Mauricio Pochettino admits Rafael Benitez felt sorry for him after final-day thrashing

Pochettino

The Tottenham manager says it was strange to have a relegated manager offer his sympathy at full-time.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that his Newcastle United counterpart felt sorry for him after the 5-1 thrashing at St. James' Park on Sunday, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.

Spurs had been Leicester City's closest challengers for the Premier League title in recent months, but ultimately failed to even finish above arch-rivals Arsenal for the first time in over two decades as the relegated Magpies stunned them with a 5-1 victory.

Newcastle who finished the season unbeaten in their last six matches as Benitez breathed new life into the side, left it too late to save themselves and were relegated last week without playing as Sunderland won their game in hand against Everton.

However, the hosts blew Pochettino's side away in Sunday's final fixture, going two up after half an hour and adding three further goals in the final 17 minutes to record a remarkable win.

The Spurs boss admitted that he was left with the bizarre situation of having an opposing manager of a relegated side sympathise with him for only managing to finish third.

Pochettino said, as quoted by the Standard: "It was strange. We are third in the table and Newcastle are relegated but he [Benitez] felt sorry for me.

"We showed that this wasn't a team that had played well through the whole season."

Although Spurs' late collapse denied them their first place as runners-up since 1963, their third-placed finish remains their highest league position in 26 years.

Their failure to hold onto second was a hugely disappointing end to a fine season, but with Champions League group-stage football guaranteed for next term, Pochettino will be hoping to firmly establish his side as genuine contenders once more.

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