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Football Juventus pressured referee says Spurs boss Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino said Friday that senior Juventus officials put pressure on the referee during their Champions League victory against Tottenham, describing the Italian champions as specialists in success.

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino play

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

(AFP/File)

Mauricio Pochettino said Friday that senior Juventus officials put pressure on the referee during their Champions League victory against Tottenham, describing the Italian champions as specialists in success.

Spurs' 2-1 defeat at Wembley on Wednesday meant they exited the tournament 4-3 on aggregate despite dominating the tie overall.

Tottenham boss Pochettino said Juventus president Andrea Agnelli and general manager Giuseppe Marotta spent time in the tunnel before, during and after the game.

And he felt the Italian club did everything in their power to ensure they would progress to the quarter-finals, including attempting to put pressure on Polish official Szymon Marciniak.

The Argentine manager believes the Premier League team can learn from that culture.

"I think it's a massive situation that you must learn (from)," he said. "If we only see the stats from the two games, I think Tottenham was the much better team.

"It's in the small details that the competitions sometimes demand different things. And I think Juventus are specialists because they have the habit to win, the habit to put pressure on the referee.

"The owner stayed in the corridor in the tunnel before or during the game. It's a club with a culture to do everything to try to help the team.

"Before the game it was Agnelli, after the game it was Agnelli, Marotta. I saw at half-time how they put pressure on the referee. I believe those details can help the club."

After securing a 2-2 draw in Turin, Tottenham appeared on course to progress after going ahead in the second leg through Son Heung-Min.

But quick-fire second-half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala turned the tie in the visitors' favour to leave Spurs to focus on the FA Cup and securing a top-four Premier League finish.

Pochettino refused to blame his side's European exit on the behaviour of the opposition.

"It's not because of that that we lost," he said. "The chances that we had, we weren't capable to score more than one goal.

"It's a massive lesson to care not only on the pitch, but off the pitch. When you're going to win, you need help from everyone."

Spurs return to action at Bournemouth on Sunday. Midfielder Eric Dier sustained an elbow injury against Juventus and is a doubt for the game.

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