Spurs’ 6-1 Win At Man Utd Was Freak Result, Says Mourinho

File photo: Tottenham’s Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho gestures during UEFA Europa League football Group J first-leg football match between Royal Antwerp FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Bosuilstadion in Antwerp on October 29, 2020. JOHN THYS / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho said Friday that he does not believe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be using Manchester United’s 6-1 humbling by Spurs in October as motivation for their Premier League clash on Sunday.

Spurs dished out United’s joint heaviest Premier League defeat at Old Trafford thanks to a fine attacking display and a defensive horror show from the home side.

Former United manager Mourinho, now in charge of Tottenham, believes the match early in the season, in which United’s Anthony Martial was sent off, produced a freak result.

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“I believe that 6-1 doesn’t reflect the reality,” he said on Friday. “I go much more in the direction of the other two previous matches between us and United.

“We lost 2-1 at Old Trafford, with the penalty, and we draw 1-1 at home last season, also with a penalty. I think this is more the reality.

“If Solskjaer is going to use that result I don’t know. If it was my team losing 6-1 to them I would just say to my guys that it happened once and it’s not going to happen twice.”

United boss Solskjaer described the Old Trafford humbling as his most embarrassing experience in football.

But his side have made enormous progress since then. They are 11 points clear of sixth-placed Spurs and on course to finish as runners-up behind Manchester City.

A huge factor behind United’s resurgence has been their form on the road — they have not lost away in the Premier League since January last year.

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 20, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

But Mourinho said that record would not intimidate his team, who are desperate to break into the top four after an inconsistent season.

“I am not going to comment on the record other than to say congratulations for the record,” said the Spurs boss.

“We are going to try and win the match. It is the only thing that I can say.

“It is very difficult for many reasons but that record is not going to stop us to think we can win and it is not going to stop us to fight to win.”

AFP

Mourinho Feels Pain After Worst-Ever European Night

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 20, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP)

 

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said he has never experienced a similar feeling to the pain of crashing out of the Europa League to Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.

Spurs took a 2-0 first leg lead to the Croatian capital, but a hat-trick of excellent finishes from Mislav Orsic claimed a huge shock for Dinamo.

Mourinho turned on his players’ attitude after the match, while Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris branded the result a “disgrace”.

In his two previous campaigns in the Europa League, Mourinho won the competition with Porto and Manchester United.

The Portuguese also won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan, while the majority of his exits from European football’s top competition have come in the latter stages to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

READ ALSO: Paris Saint-Germain Beat Lille To Reach French Cup Quarters

“Honestly I don’t believe (I had) a similar feeling,” said Mourinho when asked if it was his worst European exit.

“I had in Europe moments of big pain but pain caused by what football is. I lost two Champions League semi-finals on penalties. It hurts you. (I’m) maybe still bleeding.

“But the passion for football, the respect for your job is something that hurts me deeply. And I have this very bad feeling. This very bad feeling because maybe for some people in football, football is a job or a way to make money.

“For me, it’s much more than that. That’s what I never lose – this basics of football, which is the passion, the heart, the desire. I feel very, very hurt that I cannot find more words to describe it.”

Mourinho’s future at Tottenham is now in doubt with a return to the Champions League next season looking unlikely.

Jose Mourinho (file photo)

 

Spurs are eighth in the Premier League, six points adrift of the top four, although they do have a game in hand away to Aston Villa on Sunday.

Mourinho also has one other chance to save his first full season in charge when Tottenham face runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City in the League Cup final next month.

But he acknowledged the size of the task his side face at Wembley if they are to halt City’s quest for an unprecedented quadruple.

“The only chance that we have to win a trophy this season is the final that we have to play against a very good team, against the next champions and a team that match after match show an incredible desire of winning,” added Mourinho.

“So it’ll be a very difficult final and if we want to have a chance to win it, the attitude has to be completely different.”

AFP

Bale’s Social Media Post ‘Totally Wrong,’ Says Mourinho

 

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday that Gareth Bale’s upbeat midweek Instagram post was a “contradiction” with reality, insisting that the Wales international had reported fitness concerns.

