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Tottenham 'heroes' have earned a few days off, says Pochettino

14 February 2019

Dortmund's United States midfielder Christian Pulisic (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Ivorian defender Serge Aurier battle for the ball during the Uefa Champions League first leg match at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night.

Mauricio Pochettino saluted his Tottenham "heroes" as they took a huge step towards reaching the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 first leg yesterday.

Dortmund boss Lucien Favre bemoaned his team's collapse, saying: "The start of the second half we gave it away".

With Dele Alli and Harry Kane in contention to return for second leg, there must be serious optimism about their prospects in this tournament.

Dortmund were in the ascendancy in the first half as Spurs' five-man defence made the hosts look like the visitors at Wembley, but Mauricio Pochettino's side ultimately weathered the storm and headed into the break goalless. "We are happy now, but there is still a lot of work to do", said Pochettino. The Wembley crowd was there to see him in good numbers and the youngster did not disappoint, dancing past men nearly as if they weren't there at times in the first half.

Second-half strikes from Son Heung-min, Jan Vertonghen and substitute Fernando Llorente did the damage. They were fantastic. To play after Sunday, with one day less recovery [than Dortmund], we need to praise them. His smile, he translates good energy and his performance in every single game is improving and improving.

"We need to go out there knowing it's going to be so tough and we need to perform like we performed today, in our best way and try to think that we need to win the next game if we want to be in the next stage of the Champions League".

Having had their own issues with injury and player unavailability in recent times, Tottenham Hotspur had been all but dismissed by the critics as no-hopers, both in terms of the title race as well as the Champions League.

"Jan is technically unbelievable and can play in any position".

"3-0 is a very good result but it is only the first leg".

"I haven't got any particular worries", he said.

Tottenham 'heroes' have earned a few days off, says Pochettino