Football

Pochettino: Wembley hoodoo over

Spurs win first match at their temporary home this season, seeing off Dortmund 3-1

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham Hotspur's 3-1 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund has finally killed off their Wembley curse.

His side opened their Group H campaign with an impressive display at their temporary Wembley home yesterday morning (Singapore time) as Harry Kane's double and a Son Heung Min strike sealed the points.

It was only Tottenham's third win in their last 13 matches at Wembley and their first since moving into the English national stadium this season while White Hart Lane is being redeveloped.

Having lost eight times at Wembley in recent years, including defeats by Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen that contributed to their Champions League exit last season, Spurs boss Pochettino knew it was essential his team got up and running at the first attempt this time.

"I hope that can help us to stop the talk of the hoodoo and everything. It's fantastic to start well in the competition, but also to stop everything that was around the team here," he said.

"Today means more than three points. It's Wembley, it's the perception that we had to change for our future.

"To win here is so important for our confidence, for the players and the fans, and the perception of what we can do in the future."

Mousa Dembele, meanwhile, said that despite the impressive result, Spurs have had better performances at Wembley, without it being reflected on the scoreboard.

Said the Spurs midfielder: "We've played some good games at Wembley. We didn't always get the result we wanted but I think in the past we played some good games.

"Like today, I think we've played better in the past, but today we won."

Spurs could have played better, but they couldn't have asked two-goal hero Kane to have performed any better.

The England striker has been involved in four of Spurs' five goals this month (three goals and an assist) and has the best goals-per-game ratio (1.07) of any player in Europe's top five leagues this year.

Said Dembele of his teammate: "I play with him every day, I train with him. I can't think of another striker I'd rather play with, to be honest."

Pochettino added that 24-year-old Kane is one of the best forwards in the business. He said: "To score goals in the Champions League means he will get the credit he deserves.

"He is one of the best strikers in the world."

Pundit Craig Bellamy, meanwhile, likened Kane to legendary Real Madrid striker Raul Gonzalez.

"He's not lightning quick, he's very clever in his movement, he understands where he needs to be and he can create half a metre from anything," the former Manchester City and Wales striker told Sky Sports.

"Raul is incredible and will always remain incredible but Kane has got similar traits to where he was, he's that type of forward.

"If Kane can stay on this path, he's the only current player who can threaten Alan Shearer's Premier League scoring record."

Such is Kane's form in front of goal that he feels he can score against any team. Said the Spurs vice-captain: "It's a very pleasing night for me personally and for the team as well.

"You've got to produce the best against the best and Borussia Dortmund are one of the best teams in Europe.

"So, I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing and keep my head down. I fancy myself in any game I play." - WIRE SERVICES

OTHER RESULTS

  • Real Madrid 3 Apoel Nicosia 0
  • Porto 1 Besiktas 3
  • RB Leipzig 1 Monaco 1
  • Maribor 1 Spartak Moscow 1
  • Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Napoli 1
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