Mauricio Pochettino apologised to Manchester United following some robust challenges from his Tottenham players during Thursday’s showdown.
Despite the Spurs and United game being nothing more than a mere pre-season friendly, it got off to a competitive start between the two teams in Shanghai, China.
Pochettino’s side received three first-half bookings, with the referee giving Dele Alli a yellow card, first of all, following a rash challenge on Scott Mctominay. However, Moussa Sissoko’s apparent stamp on Daniel James twice in a challenge provoked a bust-up.
The 21-year-old, who joined from Swansea City this summer, seem to be a special target for Spurs. He ended up being fouled on several occasions before the break.
Despite the Londoners’ attempts, however, United still grabbed a first-half lead through an in-form Anthony Martial. They went on to win the International Champions Cup clash 2-1 after Angel Gomes smashed home a late winner.
Speaking in a post-match conference afterwards, a clearly irritated Spurs manager Pochettino apologised to United for his player’s actions.
“I was a little bit annoyed about some situations,” said Pochettino, according to Sky Sports.
“I was not happy. It was a friendly game and in some situations of course when you are tired, when it’s so hot, you are not right with the tempo to arrive at the actions, sometimes you arrive late and something can happen.
“I apologise on behalf of our players to Manchester United, I think in the second half they made it to us, but then it’s football.
“It wasn’t their intention, but sometimes when you are tired you arrive late and some things can happen and I was worried because in this period of preparation, it is sometimes you need to be aggressive and you need to play with passion, but sometimes the focus is to build your fitness and develop the way you want to play.
“I was a little bit worried, but in the second half, the game was a bit more relaxed.”
Lucas Moura was the goalscorer for Spurs on Thursday afternoon. Now, Pochettino will prepare his team for the Audi Cup semi-finals against Real Madrid next Tuesday.