the three games against Manchester City it was amazing to see the players running, the performance was good, the opponents were difficult, Brighton are a very difficult side to break down but in the end we got the three points.”
Did he even have doubts as the clock ticked down? “When you are involved you always believe in the next action that you are going to score,” he added.
“It was tough, but in the end we achieved. We are seeing the results over the last few days and it’s always tough to play, tough to get three points, the Premier League is so difficult but we achieved what we wanted and that puts us in a very strong position in the table. Now it’s in our hands to be in the top four.”
Meanwhile, the result made it played four, won four and still no goals conceded at our new home.
“The fans were amazing, the stadium unbelievable - it’s the perfect combination with the team,” said Mauricio, before describing how it felt when Christian’s shot hit the back of the net. “It was amazing, happiness, the emotions you start to feel... amazing, we deserved it.”