Bale, on loan from Real Madrid, missed Wednesday’s 5-4 FA Cup defeat at Everton after he was absent from training on Monday and asked for a scan following some discomfort.

The 31-year-old, who has struggled to make an impact since his return to Spurs, was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 2-0 win over West Brom.

Despite not being available for the trip to Goodison Park, a social media update from the Welshman a day earlier stated: “Good session today.”

Mourinho was quizzed on the Bale’s availability ahead of Saturday’s match at Premier League leaders Manchester City.

“It was a contradiction between the post and the reality,” the Portuguese said at his pre-match press conference.

“Since the beginning of the season in relationship to everything, I try to be very private and try to keep everything indoors, but I felt I needed to address the situation.

“Probably the post was not even his responsibility, I don’t know. But the post was showing ‘training session great and I am ready’ and was totally wrong.”

Mourinho said Bale had reported “not feeling good” and had asked for a scan.

“He had a scan, the scan didn’t show an injury but his feelings were still there and coaches, sports science and medical people, we can never go against feelings because the player’s feelings are much more important than all of us,” said the Spurs boss.

“So he was not ready for the game. It is as simple as that. If he is ready for tomorrow, he is selected for tomorrow.”

-AFP

 

‘Injuries Are Normal’: Mourinho Takes Swipe At Wounded Liverpool Ahead Showdown

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 20, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Jose Mourinho took a swipe at title rivals, Liverpool, on Tuesday as the Tottenham manager claimed the Premier League champions do not have an injury crisis.

Jurgen Klopp’s side will be without a host of injured stars including Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Diego Jota and Thiago Alcantara when leaders Tottenham face second-placed Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Kostas Tsimikas and James Milner are also sidelined for Liverpool, while Naby Keita and Joel Matip could miss out due to injury issues.

But Mourinho insisted Liverpool’s strongest team has not been affected because Netherlands centre-back Van Dijk is their only significant absentee.

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“I think Alisson is not injured. Alexander-Arnold is not injured. Matip, I believe that he’s going to play. Fabinho is not injured. Robertson is not injured. Henderson is not injured. Wijnaldum is not injured. Salah is not injured, Firmino is not injured, Mane is not injured,” Mourinho told reporters on Tuesday.

“Van Dijk is injured and Van Dijk is a very good player of course. But give me a Liverpool list of injuries and compare that list with what is the best Liverpool team.

“I can give you a list of 10 injuries at Tottenham. We have two kids of the Under-16s with injuries, we have two others in the Under-21s and two in the Under-23s, we have Lamela and Tanganga. And here is a list of 10 players.

“But is Lloris injured? No. Alderweireld injured? No. Dier injured? No. Reguilon injured no? Harry Kane injured? No. Son injured? No. Lucas injured? No. So where are the injuries?

“Injuries are normal. James Milner is injured, Lamela is injured. You know. Every club has injuries now and again. Liverpool has a big injury which is Van Dijk.”

– Results machine –

Tottenham are unbeaten in 11 Premier Leagues games since losing to Everton on the opening weekend of the season.

Chasing a first top-flight title since 1961, Tottenham sit above Liverpool on goal difference and must avoid defeat on Wednesday to retain pole position.

Klopp praised Mourinho on Tuesday for the work he has done at Tottenham since replacing Mauricio Pochettino last season.

The Liverpool boss said Mourinho had turned Tottenham into a “results machine”.

But Mourinho is adamant his side are still behind Liverpool in their development.

“Jurgen says that because if you look to our results this season, we lost one in the Premier League and we lost one in the Europa League so our results are very positive,” the Mourinho said.

“But I think it’s too early, and the period of good results is about a few months and a results machine of course is much more than that.

“A result machine is what Liverpool has been for the past couple of years, a result machine was what my Chelsea was in the period we won the two consecutive titles.

