Hugo Lloris says Tottenham Hotspur’s performance in Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Manchester City came as no surprise, and believes it will give the players confidence for the rest of the season.
Pep Guardiola’s City arrived at White Hart Lane with a 100 percent record from six league games this season, and ten wins from 11 matches under the Spaniard, but they were comfortably beaten thanks to Aleksandar Kolarov’s own goal and Dele Alli’s second goal of the season.
The win moved Spurs to within a point of league leaders City, and left them as the only unbeaten team in the top-flight.
“The spirit is fantastic. We work very hard every day, so for us it’s not a surprise to be at this level,” Spurs captain Lloris told reporters after the match.
“Last season we did well against this team in the league. I think it’s following on from last season. We are still learning. It’s a young team. We have a lot of talent.
“We have some strong basics which help us to get confidence in that type of game. I think we are rewarded for that effort, because we work so hard. Every day it gives us a lot of enjoyment and confidence for the rest of the season.”
Despite facing one of the form players in Europe in Sergio Aguero, Lloris kept a clean sheet for the fourth league game this season.
In the last six seasons, only two Premier League teams have conceded fewer than four goals after seven games: Tottenham this season and Southampton in 2013-14 — both managed by Mauricio Pochettino.
Lloris said: “Last season we were already one of the best defences in the league so I think it’s one of our basics to be strong at the back. It doesn’t mean we are a defensive team — we are the opposite. We try a lot and have a lot of risk in our game, trying to play as high up as we can on the pitch, putting pressure, as we did especially in the first half today. This is our football style.
“But we have the ability to play with different options, like we did in the second half, playing a bit deeper, waiting and counter-attacking. Football is always about spirit and team performance and today was the perfect example.
“If you look at the City performances they won their last six games, but they conceded a lot of chances and some goals. It’s just about belief. We know at home anything is possible. We try to be very aggressive at the start of the game and put a lot of pressure on the other side.
“In that way we were rewarded with two goals and then we had to manage that. It was a bit unlucky that we did not score the third goal to be safe, but that’s football and we were very proud and pleased with the result in the end.”
Following Spurs’ 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow in Tuesday’s Champions League match, Lloris called on Spurs to be more clinical, and said they must now maintain the level displayed against City for the rest of the season.
“That was the case in Moscow, but in that kind of game when we play the top teams, it’s a different game than we are used to playing. We have a lot of respect for all the teams we play, but when you face Manchester City it is one of the best teams in Europe,” he said.
“It’s difficult to create chances. Maybe you have two or three and you have to score and today we did it. We need to concentrate, all the offensive players, on that.
“As long as we keep the same mentality and spirit we can have ambition. In football you need to have a lot of respect for your opponents and that’s why you need to keep working hard every day. As I said we have a young team with a lot of talent. We need to make sure we are not changing our mind, just being the same and that’s why we enjoy our time at Tottenham, because the spirit is excellent.”