Poch defends selection and rues ‘lucky’ goals

Date published: Thursday 24th September 2015 8:23

Mauricio Pochettino: Left frustrated by 2-1 defeat at Anderlecht

Mauricio Pochettino defended his team selection for the Capital One Cup tie against Arsenal and felt Tottenham were unlucky to lose.

Arsenal took a first-half lead when Mathieu Flamini tucked the ball in from close range following a parry by goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

Spurs, though, rallied after the restart and were level on 56 minutes when Callum Chambers deflected a cross from Nacer Chadli past his own goalkeeper David Ospina.

However, it was Arsenal who made it through to the last 16, with Flamini crashing in a fine 25-yard effort on 78 minutes following a ballooned clearance by Spurs defender Federico Fazio to send the travelling support into raptures.

“It was a missed opportunity because we dominated the second half and had the better chances,” Pochettino said afterwards.

“In general the performance was very good and I am happy with the effort from my players, but both goals we conceded were a bit lucky maybe. Also we made some mistakes but this is football.”

Pochettino defended his decision to select the likes of both Vorm and Fazio, a player who came close to being sold in the summer.

“It is a competition which is a good opportunity for him (Vorm) and we need to show more respect,” the Spurs boss said.

“Look at Arsenal – they played Ospina and is the result is on the other side, then it would be the same question for Wenger.

“He deserves to play.”

Pochettino continued: “I don’t regret (my selections) – you can make mistakes, remember when (Diego) Maradona missed a penalty? These are big players but this can happen, they are not machines.

“We need to take a lot of positive things. Yes, our supporters and us will feel very bad, when you play against your sporting enemy you want to win more, but this is football.

“We need to be happy in the way we played and disappointed with the way we lost the game, but now we need to prepare for the game on Saturday against Manchester City, when we will have one day less to prepare.”

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