February 1, 2018 / 1:13 AM / 6 months ago

Pochettino's perfect night as Moura watches slick Spurs

LONDON (Reuters) - Little wonder that Mauricio Pochettino hailed it as his “perfect night” as he watched his Tottenham Hotspur side outplay Manchester United to record a 2-0 win just a couple of hours after Spurs had sealed the signing of Lucas Moura on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - January 31, 2018 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Brazilian international Moura, snapped up from Paris St Germain as the transfer window came to a close, was introduced to the Spurs faithful at halftime in front of a record Premier League crowd of 81,978.

On one of Spurs’ most enticing nights at their temporary home, the new recruit must have already been enthused by seeing the rejuvenated performance of his new team mates as they dominated United.

Like the rest of the crowd, Moura had barely had time to take his seat when Christian Eriksen scored one of the quickest goals ever in the top-flight after just seconds.

United were so hassled that Phil Jones’s clumsy own goal while trying to clear a cross just before the half-hour mark seemed to sum up how Spurs were outfighting and outrunning them.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - January 31, 2018 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino shakes hands with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Moura, who has been surplus to requirements in a PSG team featuring Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, had been reported to have been signed for 25 million pounds but Pochettino was delighted to correct that figure to 23 million.

Somehow, he made it sound as if the capture of the 25-year-old was even more of a bargain.

“Always in football, you expect the signings are a good deal. He hasn’t played too much for PSG this season so we have to assess him. We’re sure he’s going to help us,” Pochettino told the BBC.

Moura will have seen that there is no guarantee that he is going to slot straight into a team that seemed to have rediscovered their mojo after draws with Southampton in the league and fourth-tier Newport County in the FA Cup.

Particularly impressive were the returning Eriksen and Dele Alli, both back to their best as Spurs earned a rare success over fellow top-six opponents this season that bodes well for their next two league matches against Liverpool and Arsenal.

“For us, it was a fantastic result and a fantastic performance,” said Pochettino, delighted that his side are now two points behind both third-placed Liverpool and Chelsea.

“We have a lot of important matches to play and that’s why we have to stay focussed in everything - the League, FA Cup and Champions League.”

Reporting by Ian Chadband,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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