Lloris: Why stalemate against Man United was ‘very positive’
PUBLISHED: 19:10 29 December 2014 | UPDATED: 19:10 29 December 2014
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Hugo Lloris believes Tottenham’s character and resilience in Sunday’s goalless draw against Manchester United was “very positive”, following some heavy defeats against the top sides.
Spurs have conceded 34 goals in eight losses against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool since November 2013 – an average of more than four per match – but they kept in-form, third-placed United out to secure a clean sheet and pick up a point at White Hart Lane at the weekend.
The visitors had 11 shots in the first half, but a combination of fine goalkeeping from Lloris and last-ditch defending kept the scores level into the second period – and Tottenham went on to dominate, looking the more likely side to grab a winner in the closing stages.
“It was a tough game and I’m really happy about the spirit,” said Lloris. “We didn’t play a great game with great football, but we were still in the game because we were fighting a lot, so that’s very positive.
“We showed a lot of character and we were believing that we could get the three points until the end. I remember we had some bad games last season and we had the feeling that we gave up a bit.
“I think we are improving. Defensively, we are stronger than at the beginning of the season. We know what the manager is expecting, what he wants, but we need time.
“I think it’s a fair result for both teams. Each team had one period and after that, it’s football. Man U are a great team and they had some good chances in the first half, but we were strong.
“We had a bit of luck with the post as well on the free kick [when Juan Mata hit the woodwork] but in the second half we were stronger. I think we finished better than them at the end of the game and we were close to scoring.”
Tottenham face another big test on New Year’s Day when league leaders Chelsea visit the Lane.
The Blues beat Spurs 3-0 at Stamford Bridge less than a month ago, but that was harsh on Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who have been unbeaten in their following five league games.
Tottenham were the better team for the first 18 minutes that night and went close to opening the scoring on three occasions. However, Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba struck within three first-half minutes and, although Spurs had most of the ball after the interval, substitute Loic Remy added a third goal for the Blues on the break.
“I think the Chelsea performance was not so bad,” said Lloris. “We started the game well and then we made a couple of mistakes, and they punished us. But we know it’s high-level football against Chelsea.
“They can let you have the ball and give you confidence with the ball, but if you make one mistake they have the players to punish you, so we are aware of that and we will try to get a great result in front of our fans.
“We know this period is difficult [with the amount of games] but it’s the same for everyone so we’ll just keep working, keep going match after match.”
One of the key mistakes at Stamford Bridge came from Lloris himself, with his careless kick to Hazard gifting Drogba the second goal moments after the first.
“We always try to do the best for the team and sometimes, in some games, you don’t do what you were expecting before the game,” said the goalkeeper. “But we know that’s football and the season is very long, and we try to get the balance really positive for the team.”
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