Lamela strike impresses boss

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Published: Friday 24th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Erik Lamela’s outrageous rabona strike was one of the best goals head coach Mauricio Pochettino has ever seen and may well prove the defining moment in his Tottenham career.

The club-record £30million signing was labelled a flop in some quarters after a disappointing, albeit injury-interrupted, first season with the north Londoners.

Lamela is at last, though, beginning to show glimpses of his undoubted quality under Pochettino, who has given him opportunities to shine on both domestic and European fronts.

The 22-year-old is still frustratingly inconsistent but offered a mouthwatering glimpse of his potential on Thursday night, scoring a brace as Spurs won their Europa League clash against Asteras Tripolis 5-1.

Lamela’s second of the Group C clash was an impressive volley from an acute angle, but the first was one of the finest goals ever seen at White Hart Lane – a rabona strike from the edge of the box where he wrapped his left foot around his right leg to score .

“One time I scored one goal like that myself,” Pochettino said, laughing. “You will find it on YouTube.

“No, it was a very big goal, a great goal, an unbelievable goal. I am happy for him and it helped us to get the three points.

“Maybe it is the best [by one of my players ever]. Probably.”

Pochettino was understandably pleased with the result, but was frustrated by the sloppiness his team displayed in the closing stages.

Harry Kane, fresh from netting his first hat-trick for Spurs, had to don the goalkeeper’s gloves for the final minutes after Hugo Lloris was sent off for bundling over Tasos Tsokanis.

The resulting free-kick from Jeronimo Barrales squirmed through Kane’s grasp – a frustrating end to what had been for large parts an impressive display by Spurs.

“I think that Hugo’s behaviour was correct,” Pochettino said. “Unlucky because it was a red card but I am not happy with the last minutes because our defensive line was very high.

“We gave the possibility to play in behind our defensive line and at 5-0, with three minutes before the end of the game, we were not ready and focused in that action.

“We gave them the possibility to play well one v one with the keeper and for that I am not happy.”

Pochettino will no doubt speak to his players about that drop-off ahead of Sunday’s return to Barclays Premier League action against Newcastle.

Magpies owner Mike Ashley was at White Hart Lane for the Asteras match and will no doubt face more calls to sack manager Alan Pardew if Newcastle fail to add to last weekend’s maiden win of the campaign.

“We know that Newcastle is a very good team, they have very good players,” Pochettino said.

“It is true at the beginning of the season they had problems, but always a team when new players arrive maybe have problems at the beginning of the season.

“But Newcastle is a very tough team and we expect a very difficult game against them.”

Published: Friday 24th October 2014 by The News Editor

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