Pochettino insists Spurs must improve despite win

fahad 23/11/2015
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Mauricio Pochettino's post-match reaction after Harry Kane's brace led Tottenham Hotspur to a 4-1 home win over London rivals West Ham United on Sunday.

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Sagna admits he wasn't ready to face Liverpool

Alam Khan 23/11/2015
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In action: Sagna against Liverpool.

Bacary Sagna says he should not have played against Liverpool after a difficult week following the terrorist attacks in Paris.

– EPL: Harry Kane brace sees Spurs close on top four
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As Manchester City were beaten 4-1 at the Etihad – their worst home loss since Arsenal crushed them 5-1 in 2003 – the right-back bluntly, and honestly, admitted his performance in the Premier League encounter was “bad”.

Sagna was in the France team that faced Germany at the Stade de France, the night where there were two suicide attacks and a bomb exploded outside the ground as the match took place. Further gun and bomb attacks in the city saw 129 people killed.

And, having then played for his country against England as the national team paid tribute to the victims, taking on the Reds may have been a game too far emotionally and physically.

“It was one of those days when everything was against us, but I think we played bad,” said Sagna. “We made a few mistakes against a good team and they score. I was feeling down and it was quite difficult to play.

“Personally it’s not my best week. But it’s life, it’s life, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It was not easy to be part of that event [in Paris].

“It’s part of the past now and just have to keep your head up. Mentally I was [ready to play against Liverpool]. Physically I believe I was. But I wasn’t. I tired quite quickly and didn’t have as much power as I used to.”

Fellow French international and centre-back Eliaquim Mangala also started against Liverpool and his own goal sealed a disappointing defensive display, and a team showing that boss Manuel Pellegrini described as a “complete disaster”.
“It was quite difficult,” added Sagna, who felt he had been fouled by Philippe Coutinho in the build-up to the opening goal.

“We were both involved in the first goal so it’s never easy [after that].

“To me it’s a foul, he (Coutinho) pushed me. When the game keeps going and right behind me we concede a goal it’s not easy. I feel guilty and after that I had to keep my head up and I was too upset. I was thinking about what happened and I shouldn’t have.

“I don’t want to blame the [defensive] change. It’s one of those days when we are not good and there’s nothing to add, that’s it. We were not good enough to compete and that’s it.

“We know we can do better. We are all disappointed, but that’s part of football and you have to learn.

“I don’t want to blame the team, I look at myself first and I was bad. I don’t want to blame another guy. The best way to look forward is to look at your own performances. I was bad.”

Sagna is likely to be rested, and replaced by Pablo Zabaleta, when City visit Juventus on Wednesday for their Champions League Group D game.

But, having already qualified with a fine win at Sevilla, he says the side want to remain top of their group in a bid to avoid a tougher clash in the last 16.

“We have to keep our head up and qualify and finish on top, because that’s our target,” he added.

“First of all we have to recover. We play a lot of games and it’s a different competition.

“We want to stay first and it’s important to finish top of the group in the Champions League. It could be good [after the win in Sevilla], but we have to play game by game.
“We are still engaged in all the competitions. We have to keep going and we want to be successful.”

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Wenger calls on his Arsenal side to find form quickly

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Frustrated: Wenger.

Arsene Wenger called on Arsenal to put their game in order for the must-win Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb. The Gunners slipped to a 2-1 defeat at West Brom on Saturday after Santi Cazorla’s penalty misery.

– EPL: Harry Kane brace sees Spurs close on top four
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The midfielder lost his footing to balloon a late spot-kick over as Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the Premier League or even claim a point at The Hawthorns.

Boss Wenger claimed the defeat was a nightmare and, ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Zagreb with Arsenal six points behind the top two in Group F, he knows they must recover.

“It is severe disappointment, we want to bounce back,” he said. “Now we cannot change it and the only thing we can do is bounce back on Tuesday night. It is a difficult moment for us, yes.

“In the last two games we took one point out of six and that is difficult and very disappointing when you are on such a great run. We have to come back quickly and focus.”

Mikel Arteta scored an own goal to win it for Albion after James Morrison cancelled out Olivier Giroud’s opener.

Arsenal’s injury woes also grew after Francis Coquelin and Arteta joined a lengthy list who are already in the treatment room. Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere are among those sidelined.

“It looks difficult to have players come back Tuesday night,” said Wenger. “I can rotate a bit within the squad but honestly I don’t know (about Coquelin). I have to wait to see how big the damage is, at the moment he is on crutches.”

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