Mauricio Pochettino left disappointed following FA Cup exit

Following a home defeat to Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino was left to rue a number of costly missed chances.

Mauricio Pochettino left disappointed following FA Cup exit
Dele Alli is left disappointed after seeing an early header cleared off the line by a resolute Crystal Palace defence. [Image courtesy of: http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/uploadedImages/Shared_Assets/Images/News_images/SEASON_15-16/All_matches/First_team/

Mauricio Pochettino was left disappointed as Tottenham Hotspur crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon, dropping out of the FA Cup. 

The first half saw both sides come close to breaking the deadlock before Martin Kelly struck the fatal blow in added time at the end of the first half.

Kyle Walker was saved from scoring a second own goal of the season when Michel Vorm, deputising for the injured Hugo Lloris, scrambled back to claw the England full back’s headed back pass off his own line.

At the other end, Dele Alli thought he had given his side the lead following great work by Heung-Min Son to avoid a number of challenges in the middle of the park. The ball fell kindly for Alli who saw his placed finish hit both posts before being cleared off the line. 

With the match looking like going into the break goalless, Wilfried Zaha kept possession well on the edge of the Tottenham box before finding Kelly who beat Vorm at his near post.

Despite having the majority of possession, Tottenham couldn't find a way through a stubborn Crystal Palace defence as a frustrating second half came to an end. 

Connor Wickham thought he had added gloss to the scoreline but he was adjudged to have been in an offside position when he diverted substitute Yannick Bolasie’s strike past Vorm in the home goal.

Pochettino thought his side deserved more

Having seen his side win seven domestic matches on the spin, Pochettino was understandably disappointed to see his side fail to make a breakthrough, despite putting out almost a full strength starting eleven.

With fixtures coming thick and fast, Tottenham host Fiorentina and Swansea City in the next week, changes were inevitable but those who were given a chance failed to grasp it with both hands.

The Argentine was left “very disappointed” with the final result but insisted his side “deserved more” after having 20 shots throughout the tie. 

With the former Southampton boss’ focus turning quickly towards the second leg of the Europa League round against Fiorentina on Thursday night, Pochettino admitted his side now needs to “focus”  and “be ready to compete” when the Italian side makes the trip to North London.

Pochettino, in the background, was beaten by Pardew (photo: getty)
Pochettino, in the background, was beaten by Pardew (photo: getty)

Alli admits that it wasn't Spurs' day

Despite being left bewildered at how his first half strike failed to find the back of the net, midfielder Dele Alli explained how the side need to now “move on”

With morale being such a key aspect to Tottenham’s success so far this season, the former MK Dons man admitted there were “a lot of disappointed lads in the changing room”

Like Pochettino, Alli was keen to turn his attention to the Fiorentina match without reflecting on the result which saw Tottenham fail to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup once again. The England international claimed he and his teammates will “work hard and look forward to the next game”.

Still going strong in two competitions

Despite the disappointing result, which could have been so different on another day, and now sees Crystal Palace travelling to Reading in the next round of the cup, Tottenham still remain in good form in both the Europa League and Premier League.

With focus now turning exclusively to the remaining two cup competitions, Pochettino will be hopeful his side can once again overcome the minor blip against Palace to end the season on a high with some silverware.