Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino refused to blame Erik Lamela for his late miss against Man City, while also claiming that Spurs have different priorities to the Etihad club.
Riyad Mahrez’s first-half goal gave the champions a 1-0 win on a poor Wembley pitch on Monday night, taking them back to the top of the Premier League, while Spurs are now five points behind in fifth.
Before the game, Pochettino had said this period was his “worst feeling” at Spurs, and insisted it is not the club’s priority to win games.
And after the narrow defeat, he repeated that stance: “I said to you in the last press conference, from the beginning we cannot compare ourselves with Manchester City, we are in different levels, and we have still not achieved the level of Manchester City. They won the Premier League last season.
“It is a team that is focused on trying to win titles, we are focused on different things, not only to win games, but still the gap is not big, but we have to respect the gap and we have still not achieved the level of Manchester City.”
There has also been plenty of debate about the state of the Wembley pitch, a day after the final NFL fixture in London, and though Pochettino refused to blame the surface for the defeat, he did spot a bobble before Lamela’s late miss.
He added on Sky Sports: “I saw the ball go into Erik and I said goal but now watching the replay of the action the ball has just bounced before the boot of Lamela and that is why he missed the opportunity.
“I think it was a great match in difficult circumstances. I feel very proud, the effort was fantastic and we competed really well. It was a little bit of a shame because we conceded after five minutes.
“That was difficult but the team was good and I’m happy with the performance. The reality is it was very competitive. We lost 1-0 but we had a lot of opportunities to score.”
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