With Tottenham already out of the Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino put arguably his best side out so far.
Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane both featured, and if truth be told, the pair’s absence is a huge factor in why the 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow came too little, too late.
Although Spurs were out of Europe’s elite competition, by fielding a strong side, Pochettino at least showed he wants to be in the Europa League.
All his side had to do was avoid defeat at Wembley – for the first time in their three home games – to qualify, and while the lesser tournament is a distraction, he feels his squad can cope with it alongside their Premier League hopes.
“We struggled in the last month-and-a-half because we had some problems but we have all the squad nearly fit, we are stronger and we recovered that feeling maybe we lost,” he said, via the Daily Mail.
“Now we need to move ahead – we have the opportunity to play more here, and that’s important to make Wembley our home.
“The Europa League is a good competition to go far, we believe we can win this competition and also in the Premier League to go far. We are in a good position.”
Spurs are in a good position as they approach the last-32, as perpetual winners Sevilla and last season’s other big name Borussia Dortmund are both in the Champions League.
The Europa League is notoriously difficult to balance with the league – as Jose Mourinho has testified all too often – but if Spurs may not challenge for the title regardless, they may as well win a cup.