Mauricio Pochettino 'sorry' for tough Tottenham tackles against Manchester United
Man Utd beat Tottenham 2-1 in the International Champions Cup
Last Updated: 26/07/19 8:47am
Mauricio Pochettino has apologised for some of the tough tackles his Tottenham players produced in a pre-season friendly against Manchester United.
There were three first-half bookings during the Shanghai encounter, although one of those was not for Moussa Sissoko, who appeared to stamp on Daniel James twice during a challenge.
The incident sparked a confrontation between the two teams as the United players protested against the treatment of their team-mate, and Pochettino said he did not like to see the robust tackles.
"I was a little bit annoyed about some situations," Pochettino said. "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."
James was the focus of many of the Tottenham tackles in the first half, but United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was impressed with how he handled the situation.
"Of course, we want them to be looked after," Solskjaer said. "But it's a man's sport, we can't lose tackling in football as long as you tackle fairly.
"Dan is so quick and it's not easy to time tackles against him. I can understand why players mistime tackles against him and he's a brave little boy and he jumps.
"He's taken a few knocks over the tour but, as an old man, I like to see tackles. There's no rolling about, or diving [with James]. If he stays down he's injured but he gets up when he's just hurt. There's a difference between being hurt and injured."
Gomes: I got stick for not scoring
Angel Gomes was the match-winner for United in China, following in the footsteps of fellow academy members Mason Greenwood and James Garner by scoring on the current pre-season tour.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, he said the pressure was on to find the net for his first senior United goal: "I got a bit of stick, a few academy players have scored and I hadn't so it was good to score in the last game.
"It shows what the club is trying to do, we're trying to bring youth players through, the stats are amazing, we're proud of that. We've had a great tour, the team has gelled well, we can't wait for the season to get started.
"I can't describe it [the goal]. I've seen it back now, I went and celebrated with the fans. Hopefully the first of many"