Mauricio Pochettino hails Tottenham 'heroes' after Man City triumph: 'This is why we love football'

Mauricio Pochettino hails Tottenham 'heroes' after Man City triumph: 'This is why we love football'

Tottenham’s ‘heroes’ led Mauricio Pochettino’s men to victory in what the Spurs boss called one of his ‘toughest games’.

The north Londoners took a 1-0 lead to the Etihad Stadium in an average opening leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

Raheem Sterling scored early in the second leg though as the match exploded into life, with four goals inside the opening 11 minutes leaving the score at 2-2 on the night.

Sterling and Sergio Aguero put the hosts in front once more before Fernando Llorente’s goal levelled the tie - with Spurs winning on away goals.

And Pochettino heaped praise upon his charges for their resilience.

“I think it was one of the toughest games,” he told BT Sport. “It was unbelievable how it finished. I am so happy, so proud, my players are fantastic, are heroes to be here.

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AS IT HAPPENED: Manchester City (4) 4-3 (4) Spurs

“I said before I’d be proud whatever happened. I’m so happy for them, for our fans, for everyone and enjoy before we’re back here on Saturday.”

Tottenham thought their dreams were crushed when Sterling struck in injury time - only for VAR to find an earlier offside from Aguero.

Speaking about his reaction before he realised City’s late goal had been disallowed, Spurs boss Pochettino added: “It was in the moment, many things happen in your head.

“The disappointment was massive but they changed the decision.

“That is why we love football, we feel the passion. We enjoy watching football, anything can happen.

“Today we showed our great character, great personality, to score three goals against Manchester City is not easy.

“That is why it was an unbelievable game. Congratulations to Manchester City who were fantastic but I think our effort was massive too.”

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