Tottenham boss Pochettino defends brawling players

Date published: Tuesday 3rd May 2016 9:27

Mauricio Pochettino congratulated Leicester on the Premier League title after Tottenham’s indiscipline proved costly at Chelsea.

Spurs needed to end their 26-year wait for victory at Stamford Bridge to have any hope of overhauling the Foxes and were 2-0 ahead at half-time through goals from Harry Kane, with his 25th league goal of the season, and Son Heung-min.

Gary Cahill netted and substitute Eden Hazard belatedly rediscovered his blistering form of last season with the goal which earned a 2-2 draw, denied Spurs and saw Leicester crowned champions.

Spurs boss Pochettino, who now wants to seal second place, said: “I want to congratulate Leicester Football Club, Claudio Ranieri, all the players.

“It’s not the right moment to analyse the game. Our players are feeling very disappointed and sad now, but this is a good feeling. It’s a feeling we need to feel and for the future.

“We’re the youngest squad in the Premier League and we’re in a position that is fantastic.”

Tottenham’s failure to see out victory can be attributed, at least in part, to their indiscipline in a niggly encounter which will see numerous incidents scrutinised by the Football Association.

Nine Spurs players were booked, four after Hazard’s equaliser, and the players left the field squabbling, while Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink tumbled into the away dugout in the fracas. Spurs players have been described as “disgraceful” and as “frauds” in the aftermath.

Pochettino said: “Nothing to say. It’s normal, the emotion, fighting on the pitch maybe is not a good example for both teams – but it was hard.”

Both clubs can expect a charge for failing to control their players, but Spurs’ charge sheet is likely to be a lengthy one.

Mousa Dembele can expect to be charged after appearing to poke the eye of striker Diego Costa in a melee at the end of the first half.

The mass confrontation began when Danny Rose and Willian faced up to each other, with Pochettino coming on to the pitch to intervene.

Costa himself might have seen red for motioning his head towards Jan Vertonghen after the Spurs defender had grabbed his shirt, while Kyle Walker kicked Pedro off the ball and Cesc Fabregas claimed Erik Lamela trod on him.

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