A tactical masterclass from Pochettino


What a fantastic display from Spurs last night at the packed Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.

I don’t think any Spurs fan could have predicted the team and its formation, let alone the result. It was a brave show of his intent from Mauricio Pochettino, playing both Harry Kane and Fernando Llorente up front from the start.

Although Real dominated a lot of the game, Spurs made several good goal scoring chances, only for Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen to be thwarted by excellent saves from the Real keeper Kaylor Navas.

In the Spurs goal, Hugo Loris made several world-class saves during the game, a captains performance leading by example, and keeping Spurs in the tie.

So even playing without Deli Alli, Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, Spurs performed extremely well, both in defending and attacking. It took them some time to get going in the first half, as Real Madrid dominated possession, and too often Spurs gave the ball away, or they were dispossessed. That was soon forgotten when Harry Kane rose above the Real defence to meet a Christian Eriksen corner, only to power his header straight at Kaylor Navas, in the Real goal.

The goal came after Spurs began to come into the game a little more, and a cross from Serge Aurier was turned into his own net by Raphael Varane, who was under pressure from Harry Kane.

Spurs looked like they would go in at halftime 1-0 up, but with 3 minutes left, Serge Aurier made a rash challenge in the box, on Toni Kroos, and a penalty was awarded, which Christian Ronaldo blasted in, to draw Real Madrid level.

The second half saw both sides having goal bound chances saved by the respective opposition goalkeepers, who both showed that they are world class.

A lot of the credit for this Spurs display ultimately lies with Pochettino and his coaching staff.  He gave this side great belief in their own ability, and the masterstroke was playing the Spaniard Fernando Llorente alongside Harry Kane up front.  Llorente of course started his career with Real Madrid’s arch-rivals Athletico Madrid, and has many seasons of CL experience with various top European sides, so he for one, was not going to be overawed by the occasion.

A fantastic night for Spurs and all their many fans around the world, lets hope when they meet Real Madrid in the return fixture in two weeks time at Wembley, they put on another great display like last night.

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