Mauricio Pochettino praised Tottenham for their “fantastic” response in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal – and admits he was glad his side kept the distance between themselves and their rivals.
Pochettino will have been looking for a positive response after losing 1-0 to West Ham in midweek, and he will have been disappointed to see his side go a goal down after Aaron Ramsey put the Gunners ahead.
But after Francis Coquelin saw red for Arsenal after a rash lunge on Harry Kane, Spurs fought back to claim a 2-1 lead through goals from Toby Alderweireld and Kane.
Alexis Sanchez replied for Arsenal to level the game up at 2-2, but Pochettino admits he was “pleased” with the result that keeps them three points above their rivals.
Speaking after the match, Pochettino told BT Sports: “I am pleased. It’s true, when it was 2-1 I am little bit disappointed with the result, but we have to happy we keep the three-point gap to Arsenal.”
Pochettino was asked if the draw represents a point gained or two points dropped and he replied: “It was a missed opportunity. At 11 against 11 I think we deserved more and were unlucky in the way we conceded the goal.
“The way we turned it in two minutes, then you feel a little bit disappointed, frustrated, because at 11 against 10 when you turn the result you need to keep that.
“But we are still improving and we need to move forward.”
Kane arguably deserved to finish on the winning side for his stunning goal alone, which saw the striker collect the ball on the left of the penalty area before whipping it off the far post and it into the net.
It was only Kane’s second goal from open play in nine matches and Pochettino was pleased to see his top scorer returning to form.
“It was a fantastic goal, amazing,” Pochettino said.
“I think how he shot and scored was fantastic and I’m very pleased for him to start to score again because always strikers need to feel that.”
Danny Rose was taken off in the second half with cramp in his calf. The problem is not expected to be serious, however, with a Europa League trip to Borussia Dortmund on Thursday to come.