Spurs get off to winning start at new stadium as Pochettino declares it can help them achieve their Champions League dream

MAURICIO POCHETTINO is in a dreamworld – and so too are the Tottenham fans now they have finally tasted match action in their new £800million ground.

Spurs flung the doors open to the 62,000 state-of-the-art arena five months late as their under-18s side saw off Southampton in a Premier Youth League test event.


It was only half full, but already you get a sense this is a terrific place to play football – and boss Pochettino knows it.

He said: "It’s unbelievable. So difficult to explain in a few words. We all feel the same. So excited.

"I got the same feeling when we left the last day at White Hart Lane and we were crying and now the first day here, the first day in the new stadium, we feel the same emotions.

"We are crying again because our dreams have come true."

Chairman Daniel Levy's vision for his new ground  has resulted in a home to be proud of, a proper football stadium that promises to create electric atmospheres in big matches.

The giant South Stand, all 17,500 seats in one tier modelled on the Yellow Wall of Borussia Dortmund, is a sight to behold and the noise sweeps down and echoes around this place.

There were only around 8,000 in there to watch the youngsters but it already left an impression. Imagine that when it is packed out on April 9 when Manchester City come to town in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Pochettino already is.

He said: "To the fans. Thank you for being patient for the last two years at Wembley, with all that means to move from your home, but the pay-off is going to be amazing and a massive help for the team to have the possibility to finish this season.

White Hart Lane was magic and this is going to be one of the best in the world.

"We are in a very good place in the Premier League and we know we have a massive challenge in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"But with all our fans, 62,000 people, we can make possible our dream to be in the semi-finals, why not?

"It is going to be a massive fillip for the team to feel all our fans. It is our new house, our new home and it is going to be magic.

"White Hart Lane was magic and this is going to be one of the best in the world.

"When it starts to feel like home it will be unbelievable. I really believe the future of the club is going to be fantastic."

It will take some adjusting to, with supporters spending the two hours prior to kick-off taking photos, posing for selfies and enjoying the new bars and food stalls at their disposal.

But even outside before the turnstiles opened, there was a spring in the step of the supporters, a sense of comfort about being back where they belong on the Tottenham High Road.

The stalls selling scarves and t-shirts were back, the various international cafes and food shops along the way to the ground were bustling again.

For two long years they have been largely quiet, but not the club is back home, no longer tenants of Wembley. A place where they never really got used to playing.

Pochettino and Levy were beaming as they walked out on the pitch prior to kick-off – the pain of the embarrassing delays in opening a long-distance memory.

Smiling too where Ossie Ardiles and Ray Clemence sat up in one of the executive boxes.

Both legends of White Hart Lane, but both knowing the future is now with this new ground.

As for the game itself, the youngsters produced the win to mark the occasion, 3-1 by full-time.

It was 17-year-old J'Neil Bennett, from down the road in Camden, who claimed the honour of scoring the first goal in this new stadium after just 11 minutes with a quality strike from 20-yards.

Harvey White doubled the lead from the spot on 21 minutes, and although Saints scored through Kornelius Hansen, the impressive Dilan Markanday sealed the win with Tottenham's third on 77 minutes.

For the youth team, they got a taste of just what it is like to play in front of a big crowd.

For the supporters, and Pochettino, a glimpse at to what could be an amazing future.

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