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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 18 January, 2019

'For the first time it feels really special': Pochettino revels in Tottenham progress

Lucas Moura’s late goal at the Camp Nou secured a place in the last 16 for Spurs.

The Tottenham manager salutes the travelling fans last night.
The Tottenham manager salutes the travelling fans last night.
Image: Getty Images

MAURICIO POCHETTINO HAS described Tottenham’s passage to the last-16 of this season’s Champions League as the most “special” moment of his tenure at the club.

Lucas Moura’s late equaliser secured a 1-1 draw with Barcelona at the Camp Nou, a result which coupled with Inter and PSV’s stalemate was enough to secure passage from Group B.

Since arriving in north London in 2014, Pochettino had taken Tottenham to second in the Premier League, the FA Cup semi-finals in the last two campaigns and the Carabao Cup final.

But the Argentine concedes that the point away at the Catalan giants is the zenith of his spell in charge.

“To celebrate inside with everyone, after four-and-a-half years it was the first time you feel something really special,” he told the media.

“The connection was amazing and we need to be clever how we manage that energy now.”

Despite Barcelona being without Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Tottenham had to show immense character to earn the draw having gone behind inside seven minutes virtue of Ousmane Dembele’s solo strike.

Christian Eriksen and Lucas both went close before the Brazil international struck from close range, after Harry Kane’s cross.

“The players were fantastic. A massive effort,” Pochettino told BT Sport. “I am so happy for the fans. A massive, massive achievement for the club.

“I am so happy. We suffered because when we finished the game we did not know the result at Inter.

“It was two very difficult minutes, but in the end of course we were so happy. It’s so important for the club.

“I always believed it was possible to win the game. We produced a lot of chances, but after we missed so many we thought maybe it was not our night.

“We fully deserved to go through with Barcelona. We were the best teams in a difficult group.”

Spurs are next in action on Saturday when they host Burnley at Wembley Stadium.

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