“We are a good team that works hard but I would say Liverpool is the result of if I’m not wrong 1,894 days of work with Jurgen — 1,894. If I’m wrong I’m wrong by a few days.

“We are the result of work of 390 days, but these 390 days are fake, because probably lots of these days were not even days of work but days of quarantine, days of being at home unable to work.

“So from almost 2,000 to 300. For us to be able to compete at the level we’re doing I can only give credit to the players and be very, very happy with what they’re doing.”

Tottenham are likely to be without Gareth Bale at Anfield as the Wales forward is suffering from an non-coronavirus related illness.

AFP

We Beat Man City By Strategy, Says Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso (R) reacts with Tottenham Hotspur’s French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (C) after the final whistle of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on November 21, 2020. (Photo by NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Tottenham coach, Jose Mourinho has said his players’ commitment and their ability to follow through a strategy, ensured victory over Manchester City in a Premier League clash on Saturday. 

“The players gave everything and followed a strategy. They were amazing,” Mourinho said. “We found a way to play and it was magnificent to see them play how they did.”

Tottenham powered to the top of the Premier League with an impressive 2-0 win against Manchester City, while Chelsea are up to second place after their victory at Newcastle on Saturday.

Manchester United remain well off the pace in ninth but did manage a first home win in the Premier League for seven games as Bruno Fernandes’s twice-taken penalty saw off lowly West Brom 1-0.

Spurs end the day on top of the table for the first time in six years as goals from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso saw off a toothless City at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Tottenham took the lead after five minutes as Son ran onto Tanguy Ndombele’s lofted pass, beat the City offside trap and slotted a cool finish under Ederson for already his 11th goal of the season.

City dominated possession but struggled to create chances and were cut open again for Spurs’ second with just their second shot on target.

Lo Celso came off the bench to score just 35 seconds after his introduction as he raced onto Harry Kane’s sublime pass to slot past Ederson.

On the one-year anniversary of Jose Mourinho’s appointment, Tottenham are unbeaten in their last eight league games since losing to Everton on the opening weekend, sparking hopes of a genuine title challenge.

Tottenham, who last won the top-flight title in 1961, lead Chelsea by two points with the two set to face each other next weekend.

City are languishing in 11th place, eight points behind the leaders, albeit with a game in hand.

Pep Guardiola extended his contract at the Etihad to 2023 this week, but his side look a shadow of the swaggering outfit that won successive league titles in 2018 and 2019.

Twelve points from eight games is City’s lowest total at this stage of a Premier League campaign since 2008-09.

“We had more chances than them but we lost. Mourinho’s teams are like this, you make a mistake and they punish you on the counter attack,” Guardiola said.

– ‘Stay humble’ –
Chelsea maintained their fine form as Federico Fernandez’s first-half own goal and Tammy Abraham’s strike sealed a 2-0 win at St James’ Park.

Frank Lampard’s side are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions and have not lost in their last six league matches.

With five clean sheets in their last six outings in all competitions, Chelsea’s third successive league victory was the perfect way to start a hectic period leading up to Christmas.

The visitors’ pressure was rewarded in the 10th minute when Mason Mount whipped in a low cross and Fernandez turned it into his own net under pressure from Ben Chilwell.

Chelsea put the result beyond doubt in the 65th minute when Timo Werner accelerated away from the Newcastle defence and slipped a pass to Abraham, who guided his shot in off the post.

“I won’t get excited about being top of the table for five minutes,” said Lampard. “It’s important to be humble and know it’s a long race.”

United still have a long way to go to claw themselves back into title contention as they again flattered to deceive at Old Trafford despite picking up a long-awaited win.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men got two slices of penalty fortune as West Brom were awarded a spot-kick first early in the second-half when Fernandes challenged Connor Gallagher.

However, on review, referee David Coote overturned his original decision.

Moments later, the Red Devils got a penalty for Darnell Furlong’s handball.

Fernandes’s first effort was saved, but he got a second chance as Sam Johnstone had jumped off his line prior to the Portuguese international’s kick.

Fernandes slammed home the reprieve, but was still not happy at missing from the spot for the third time this season.

