Pochettino leaves Spurs to join Watford

By Sports Desk January 31, 2021

Watford have signed Maurizio Pochettino from Tottenham.

Pochettino, son of former Spurs and current Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino, will join up with the Hornets' under-23 squad initially.

A 19-year-old winger, Pochettino played eight times this season for Tottenham in Premier League 2 but did not make a senior breakthrough at his father's old club.

Watford have had a busy weekend ahead of Monday's transfer deadline, with former Everton and Newcastle United midfielder Dan Gosling joining from Championship counterparts Bournemouth and Spain international Gerard Deulofeu making his move to Udinese permanent.

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    Carlo Ancelotti hailed Real Madrid's togetherness and defensive work after Los Blancos defeated Barcelona 2-1 in Sunday's Clasico to return to the top of LaLiga.

    David Alaba opened the scoring on his Clasico debut before Lucas Vazquez tapped in a second in stoppage time as Madrid seemed to be cruising to their fourth consecutive win over Barca in all competitions – their best run since 1965.

    Sergio Aguero's pulled one back at Camp Nou but that was not enough as the hosts went winless in a fifth straight LaLiga Clasico, their longest run without a victory against any team in the competition since May 2008.

    However, at times Madrid had to soak up significant pressure and Ancelotti was delighted with his side's resolute defending as Ronald Koeman became only the second coach to suffer defeat in his first three Clasico meetings.

    "We can compete, the team is very solid," Ancelotti started as he spoke to Movistar Plus post-match.

    "We have played against a great one, who has played a great game. We have suffered, but we have known how to suffer together. Not to lose control when you don't have the ball, it is also a virtue.

    "We have done very well. On the defensive aspect, I liked it a lot. We would all like to put pressure on the whole field, but it can't be done.

    "It was a practical game. This team has this quality to play against and we have to enjoy it. Barca has complicated the game for us. It was not simple.

    "I'm happy to win, El Clasico is the most important game. We are happy, but unfortunately, this is only three points."

    Thibaut Courtois was required to make just the one save in a quiet game for the Belgium international but sustained a slight knock late on, revealing he was suffering while kicking the ball.

    "Here you have to defend," Courtois told Movistar Plus after the match. "It is important to be well organized. Barca will be there until the end, winning here is good "

    "We were always good, they didn't have chances until that final goal. We have to be more focused, because with two minutes remaining, with the stadium squeezing everything could happen [after Aguero's goal].

    "I felt a pain when kicking, I could continue, I hope it is nothing serious."

  • Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: Alaba and Vazquez settle El Clasico Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: Alaba and Vazquez settle El Clasico

    Real Madrid returned to the summit of LaLiga as David Alaba's stunner and Lucas Vazquez's late tap in saw Carlo Ancelotti's team beat Barcelona 2-1 in the season's first Clasico.

    Sergino Dest squandered a golden chance for Barca at Camp Nou and Madrid made their hosts pay when Clasico debutant Alaba arrowed in a brilliant shot.

    Karim Benzema should have added to Madrid's lead in the second half, though Vazquez was on hand to nudge in at the end of a stoppage-time counter.

    That proved to be crucial, with Sergio Aguero's maiden Barca goal in the 97th minute not enough to inspire a comeback as Barca failed to win a fifth straight LaLiga Clasico, their longest winless run against any team in the competition since May 2008.

    Barca seemed all set to take the lead after breaking clear from a Marc-Andre ter Stegen pass, yet with only Thibaut Courtois to beat, Sergino Dest lashed a close-range effort way over the bar.

    Where one defender failed, another one made no such mistake. After getting Madrid on the counter by dispossessing Memphis Depay, Alaba continued his run to latch onto Rodrygo's pass and thump a wonderful finish into the top-right corner.

     

    Alaba made a telling contribution at the other end before half-time, blocking Ansu Fati's goal-bound attempt after Gerard Pique had headed just wide.

    Benzema snatched at a volley just after the hour, before he failed to turn home Vinicius' cross from close range, albeit the offside flag spared his blushes.

    Pique and substitute Aguero both flapped at a cut-back in injury time and Madrid grabbed a second goal from the resulting counter when Vazquez tucked in on the rebound from Marco Asensio's shot.

    Aguero, another Clasico debutant, gave Barca a glimmer of hope with a close-range strike, though the final whistle blew a minute later.

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    Nuno Espirito Santo claimed Tottenham were the better side despite limping to an insipid 1-0 defeat against West Ham on Saturday.

    Spurs failed to record any second-half shot - on target or otherwise - as they collected a fifth consecutive Premier League London derby defeat thanks to Michail Antonio's second-half strike.

    Tottenham forward Harry Kane has also now failed to score in each of his last five top-flight London derbies, his joint-longest wait for a goal since a run between May and December 2014.

    Spurs head coach Nuno, however, insisted his side dominated proceedings at the London Stadium and did not deserve to come out on the losing side.

    "All the game I think we played better, we were better than West Ham," Nuno told Tottenham's official media post-match.

    "We controlled the game, the possession, the first half we created chances but we needed to be more accurate with them.

    "All the game was under the control but just a moment from a set-piece we lacked our typical focus and then we concede.

    "The boys were prepared, they did a good job. The aspects we need to improve are we need to be aggressive in the final third and be more accurate with the passes.

    Nuno opted to not make a substitute until the 84th minute, introducing Bryan Gil and Giovani Lo Celso as he attempted to unlock West Ham's deep defence.

    The former Wolves head coach defended his decision to delay his alterations, while commenting on how difficult the Hammers' defence is to breach.

    "No, the game like I said was under control," Nuno told reporters at his post-match news conference.

    "Changes are required when we think we should [make them]. The boys were playing good and then we made the changes in the moment that we felt that the team needed.

    "Because West Ham defend in the box with a lot of men, there was not much space and we should've moved the ball faster and go to wide areas.

    "But is always difficult when the team and all men are behind the ball, it is difficult to find spaces and gaps.

    "It is always frustrating, a London derby that we know means a lot to our fans, means a lot to us and we were not able to win it. I am disappointed because it hurts, I know it hurts."

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