Mauricio Pochettino apologises for Spurs’ feistiness against United, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Mauricio Pochettino apologises for Spurs’ feistiness against United

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino apologised for some less-than-friendly challenges during his side's 2-1 International Champions Cup defeat by Manchester United yesterday.

Teen winger Angel Gomes squeezed in the winner 10 minutes from time as Manchester United kept up their 100 per cent record in pre-season in an occasionally bad-tempered match in Shanghai.

Said Pochettino: "Yes, it's true I was a little bit annoyed about some situations.

"Of course, when you are so hot and sometimes you arrive late, something can happen.

"I apologise on behalf of our players to Man United.

"It's not intentional and sometimes when you arrive late, these things can happen."

His opposite number Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took it in his stride, saying: "It's a competitive sport. We're preparing for the league.

"That's why we have referees. I thought it was a very good preparation.

"There was no tippy-tappy football - you went in when you were supposed to tackle. I have no qualms."

French striker Anthony Martial put United ahead in the first half, before Spurs substitute Lucas Moura replied with a scrappy effort on 65 minutes.

Despite the fierce humidity, there was an edge to the game not always present in pre-season friendlies.

Dele Alli should have scored when he was left unmarked in the 10th minute, but he scuffed his shot with only David de Gea to beat.

Attacking midfielder Alli, perhaps frustrated with himself, was booked on 12 minutes after a second late challenge at a packed Hongkou Stadium. The 23-year-old was booed off when he came off on 62 minutes.

United were incensed when Moussa Sissoko left winger Daniel James in a heap by the corner flag, suspecting a stamp by the Spurs midfielder.

Spurs captain Harry Kane angrily waded in and there was a scuffle, with Paulo Gazzaniga leaving his goal to join in and several United players also involved.

Andreas Pereira, a combative midfield presence for United, was next to be booked after he cut down Kane. Young Spurs defender Japhet Tanganga also saw yellow.

For Gomes, though, it was a match to remember.

With other United youngsters like Mason Greenwood and James Garner opening their accounts for the club, Gomes said he was the subject of teasing in training, as he had yet to break their duck.

But he made sure there was no more of that talk with a lovely goal after a one-two with Juan Mata.

Said Gomes: "Can't describe how it felt. As soon as I see it go into the back of the net, I just wanted to go celebrate with the fans... Hopefully, (it's) the first of many."