"We started to push them and it was an even game in the second half".
The Eredivisie called off the entire list of domestic fixtures to give the Dutch team maximum preparation time for Tuesday's Champions League semi-final, while last-four opponents Spurs had to play West Ham in a London derby.
Despite Pochettino suffering an absentee list as long as his arm, including the injured Harry Kane and suspended Heung Son-min, his players were showing no sign of nerves either, dominating the opening exchanges.
Tottenham had set up in a 3-4-3 formation from the start with Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier as wing backs despite Ajax playing with just Dusan Tadic as a lone forward.
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Van de Beek struck 10 minutes later, though, to get Ajax on the board. We help you discover publicly available material and act as a search engine.
"Second half we pushed them deeper and pressed in a way we wanted to press".
'We're lucky they hit the post and hopefully we can turn things around in Amsterdam'.
Whether it was due to tiredness from the recent schedule, or because they were missing a couple of key players, to only manage one shot on target in the home leg of a Champions League semi-final will be a huge source of concern for the manager and his coaching team as the season enters its climax. "1-0 is OK and next week we have to finish it", he told BT Sport.
Spurs were happy to sit deep and wait for their chances to counter-attack, but that gameplan was undone when Hakim Ziyech's through ball picked out midfielder Van de Beek who took his time to leave Hugo Lloris prone before slotting into the bottom corner.
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Ake's late victor also means Tottenham have lost six consecutive away Premier League matches for the first time since May 2004. Jamie Redknapp slated Tottenham for their poor away form after they lost at Bournemouth on Saturday in the Premier League.
Sheer joy was etched on the face of every single face that had travelled from London to Manchester to witness Tottenham Hotspur overcoming a favoured City outfit in the second-leg of their Champions League Quarter-Final.
Ajax, having already knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus en route to their first semi-final in Europe's elite competition since 1997, were too pacey for a labouring home side, especially in a first half in which they could have put the tie to bed. Plus, they get Son back for the game in Amsterdam next Wednesday, when they will need to score at least one.
"Second half was different, we played more direct and we hurt them a lot more, but we needed the last touch".
Yet in his determination to impress, particularly with added pressure to his place at club and global level, rash sliding challenges are creeping into his game. In a semi-final it doesn't matter who plays, we have to step up.
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