By 90Min
November 22, 2017

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he initially feared the worst after being drawn against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, but said that he is delighted his side have progressed through to the knockout rounds via top spot of their group. 

Spurs sealed their passage into the last 16 above all else in Group H after staging an impressive comeback from a goal down to eventually overcome BVB 2-1. 

An excellent team move produced a first-half opener from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and it looked as though the north Londoners may have to wait until next month to solidify their qualification as group winners - until two second-half strikes from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were enough to clinch all three points. 

Tottenham's progression is a far cry from last season's Champions League disappointment, with the Lilywhites at this stage 12 months ago already eyeing up Europa League football after failing to overcome Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow.

"The season before, we were watching the draw and we thought: 'Oh Monaco, Leverkusen and CSKA' and we thought we had a chance to go to the next stage", Pochettino told Sky Sports after becoming only the second English side to defeat Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park in the pinnacle of European club football history.

"Then this draw we looked between us and thought: 'OK we are going to compete and we say nothing' - and look now we are first, top of the table.

"It was difficult because Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund and Apoel are always difficult but we try to enjoy and be competitive and try to win, that was the idea in every single game. I am happy for the result, to be top of the table, but we're looking forward to playing the next game."

Pochettino opted to start both Harry Kane and Dele Alli for the Germany trip, who both looked to still be suffering from injuries during Tottenham's north London derby defeat on Saturday. 

The Argentine also included left-back Danny Rose in his starting XI, who was left out last weekend, but provided an excellent display on a famous night for the club. 

"I am so happy about him, of course", the Spurs boss said of Alli after masterminding his 100th managerial win since arriving at White Hart Lane.

"For me the position he played today he can play easy because of the characteristics of him. He can play behind striker or like a number eight because he has the quality and talent and capacity to cope with different positions, he has that.

"But I'm not only proud of him but the whole team. Danny Rose was fantastic too. We must recognise that. In the second half, and the whole game, after 10 months injury it's difficult.

"The performance was great. I think the whole team was very good, fantastic performance."

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