“Ok, I scored the second one but I need to score the first one,” he said. “Three points is the most important thing but we know we can do much better and we will do for sure.”

Earlier, Aston Villa missed the chance to go top for a few hours as Brighton ended a run of seven games without a win with a 2-1 victory at Villa Park.

Solly March scored the winner after Ezri Konsa cancelled out Danny Welbeck’s opener.

AFP

Mourinho Laments Fixtures Pile Up, Says Spurs Can’t Compete In League Cup

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 20, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP) .

 

 

Jose Mourinho has blamed football chiefs for effectively preventing Tottenham Hotspur from fighting for League Cup success and fears more injuries as his side face three games in six days.

Spurs host Mourinho’s former club Chelsea in the League Cup fourth round on Tuesday before a final Europa League qualifying tie at home to Maccabi Haifa just 48 hours later.

The hectic week is topped off by a trip to Manchester United, another of the Portuguese manager’s former clubs, for a Premier League clash on Sunday.

Mourinho said he would like to mount a challenge for the League Cup but the added financial value of reaching the Europa League group stage meant that competition had to take precedence.

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho takes a team training session at Tottenham Hotspur’s Enfield Training Centre, in north London on November 25, 2019, ahead of their UEFA Champions League Group B football match against Olympiakos.
Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

“I think you can imagine that with a game on Thursday, that decides a very important thing for us — I think the EFL (English Football League) made a decision for us,” said the Spurs boss.

“They didn’t even create a problem — they made a decision for us. So that’s the decision.”

Spurs lost Son Heung-min to a hamstring injury at half-time of the 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Sunday.

The South Korea forward had already hit the woodwork twice after scoring four goals in the previous Premier League outing at Southampton.

Mourinho believes Son’s setback will be the first of a number of injury problems his side will have to overcome due to their fixture congestion.

Asked if playing a Chelsea side who had to fight from three goals down to draw at West Brom on Saturday gave Tottenham a good chance of progressing in the League Cup, the Portuguese replied:

“You’re joking or you’re serious? Chelsea played Saturday, they have Sunday and Monday (off) then they play Tuesday and then they play again on the weekend.

“So their fantastic squad, if the manager decides not to rotate, he can perfectly play with the players that he wants.”

AFP

Mourinho Questions Tottenham’s Mental Strength After Sheffield Loss

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 19, 2018 Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures from the touchline during the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London. Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

 

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has questioned his team’s mental strength after their dismal 3-1 loss at Sheffield United delivered a potentially fatal blow to their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

Harry Kane had an equaliser disallowed by VAR after Lucas Moura was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up to the goal, in what proved to be a pivotal moment in Thursday’s match.

The Portuguese boss said he had learned a lot about his players by their poor reaction to the decision.

“You have to be ready to cope with negative moments and go until the last minute,” he said. “In spite of my efforts in the dressing room, now I feel I know more about the profile of my players.

“I felt that in the second half we wouldn’t be strong enough to cope with a team that when they’re winning just defends and counter-attacks. So congratulations to them.”

Mourinho has also called on his side to show their motivation in the remaining six games to finish as high as they can.

The Champions League spots, even if they go down to fifth, look to have gone and a place in the Europa League is not in the bag.

Mourinho said when a professional player needed external motivation “he is in trouble”.

“The motivation should be self-motivation, directly related to your professionalism, directly related with respect for your job, your club, the fans,” he said. “That is the most important thing.

“The manager can just help but the nature of the player as a professional is the most important.

“Clearly if these boys don’t care about results and don’t care about the position we finish at the end of the season we’ll be in big, big trouble for the future.”

The disallowed goal was one of the most controversial VAR calls of the season and Spurs winger Steven Bergwijn was left scratching his head.

“In my opinion it is a goal,” the Dutchman said. “He (Moura) can’t put his hands anywhere. They also pushed him in the back, so there are two things wrong.

“I don’t understand why we didn’t get a free-kick, maybe it is because we played through but I think he has to give the goal.”

