After bagging the equaliser in the dying moments of the game against Manchester City today, Dejan Kulusevski has spoken of his pride at the way his Tottenham Hotspur side played, but insisted they have to match that level all season.
With three consecutive defeats to their name, Tottenham would probably have wanted to face any other team than Manchester City this weekend, especially at the Etihad. But, Ange Postecoglou‘s side found a way to match the Premier League champions.
Spurs even led the game, for roughly 90 seconds, after Heung-min Son finished off a swift counter-attack at one end, before knocking a Manchester City free kick into his own net moments later.
City went into half-time ahead thanks to a Phil Foden goal, but the Lilywhites came out fighting in the second half and pegged Pep Guardiola’s side back with 20 minutes left through a wonderful Giovani Lo Celso effort.
Ten minutes later, Jack Grealish put City ahead once more, and seemed to have quashed Tottenham’s efforts once and for all. But, with the clock hitting 90 minutes, Brennan Johnson floated the ball into the box and Dejan Kulusevski jumped highest and put the ball in the back of the net to snatch a point.
Kulusevski is proud of Spurs’ fight
Speaking to Sky Sports (3/12/23 at 6:30pm) after the game, Kulusevski commented on his game-changing effort, the way the team played, and how close he feels Spurs came to actually winning the game.
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He said: “It was an unbelievable second half from us and I’m proud of the guys and really we have to play like this all season… It was too bad that we conceded that goal because if we kept playing like that we would have won the game but we have to learn.
“There are a lot of things to learn but if we can just learn to get better mentally then we will be on top.”
Kulusevski also spoke to BBC Match of the Day about the character of the team and Postecoglou’s impact, adding: “I think the team itself has a strong belief but first half was not good enough. The coach was very angry at half-time. He said ‘guys stop thinking, just play’ and we came out better.
“The football is there, the coach is there and we can be at the top in the future.”
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What a performance from Kulusevski today, and he popped up when it really mattered again, too. He is really making that central role his own, and it will be interesting to see how Postecoglou navigates that once players like Maddison are back from injury.