'Dreamer' Mauricio Pochettino: 'In the way that we lost, I am happy'

Mauricio Pochettino insists he is still a dreamer despite Tottenham's Champions League nightmare.

Spurs were on the verge of knocking out Juventus and reaching the quarter-finals for only the second time when they led 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

But the Italian champions stunned Wembley with two goals in three second-half minutes from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.

And in the dying seconds Harry Kane thought he had taken the tie to extra time, only to see his header come back off the inside of the far post before being cleared off the line.

Yet Spurs boss Pochettino said: "A nightmare? Why? That is football.

"I am still a dreamer. Of course I am disappointed, when you compete in the Champions League and against this type of club, you can win or you can lose.

"We lost but in the way that we lost, I am happy. For me football is not a nightmare. You can win or lose.

"We respect our idea and we play football and we created a lot of chances but it wasn't enough to win the game. That is all."

Spurs got off to a dream start after Son Heung-min fired them ahead in the 39th minute, turning in Kieran Trippier's cross with a scuffed shot which fooled Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon.

Juve now had 45 minutes to save their European season - and in the 64th minute they gave themselves a chance.

Higuain, the man who missed the chances to put the first leg out of Tottenham's reach, this time made no mistake when he hooked in Sami Khedira's header at the far post.

And barely three minutes later Juve had turned the tie on its head, Dybala - who missed the first leg through injury - racing through on to Higuain's pass and dispatching his shot across the exposed Hugo Lloris into the net.

Kane's late miss meant Massimiliano Allegri's Juve remain on course for a third Champions League final in four years.

Allegri admitted: "We did suffer a lot, but that's normal in football.

"They put us under pressure, most of all when we lost the ball, but after all Tottenham are a quality side, so the team has done really well here."

 

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