 

Mourinho Meets Familiar Foes Man Utd As Liverpool Resume Title Quest

Mourinho Blames National Coaches For United's Injury Woes
Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures from the touchline after the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 27, 2018.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is hoping to exact revenge on former employers Manchester United, while Liverpool aim to move within one win of the title as the Premier League’s return kicks up a gear across a four-day weekend of action.

The English top flight got its first taste of empty stands and strict hygiene protocols on Wednesday as Aston Villa’s goalless draw with Sheffield United and Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal restarted the campaign.

Despite the muted atmosphere, there remains plenty to play for at both ends of the table with the clash between Tottenham and United pivotal in the battle for Champions League qualification.

Both sit outside the top four with nine games remaining. However, United’s position in fifth could be good enough to secure a return to the Champions League if Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European competition is unsuccessful.

Spurs could prove to be the biggest winners of the three-month lockdown.

Before the break, Mourinho claimed he could not wait for the season to finish as injuries to Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Bergwijn appeared to have ended their campaigns.

All four are now fit again and victory would lift Tottenham to within one point of the club that sacked Mourinho in December 2018.

“The reality is we are now in a better position to where we were before,” said Mourinho.

“We got Harry and Sonny back, the players with the best stats in terms of scoring and assists. They give us this kind of attacking power.”

United were the form side in the league prior to the lockdown.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are unbeaten in 11 games but also benefited from the break as Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba return from long-term injuries.

Rashford has made waves for his power off the field with a campaign to provide vulnerable children with food vouchers forcing a British government U-turn.

But the England international is desperate to get back on more familiar ground after being sidelined by a back injury since January.

“It’s been a long time, but I think I needed it,” Rashford told Sky Sports.

“Within my body I definitely feel confident again and ready to play games. The timing has worked out well for me.”

Solskjaer said Pogba is “raring to go” after an injury-ravaged season and could be paired with January signing Bruno Fernandes in the United midfield for the first time.

– Liverpool excitement building –

City’s victory over Arsenal means Liverpool cannot seal a first league title in 30 years against Everton on Sunday, much to the blue side of Merseyside’s relief.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are just two wins away from the historic feat and victory at Goodison Park will allow them the chance to win the league on home soil when Crystal Palace visit Anfield on Wednesday.

“You can feel it,” said Klopp of the excitement building around his side’s return. “I feel the intensity everywhere.”

The match will take place in Liverpool despite fears over fans congregating outside both stadiums in the city. Goodison and Anfield are separated by less than a mile.

Klopp has urged his supporters to be “the best stay at home fans in the world”.

The earliest Liverpool could now be crowned champions is on Monday should the Reds win and City lose at home to Burnley.

At the other end of the table, Norwich, Villa and Bournemouth sit in the relegation zone, but just three points separate second-bottom Villa from Brighton in 15th.

Rock-bottom Norwich can ramp up the pressure on those above them even more should they close to within three points of safety in the first match of the weekend against Southampton.

Friday (all times GMT)

Norwich v Southampton (1700), Tottenham v Manchester United (1915)

Saturday

Watford v Leicester (1130), Brighton v Arsenal (1400), West Ham v Wolves (1630), Bournemouth v Crystal Palace (1845)

Sunday

Newcastle v Sheffield United (1300), Aston Villa v Chelsea (1515), Everton v Liverpool (1800)

Monday

Manchester City v Brighton (1900)

Jimenez Late Strike Seal Wolves Win Against Tottenham

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Mexican striker Raul Jimenez (L) celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on March 1, 2020.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Raul Jimenez boosted Wolves’ bid to qualify for the Champions League as his late winner capped the visitors’ dramatic fightback in their 3-2 victory at Tottenham on Sunday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side trailed twice in north London but hit back from 2-1 down thanks to second-half goals from Diogo Jota and Jimenez.

Wolves moved two points above Tottenham into sixth place in the Premier League.

As it stands, finishing fifth could lead to a Champions League place, owing to second-placed Manchester City’s European ban, against which they are appealing.

