Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes title rivals Manchester City are displaying the best form of any side in Europe right now.
Pochettino watched his side defeat current back-to-back European champions Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley on Wednesday but the Spurs manager believes a team closer to home is in more impressive form than anyone else on the continent.
When asked about City’s current form, Pochettino said: “So far they are showing great quality and, for me, they’re the best team today in Europe.”
After their European exploits, Tottenham return to Premier League action this weekend with Crystal Palace traveling to Wembley at midday on Sunday.
Pochettino, though, insists he is placing the same emphasis on facing the bottom-placed side as Real Madrid received this week.
“Every game is important. Of course, it’s massive for us.
“When we finished the game after Real Madrid, we were sitting with the coaching staff in the manager’s room. We knew it was a fantastic victory but we started planning the next game and not only the next game but the game against Arsenal all that are to come.
“For us it’s so important to reduce the gap. It’s true the game against Manchester United was very painful – to lose the way we lost. But sometimes football can happen like that.
“Now it’s important, after that victory against Real Madrid, after qualifying for the next stage of the Champions League, to be focused on the game against Crystal Palace. It has the same value as the Real Madrid game, the game against Crystal Palace.”
Pochettino says Palace offer Spurs the opportunity to get last week’s Premier League defeat to Man Utd out of their system, but the manager remains wary of the threat posed by the Eagles, despite their early season struggles.
“We must be focused, we must use the result to lift us and build our confidence. But understand we must work hard to get another good result on Sunday. It’s always difficult to play Wednesday to Sunday. The effort was massive.
“We must be ready, it will be a very tough game, Crystal Palace have a very good team. They struggled a little bit from the beginning of the season. They changed manager and we know Roy Hodgson very well. We had a very good relationship with him from the national team, the teams from him are always organised. It will be very tough.
“It will demand a lot of energy. The objective is to win. It’s true the challenge now is to be focused, massive opportunity to forget the Real Madrid game and start to think that Crystal Palace is another final for us. After the defeat against Manchester United, it’s so important to win again in the Premier League.”