Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham Better Than Arsenal 'In All Aspects' of EPL DrawMarch 2, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his side were the better team in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.
In a tense game, Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a stoppage-time penalty saved by Hugo Lloris. Harry Kane had earlier equalised from the spot for Tottenham after Aaron Ramsey had given Arsenal a first-half lead.
Speaking after the game, Pochettino made it clear he thought his side were the stronger in the showdown at Wembley despite what appeared to be a disjointed performance from his team, per Sky Sports:
"If we assess the game I think we were better than Arsenal in all the aspects. It was a fantastic game, exciting game with great atmosphere with two teams that wanted to play and win the game.
"It's tough to play Arsenal, conceding after 15 minutes was tough for us. But I am so happy with the character and personality that we played with. Our performance was not great, but it was really good to draw and maybe deserve to win. After two defeats it was important today to start to build our positive run."
The result comes at the end of what has been a challenging week for Spurs, as back-to-back losses away at Burnley and Chelsea put an end to their title hopes. Had Aubameyang slotted home late on in Saturday's match, Tottenham's season would have been in danger of spiraling out of control.
Instead, Spurs managed to come away from the game with a battling point. Kane said after the game the team showed spirit to find a way back into the match:
Some Arsenal supporters may disagree with Pochettino's assessment that his side were the dominant outfit, though. The expected goals metric suggested it was actually the Gunners who created the better chances:
While Tottenham's domestic attentions will now turn to a top-four battle—Manchester United are three points behind them in fourth, while the Gunners trail Spurs by four points—their immediate focus will switch to European matters.
On Tuesday, they will visit Borussia Dortmund for the second leg of their last-16 showdown in the UEFA Champions League, having built up a 3-0 lead from the first game.
Tottenham fans will be confident of the team progressing with that advantage in mind, but Dan Kilpatrick of ESPN noted the squad is looking a little stretched:
Pochettino will be a little worried by the lack of spark in the team's attacking play in the last three games, with Kane and Son Heung-min yet to gel as an attacking duo since the former's return from injury.
The Premier League title dream is now surely dead, although plenty of goodwill will be earned with a strong performance and progression in Dortmund. Had they slipped up at the death on Saturday, nerves would have been jangling much more ahead of the Champions League showdown.