Sitting level on points with fifth-placed Manchester United and just three behind fourth-placed Chelsea, Wolves are firmly in the hunt for an unexpected berth in Europe’s elite club competition.

READ ALSO: Ancelotti Sees Red As Man Utd Draw Everton 

They fell behind to Steven Bergwijn’s first-half opener, but Matt Doherty equalised and even Serge Aurier restoring Tottenham’s lead couldn’t knock Wolves out of their stride.

It was a bitter blow for injury-hit Tottenham, who suffered three consecutive defeats in all competitions for the first time this season.

Heading into this weekend, Spurs had kept just three clean sheets in 22 games in all competitions since Mourinho took charge.

So Mourinho dropped defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen as part of four changes following last week’s defeat at Chelsea, with keeper Hugo Lloris sidelined by a groin injury.

Those switches included midfielder Eric Dier dropping back to center-half and exploited Mourinho’s reshuffle time and again.

Tottenham had their chances and took the lead with a superb counter in the 13th minute.

Giovani Lo Celso picked out Aurier’s run down the right and when the right-back’s cross reached Dele Alli, his shot was pushed out by Rui Patricio into the path of Bergwijn, who slotted home from close-range.

It was the Dutch winger’s second goal since joining Tottenham from PSV Eindhoven in January.

But the hosts remained creaky at the back and Nuno’s men crafted an impressive equaliser in the 27th minute.

Ruben Vinagre ran onto Jota’s pass and fought his way past Aurier to the touchline, where he delivered a teasing cross into the six-yard box.

Dier and Japhet Tanganga both made a hash of attempting to clear and Doherty made them pay as the defender fired past Paulo Gazzaniga for his seventh goal of the season.

Spurs In Disarray

Jose Mourinho said this week Tottenham have to “survive” in the race for the top four until they get some of their injured stars back.

Their hopes have been hit by the loss of Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, and Son Heung-min, but Tottenham were potent enough despite those absences and Aurier put them back in front in first-half stoppage-time.

The Ivory Coast international took Alli’s pass, cut inside Vinagre and curled a brilliant strike into the far corner from just inside the area.

Yet, in what proved a crucial miss, the unmarked Alli ghosted onto Ben Davies’ cross for a glancing header that crept wide.

Nuno sat on the Porto bench as reserve keeper when Mourinho guided the Portuguese club to Champions League glory in 2004.

And, trying to record his first victory as a manager over Mourinho at the third attempt, Nuno was back on level terms in the 57th minute.

Adama Traore bullied his way past Tanganga and found Jimenez, who slipped a pass to the over-lapping Doherty.

Doherty’s low cross reached Jota and he tapped in his sixth goal in three games from virtually on the line.

Tottenham’s back five were in disarray and Jota and Jimenez combined to win it in the 73rd minute.

Jota was the catalyst with an incisive burst beyond Dier and Davinson Sanchez.

His pass found Jimenez and the Mexican striker easily tricked his way past Tanganga, opening space for a fine finish that sparked wild celebrations from Nuno and his staff on the touchline.

AFP

Chelsea Beat Tottenham In Top Four Chase

Chelsea’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso celebrates with teammates after he scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on February 22 2020.
Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso came in from the cold to inspire Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Tottenham as the Blues cemented their grip on fourth place in the Premier League on Saturday.

Giroud and Alonso had been reduced to fringe figures in Frank Lampard’s first season as Chelsea manager.

But Lampard restored both veterans to the team at Stamford Bridge in a gamble that paid rich dividends.

With Tammy Abraham only fit enough to make the bench, Giroud started for the first time since November and the France striker’s fine finish opened the scoring in the first half.

READ ALSO: Lewandowski Double Edges Bayern Past Bottom Side Paderborn

The 33-year-old could have joined Tottenham had Chelsea signed a forward in January, but instead he netted his first club goal since August and his first in the Premier League since April.

Alonso, 29, maintained the theme of exiles getting back in favour as the left-back struck in the second half of his first league start since Chelsea’s win at Tottenham in December.

