Heads will droop on the white side of North London, as Tottenham Hotspur threw away an early second leg lead to fall 2-1, 4-3 on aggregate to Juventus in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday.
Max Allegri and Juventus will get a lot of credit for his substitutions and tactical changes, as Stephan Lichtsteiner played a big role in the match-winning goals as The Old Lady overwhelmed Spurs for two second half goals in three minutes.
“[Juventus] changed their formation and they had a lot of the ball, we just need to settle down a little bit,” said Eric Dier. “The lads are gutted because of the way we started the game. It’s a tough one to take.”
But Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is a bit less stung.
Pochettino is already trying to find the bright side of the loss to the hardened Serie A champions who went to two UCL finals in the past three campaigns.
“In less than three minutes we conceded two goals – two big mistakes – and that is why we are out. In both legs we deserved more. I feel proud. We played fantastic football until that first goal and we dominated.”
“Of course we are very disappointed but it is part of growing. We will keep going. But we are very disappointed. … We played another massive team. For us it was tough. It was very positive for the future. You need this type of game and experience to build you as a player to compete at this level.”
He’s correct, and of course it’s also the right thing to say, but Spurs did drop the ball on a fantastic opportunity to cement its status as a next level club against one of the most celebrated clubs in the history of the game.
This one will sting for a while. Will it sting enough to rob their momentum at qualifying for next season’s tournament?