Tottenham deserved to reach the Champions League last eight, says Heung-Min Son

Samuel Lovett
The Independent
Son scored Tottenham's only goal of the evening: Getty
Son scored Tottenham's only goal of the evening: Getty

Heung-Min Son has said that Tottenham deserved to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League after their disappointing knock-out defeat by Juventus on Wednesday night.

After holding the Serie A champions to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their last-16 tie, Tottenham headed into the return fixture with the bit between their teeth.

Son put the hosts ahead just before the break, having dominated early proceedings, but two quick-fire goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala left Wembley stunned. Despite late pressure from Tottenham, Juventus held on to secure a 4-3 victory on aggregate and book their place in the last eight of the competition.

“We deserved... we dominated the game,” Son said after the final whistle. “They just scored two goals and everyone’s thinking ‘Yeah, they went through normally’. I don’t feel like that.

“I’m very proud of our performance. We should have scored a lot of goals in the first half. The second half [situation], it takes experience of course, you could say that. But I think our players are experienced enough. Sometimes if you don’t score, you lose. That’s the main thing.”

When asked if his side will learn from the defeat, Son replied: “Yes, definitely. We’re so young. Remember last season when we had the problem with the CL at Wembley. This season, no-one can say anything about that because we play very well in CL from the group.

“Everything [sic] didn’t think in the group stage we’d be through but we’re through and in the group stage we played very well against Juventus. That’s the main thing. Of course I’m disappointed we’re not going through. If you lose, if you win, if you draw, I’m still proud of our team.”

With Tottenham’s European campaign now over, Son has urged his teammates to re-focus their attention on the league and the fight for a top-four spot.

“It’s going to be hard,” he added. “It’s hard, difficult to change the mentality after today’s game but the next game is on Sunday again. We need to be ready mentally and physically. In all our minds, if we feel ready, we can beat Bournemouth. This is the main thing.”

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