Erik Lamela’s astonishing rabona strike was one of the best goals Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has ever seen.
Some had written off the club-record £30million signing after a disappointing, albeit injury-interrupted, first season with the north Londoners.
Lamela is, though, at last beginning to show glimpses of his undoubted quality under the tutorship of former Argentina international Pochettino.
The attacking midfielder has yet to find the consistency his compatriot desires but impressed against Asteras Tripolis, scoring a brace as Spurs won the Europa League clash 5-1.
Lamela’s second of the Group C encounter was an impressive volley from an acute angle, but the first was one of the finest goals ever seen at White Hart Lane – a rabona strike from the edge of the box.
“One time I scored one goal like that myself,” Pochettino said, laughing. “You will find it on YouTube.
“No, it was a very big goal, a great goal, an unbelievable goal. I am happy for him and it helped us to get the three points.
“Maybe it is the best [by one of my players ever]. Probably.”
Replays of the goal led to oohs and aahs from the Spurs faithful, yet Pochettino sat motionless on the bench when the strike went in.
“I never show emotion,” he said, offering an explanation. “No, I show emotion at home and show it in my bed.
“It is true, I am a manager that tries to be calm every time during the game.
“Sometimes I am very disappointed and angry, but I enjoy more after the game rather than during the game.”
That anger includes the performance of his side in the closing stages of the match.
Harry Kane, fresh from netting his first hat-trick for Spurs, had to don the goalkeeper’s gloves for the final minutes after Hugo Lloris was sent off for bundling over Tasos Tsokanis.
The resulting free-kick from Jeronimo Barrales squirmed through Kane’s grasp – a frustrating end to what had been for large parts an impressive display by Spurs.
“It was okay,” Pochettino said. “I am happy for the result, 5-1, and disappointed with the last five minutes because we gave the possibility for them to play one v one with our ‘keeper.
“We need to manage better the game. I am disappointed with the last five minutes but after that happy with the result. Our objective was to get the three points and it was done.
“I think that Hugo’s behaviour was correct. Unlucky because it was a red card but I am not happy with the last minutes because our line defensive was very high.
“We gave the possibility to play in behind our defensive line and at 5-0, with three minutes before the end of the game, we were not ready and focused in that action.
“We gave them the possibility to play well one v one with the keeper and for that I am not happy.”
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