Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he started with Fernando Llorente against Real Madrid because of the Spaniard’s experience and because he felt it would help Harry Kane.
Summer signing Llorente was a surprise inclusion for the Champions League clash, playing alongside England striker Kane up front.
The change worked, with Spurs causing the Spanish side problems in a 1-1 draw in Madrid.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Pochettino explained: “The idea was to give more freedom for Harry to establish this structure.
“He [Llorente] joined us on 1 September and he has trained very well over the international break and this was an important game to have his experience.
“He is a world champion and he has a great understanding with the rest of his team-mates. He had a great performance and we are happy.”
Pochettino added: “I knew there would be surprise with the starting XI and how we played. I think it’s important to find different options to surprise our opponents, be flexible and have different ways to play.
“We can play with three at the back, four at the back, two strikers, one striker, three midfielders or two midfielders – we are flexible.”
Pochettino also felt the performance in Spain underlined how much Tottenham have improved since last season’s Champions League campaign.
“We are getting good results and are competing better,” he said.