Pochettino looks on the bright side after Juve loss

Tottenham's Erik Lamela (in yellow) grabbing a consolation goal for his side in their 2-1 defeat by Serie A champions Juventus in Melbourne.
Tottenham's Erik Lamela (in yellow) grabbing a consolation goal for his side in their 2-1 defeat by Serie A champions Juventus in Melbourne. PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE • Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino preferred to dwell on the positives after his side's 1-2 loss to Juventus in football's International Champions Cup in Melbourne yesterday.

The Italians, who won a fifth consecutive Serie A last May, struck early through Paulo Dybala and Medhi Benatia to lead 2-0 at half-time.

But Pochettino's under-strength English outfit bounced back in the second half, sparked by Argentinian Erik Lamela who scored one and nearly grabbed another.

"It was a very good second half and in the end I'm happy," the Spurs manager said. "It's not about the result, it's about pre-season.

"It was a great experience for us. Lots of things to learn and lots of positives. I'm very pleased with our young players.

"Our supporters were fantastic. Hopefully they were pleased with the second half and proud of our young players."

Tottenham are in Australia without nine of their 10 players who played in Euro 2016. Austrian Kevin Wimmer is in the travel party but did not feature against Juventus.

Juventus were also without a number of star names, including Gianluigi Buffon, Paul Pogba and Dani Alves. But they settled quicker, racing into a two-goal lead at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Tottenham paid dearly early on for failing to clear the ball when defender Dominic Ball lost possession and Roberto Pereyra picked out fellow Argentinian Dybala.

The striker went one-on-one with Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm and found the bottom corner in just the sixth minute.

Tottenham were punished again when they failed to clear a corner and Moroccan Benatia headed home eight minutes later.

The English side pulled a goal back in the 67th minute when playmaker Lamela finished neatly after Victor Wanyama won possession on the half-way line.

Lamela almost scored again but his shot was beaten down by Juve's Brazilian goalkeeper Neto.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Pochettino looks on the bright side after Juve loss'. Print Edition | Subscribe