Antonio Rudiger’s own goal came too late to ruin Chelsea’s first win in five league games, moving them four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Ending Tottenham’s three-game winning streak in the league was the perfect response to Monday’s home defeat against Manchester United.

It was no more than they deserved after a vibrant performance that finally answered Lampard’s call for a killer instinct in the final third.

Tottenham have now won just once in their last 34 visits to Stamford Bridge, making it a painful return for their former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who was beaten by Lampard for the second time this term.

Mourinho had ramped up the mind games on Friday when he claimed to know Lampard was planning to use the same five-man defence that helped the Blues win at Tottenham earlier this season.

Mourinho was spot on, with Lampard making four changes in a return to the system he predicted, but he could not come up with an effective solution.

Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, more often used as wingers, led a makeshift Tottenham attack in the absence of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli, who was dropped after reacting angrily to his substitution in the midweek defeat against Leipzig.

Chelsea, pressing hard from the start, were always on top and when Alonso’s superb pass picked out Mason Mount, the young midfielder’s shot was pushed away by Hugo Lloris.

Toothless Tottenham

It was a warning Tottenham failed to heed and Giroud put Chelsea in front in the 15th minute.

Giroud had looked impressive in his substitute appearance against United.

And his physical style and clever movement were crucial to the goal as he held off Toby Alderweireld to reach Jorginho’s pass for a shot that Lloris saved with his foot.

The rebound fell to Ross Barkley but his scuffed effort in the post and cannoned back to Giroud, who lashed a blistering strike past Lloris at his near post.

Willy Caballero almost gifted Tottenham a goal out of nothing before the break.

Needlessly rushing off his line, Caballero completely missed the ball and Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga prodded just wide.

Mourinho had been scribbling away in his notebook before the interval, but there was no discernable change in Tottenham’s toothless display as Alonso increased Chelsea’s lead in the 48th minute.

Giroud guided the ball into Mount’s path and he worked it to Barkley on the edge of the Tottenham area.

With the visitors backing off, Barkley picked out Alonso, who blasted into the far corner from 20 yards.

It could have been worse for Tottenham as Giovani Lo Celso was fortunate to escape a red card when he stamped on Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea should have won by more and Alonso’s free-kick hit the bar before Rudiger deflected Erik Lamela’s shot into his own net in the 89th minute.

AFP

RB Leipzig Beat Tottenham In Champions League Last 16 First Leg

RB Leipzig’s German striker Timo Werner (C) celebrates scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first Leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London, on February 19, 2020.
Glyn KIRK / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Tottenham need another Champions League escape act to reach the quarter-finals after Timo Werner’s penalty earned RB Leipzig a deserved 1-0 last 16, first-leg win in London.

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris kept his side in the tie with a string of important saves, but last season’s finalists face a huge task to turn the tie around in Germany on March 10.

Without the firepower of the injured Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Giovani lo Celso’s free-kick that struck the post was the closest Jose Mourinho’s men came to scoring on the night.

Tottenham upset the odds to progress past Manchester City and Ajax in the knockout stages last season but were lacking in ideas and energy compared to the Bundesliga contenders.

READ ALSO: Man City Cruise To Victory Against West Ham

After receiving the news that Son could be sidelined for the rest of the season by a fractured right arm on the eve of the game, Mourinho compared his side’s prospects for the rest of the season to hanging from a fourth-floor building by the balcony.

The hosts could easily have fallen flat on their face inside the first 90 seconds as Leipzig amazingly passed up four chances to open the scoring.

Patrik Schick flashed a shot wide from the edge of the box before Werner’s effort was blocked and Lloris turned Angelino’s driven shot onto the post.

Lloris then had to be alert again to deny Werner adding to his 25 goals this season from close range.

After weathering that early storm, Spurs went close to at the other end through Steven Bergwijn.

The Dutch international has enjoyed an impressive start to his Tottenham career and forced Peter Gulacsi into a smart save low to his left.

