Tottenham's Son-Heung Min: Inexperience not a factor in UCL loss to Juve

LONDON -- Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-Min dismissed suggestions that a lack of experience was to blame for Wednesday's Champions League defeat to Juventus.

Georgio Chiellini said experience was the deciding factor over two legs as Juve, last year's runners-up, progressed to the quarterfinals with a 3-2 win on aggregate following their 2-1 win at Wembley Stadium. William Gallas has also blamed his former club's "lack of experience".

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino labelled suggestions that experience cost his team as "rubbish" and, asked if he felt it was a factor, Son said: "No, I don't think so. Do you think they played better than us?

"We deserved more. We dominated the game. They just scored two goals and everyone's thinking, 'Yeah, they went through normally'. I don't feel like that. I'm very proud of our performance. We should have scored a lot of goals in the first half. The [situation in the] second half takes experience, of course. You could say that.

"But I think our players are experienced enough. Sometimes if you don't score, you lose. That's the main thing."

Son's scuffed finish from Kieran Trippier's cross gave Spurs a 1-0 lead before half-time and left Juve, who had barely had a chance, needing to score twice to progress.

But Massimiliano Allegri's introduction of Kwadwo Asamoah and Stephan Lichtsteiner, and Juve's switch to a back-four, changed the game, and the visitors scored twice in four second-half minutes through Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.

"I feel disappointed, sad, everything," Son said. "After the game, the dressing room was quieter than normal. But it's football. It's about winning and losing. It's a bad feeling when you play better than them and you lose. This hurt me a lot. I can't sleep tonight."

The defeat lowered the curtain on a promising Champions League campaign for Spurs, who finished the group stage with more points than any other team despite facing Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Spurs had not played in the Champions League knockout rounds since Gallas' team were beaten by Real Madrid in 2011 and they are yet to win silverware under Pochettino.

Last season, they won just one game at Wembley in their Champions League group and crashed out of the Europa League at the first hurdle after dropping into the competition.

Son insisted Spurs will learn from Wednesday's defeat and the South Korean was keen to point out how far the team have come in a year.

"Yes, definitely we'll learn. We're so young," he said. "Remember last season when we had the problem with the Champions League at Wembley? This season, no one can say anything about that because we play very well in Champions League from the group.

"Everyone didn't think in the group stage we'd be through, but we're through, and we played very well against Juventus. Of course, I'm disappointed we're not going through. If you lose, if you win, if you draw, I'm still proud of our team."

Son appeared to be the victim of a stamp by Juve's Andrea Barzagli during the first half but the Italian escaped punishment, and Son declined to say whether he should have been sent off.

"I don't know. It's the referee's decision. Sometimes there can be accidents," Son said. "What can I say? It happened too quick for me.

"Football is about tackling, about winning the ball. Sometimes you're going to be tackled harder than normal like this."