Thursday 18 October 2018

'It's hard to understand' - Roy Keane gives his verdict on Tottenham's agonising Champions League exit

Tottenham players dejected and (inset) Roy Keane
Tottenham players dejected and (inset) Roy Keane
Roy Keane had some sympathy for Tottenham despite their Champions League exit
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane offered some sympathy to Tottenham's crestfallen players after they crashed out of the Champions League following a 4-3 aggregate defeat at the hands of Juventus.

Spurs appeared to be cruising to victory in the tie when Son Heung-min fired them into a 39th-minute lead, but Juve got the two goals they needed in three second half minutes to edge into the quarter-finals.

Keane - who was a Spurs fan in his youth - has often been critical of Tottenham down the years, but he suggested Mauricio Pochettino's side were only lacking one quality as they were beaten by the Italian champions.

"It's hard to understand how Tottenham lost the game," Keane told ITV Sport. "Inexperience was huge. You could say Juventus found a way to win, but I'd also say Tottenham found a way to lose.

"The experience was shown when Tottenham went 1-0 up and they should have sat back in killed the game off, but three or four minutes of madness cost them.

"We saw Juventus, when they got their noses in front, there was no way they were going to give that up.

"They have had a bit of luck to get through in the end with Kane's header (hitting the post), but they were fantastic getting their blocks in. These players have won title after title, but their effort levels were fantastic."

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini was less polite when he offered up his verdict on the game, as he suggested his side always knew Spurs would crack under pressure.

"For us it is an amazing night. it was very difficult and we knew before this match and also before the first game but we believed it and believed in the win," he told BT Sport.

"We knew Tottenham have fantastic players, and are an amazing side, but we know they concede many chances every game. And also at the end the first half we believed it, we said keep calm and the chances would surely arrive. We had to be concentrated and score when we had our chances. It was a difficult game but we achieved our target.

"It's the history of Tottenham. They always created many chances to score so much, but at the end they miss always something to arrive at the end. We believe in the history. We saw it yesterday between Paris and Real, the history is important, with experience it is important, and tonight we use our skill and arrive at the win.

"We have improved year by year and match by match and we improve with many players. It is very difficult but we are here."

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