Leipzig are challenging Bayern Munich’s grip on the German title this season and the visitors were not overawed by the stage in their first-ever Champions League knockout tie.

Lloris was forced into another save by Schick before the towering Czech also headed just wide from a corner.

Werner then wasted the best chance of the first half when he fired too close to Lloris with just the French number one to beat.

Leipzig could have regretted not making the most of their supremacy during the first 45 minutes as Gulacsi saved well from Lucas Moura and Bergwijn fired the rebound wide early in the second period.

However, after grinding out wins over Manchester City, Norwich, Southampton and Aston Villa in recent weeks despite conceding plenty of chances, Spurs’ luck ran out.

An ill-timed lunge from Ben Davies chopped down Konrad Laimer inside the area and Werner confidently converted the resulting penalty.

Moments later only a fine save by Lloris denied Schick a second at the end of a flowing move involving Christopher Nkunku, Angelino and a delightful dummy from Werner to tee up his strike partner.

The introduction of Erik Lamela and club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele from the bench gave Tottenham a much-needed injection of creativity for the final 25 minutes.

However, their best effort came from a set-piece when Lo Celso’s powerful free-kick was turned onto the post by Gulacsi.

Lucas then headed over a great chance two minutes from time as Spurs peppered the Leipzig box with crosses, but Julian Nagelsmann’s men held out for a landmark win.

AFP

Son’s Brace Seal Win For Tottenham Against Aston Villa

Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (C) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 16, 2020.
Justin TALLIS / AFP

 

Son Heung-min struck deep into stoppage time as Tottenham’s chances of Champions League football next season were boosted by a 3-2 win at Aston Villa on Sunday.

A third consecutive Premier League victory lifts Spurs up to fifth — which could be enough to secure Champions League qualification with Manchester City facing a two-season ban from the competition — and within one point of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho’s men were worthy of their victory after bouncing back from a nightmare start when Toby Alderweireld sliced into his own goal.

The Belgian quickly made amends at the other end with a thumping finish before Son followed up after Pepe Reina had saved his penalty to put the visitors in front.

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Slack defending threatened to cost Tottenham all three points when they allowed Bjorn Engels to equalise early in the second half.

However, Engels was the culprit to cost Villa a point in their battle to beat the drop as he wrongly controlled a long ball forward in the 94th minute and Son sprinted clear to finish calmly.

Alderweireld had not travelled with his teammates to Birmingham after attending the birth of his child on Saturday and admitted to feeling heavy-legged after he turned Anwar El Ghazi’s deflected cross into his own net after just nine minutes.

Tottenham were all over the place defensively and only a goal-line block from Ben Davies denied Douglas Luiz from doubling Villa’s lead from Jack Grealish’s pass moments later.

However, Villa find themselves in a relegation battle due to their own defensive deficiencies.

No team in the Premier League have now conceded more than Dean Smith’s men.

Alderweireld made amends for his earlier error by smashing a loose ball from a corner high past the helpless Reina.

A rash challenge by Engels on Steven Bergwijn handed the visitors the chance to go in front just before the break, albeit it took a VAR review to award a penalty.

Son’s spot-kick was saved by Reina, but the South Korean followed up to prod home and become the first Asian player to score 50 Premier League goals.

But Spurs allowed Villa back into the game early in the second half.

El Ghazi fired the warning shot that Hugo Lloris did well to save.

Yet, Mourinho will have been furious at how easy his side made it for Engels to head home a Grealish corner on 53 minutes.

Tottenham took the game to the hosts in the final quarter, but struggled to find a way past the inspired Reina.

Son placed a shot too close to the Spanish goalkeeper from the edge of the box; Villa defenders scrambled to block Bergwijn’s effort behind before Reina again stood tall to block from Alli.

The on-loan AC Milan stopper was needed to perform more heroics in the closing stages as he twice denied Son.

However, the South Korean had the final say by composing himself to slot just beyond Reina’s reach with virtually the last action of the game and send Spurs closer to a fifth straight season of Champions League football.

AFP