- Tottenham came back from two goals down to draw against Juventus in Turin
- Spurs conceded twice in the first seven minutes of their Champions League tie
- The last-16 tie will be decided when Juventus visit Wembley next month
- Mauricio Pochettino said he was proud of his players after the first leg
Mauricio Pochettino’s emotions veered from despair to immense pride as his Tottenham team fought back from two down to seize the initiative against Juventus.
Spurs conceded twice in the first seven minutes but left Turin with an honourable 2-2 draw after goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.
‘I feel so proud,’ said Pochettino. ‘We showed great character against a team that played two finals in three years, with amazing experience on the pitch.
Mauricio Pochettino said he was ‘proud’ of his players after the draw against Juventus
‘We are a young team in this competition. We started a little bit sloppy. You hope that never happens, to concede a goal so quickly. Two-nil down against a great team, difficult to break down.
‘It is so important to recognise that. The character we showed was fantastic. The team is growing and stepping up and we showed were are mature enough to compete in the Champions League.
‘It was amazing the way they reacted. The energy was fantastic and it is important to say Juventus played on Friday and we had one day less.
Gonzalo Higuain gave the home side a two-goal lead inside the opening 10 minutes
‘We came here after games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal and the derby is always emotional, and you spend more energy.
‘I can only praise the team. For 83 minutes we dominate Juventus and not many teams come here and do that.
‘The tie is open and the second leg will be fantastic. The atmosphere will be great. Our fans will hope to go to the quarter-finals and it is there, only 90 minutes away.’
Christian Eriksen completed a fine comeback to level the scores at 2-2 against Juventus
Pochettino said Eriksen’s performance was ‘outstanding’ while Juventus boss Max Allegri reacted angrily to the idea his team had thrown away the victory.
‘Winning the Champions League is not easy,’ fumed Allegri. ‘We have a drawn against Tottenham and it is like a big loss. This really drives me nuts. It is not like this. Juventus has never been favourites in this tie. We had 50 per cent possibility before the match and also after this match.’
Pochettino salutes the club’s travelling supporters after the Champions League fixture