LONDON — After a thrilling 90 minutes between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, there was a feeling of “what might have been” among the home fans and players at White Hart Lane.
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Tottenham led 2-1 with 15 minutes to go but Alexis Sanchez’s equalizer snatched a point for the 10-man Gunners to stop Spurs from going six points above them.
Speaking the press after the 2-2 draw, Pochettino refused to blame his young side for not seeing out the win and and had the following to say on how the draw left him feeling.
“It is true, we missed a big opportunity,” Pochettino admitted. “It was a good game and I think we deserved more. It was a good game to improve. Our team is young, this type of game when you play at the top of the table in the position that we are. It is important to feel that and improve. We are young and I’m very pleased with the players and how we managed the game. I think 11-v-11 we deserved more and were unlucky how we conceded the goal.”
Asked if his young team failed to show maturity to see out the game and go away with a 2-1 win, Pochettino was visibly annoyed and defended the way they approached the final stages with a 2-1 lead and a one man advantage.
“It is not about maturity, it is not about character, it is not about nothing. This is all off topic. I can give you a lot of examples of big clubs with experienced players who concede goals in the last minute. It is not about maturity because all the team sometimes concede goals like this. For me today, if analyze the 90 minutes, one team was best and that was Tottenham.”
With nine games to go Spurs sit just two points behind leaders Leicester City and remain three points ahead of Arsenal.
This feels like an opportunity missed.
If they’d seen out the game and won 2-1, they’d be top of the table and six points ahead of the Gunners.
Handling the situation better when leading 2-1 was crucial and Pochettino’s young squad cannot continue to drop points at pivotal moments in the season.
Not if they want to win the title.