Gazzaniga performance thrills Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino was thrilled with the performance of third-choice goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga during Tottenham’s 2-1 victory at Brighton.

In the absence of Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm through injury, the resolute nature of Spurs’ display was helped by the assured Gazzaniga, who was making just his second start for the club.

“That is so difficult to play that way, and the condition of the pitch, the weather, windy, it was raining, I think for me he was man of the match.

“Maybe he didn’t make an unbelievable save, but I don’t know who was man of the match, but for me he deserved to be and I said well done to him on the pitch at the end, because the energy and feeling he translated to the team was very calm and relaxed.

“That is the message he sent. That is why I am so happy with him.”

Pochettino was left purring after his Tottenham side passed a stern examination of their set-piece defending at Brighton.

Spurs’ shoddy play when defending dead-balls had been a large contributing factor to their three successive defeats, with four of the six goals they conceded in losses to Watford, Liverpool and Inter Milan coming in that fashion.

But they stood firm in shocking conditions on the south coast to earn a 2-1 win, coming through goals from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela, even if they did have to endure some nervy moments in their own penalty area.

“We played against Brighton who for me in the past few weeks are the best team in set-pieces,” Pochettino said. “They are so strong and they work so hard in that aspect.

“I think in the few days previous we worked less but we worked a lot on the video, rather than on the pitch. That showed that it’s all about mentality, be aggressive.

“I think the team were fantastic in the way they defended. Football is organisation. It’s translating the philosophy that you want, it’s mentality, it’s fight, it’s to be available always to give your best.

“The spirit was fantastic and that is what pleased me the most.”


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