Mauricio Pochettino has lamented the red card shown to Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen which rules him out of the next Champions League group game at APOEL Nicosia. The Belgium international was dismissed in stoppage time in the 3-1 win at Wembley after accidentally making contact with Mario Gotze with his hand.
The episode overshadowed an otherwise fine evening for Spurs, who claimed their first competitive win at there new temporary home inside 90 minutes for 18 years. Son Heung-Min opened the scoring inside two minutes, only for Andriy Yarmolenko to level with a curling shot in a frantic opening.
Harry Kane then took centre stage with goals either side of the break to secure the victory and lift the Wembley curse which had been threatening to undermine their campaign. But after the game Pochettino was left frustrated by a red card which he described as "a shame" and will leave Tottenham without Vertonghen for the trip to Apoel on 26 September.
"I think we need to see it because it wasn't intentional of Jan," the Tottenham boss explained. "He told us. I do not know, I will have to watch the TV. I think his performance was really good and it is a bit of a shame he received the second yellow card."
Uefa rules state clubs are unable to appeal red cards unless it is a case of mistaken identity. The first red card of Vertonghen's Tottenham career will only see him serve a one-game ban despite being send off for an act of violent conduct. The first caution came after a foul on Yarmolenko in the first half.
The headlines were otherwise dominated by Kane, who before the game had stated he had six games to prove he was one of the best players in the world. He ended his wait for a Premier League goal with a brace at Everton and has opened his European account for the season at the first time of asking.
"He was fantastic today," said Pochettino. "Scoring goals in the Champions League he will receive the credit which he deserves. He is one of the best strikers in the world there is no doubt for me. But to score goals the Champions League will give him the credit he deserves."
And now with the Wembley monkey off their backs, Pochettino hopes talk of a hoodoo at Tottenham's shot-term home is over. "I hope it can help us and stop people talking about the hoodoo and everything," he added. "It is fantastic for many things not only because the points. I hope that it stops all the feeling around the team."