Pochettino: I knew starting XI would surprise everyone

Date published: Wednesday 18th October 2017 10:30

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has discussed his tactics in the draw against Real Madrid.

A Pochettino masterclass helped Spurs to a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Spurs are now on course for the Champions League knock-out stages for only the second time in their history, with Pochettino earning plaudits for his tactics.

The Argentinean employed a 5-3-2 formation with Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks in central midfield, Jan Vertonghen at left wing-back and Fernando Llorente up front.

The system and personnel had not been tested in a competitive game before, yet almost emerged from Spain with victory over the European champions.

“I knew you would be surprised with the starting XI and how we will play,” he said. “I think it’s important to work to find different options to play, to surprise our opponent, to be flexible and have different ways to play.

“I think you know very well we can play with three at the back, four at the back, two strikers, one striker, three midfielders, two midfielders. We are so flexible in our ways. For different circumstances we decide to work and play in that way.

“I think we are happy because in the end it is working. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We are happy because we compete and we put in a difficult situation the offensive players of Real Madrid and then we created the chances to score and win the game. I think we are happy in the way we competed.”

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