Pochettino: The better team came out on top

Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted his team paid the price for a slow start in their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday night.

Spurs were in fine form going into the encounter, having not lost in the Premier League since the 4-1 reverse at the Etihad Stadium on December 16.

But City bounced back from three successive defeats with two goals inside the opening 25 minutes from Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan, before Raheem Sterling sealed the win 18 minutes from time.

The hosts managed to pull one back through Christian Eriksen three minutes before half-time, although Pep Guardiola's side were already in control at that stage.

Pochettino isn't about to dwell on the disappointment, though, and wants an immediate response from his players when they travel to Brighton on Tuesday.

"We only started to compete after 2-0 down, we scored, but of course over 90 minutes Manchester City were better. We congratulate them, they are very close to winning the Premier League," the Argentine said after the match.

"After 14 games unbeaten for us today was a difficult game to play after three defeats in a row. But we missed the first 20 or 25 minutes.

"The way we conceded was disappointing, but there's nothing to worry about. We are in the top four, we need to move on after this game.

"The most important thing now is to be ready for Tuesday. Myself and the players are disappointed the way we conceded goals but there is nothing to worry, we have to try and be ready to compete on Tuesday.

"We are in the top four and doing so well and have a chance to finish in the top four and then we have the [FA Cup] semi-final. There are plenty of things to think about after this game."