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.”

 

Tottenham’s Champions League Dream Suffers Setback After Sheffield Defeat

tottenham
Sheffield United’s French striker Lys Mousset (C) scores their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on July 2, 2020. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

Tottenham’s dreams of securing a UEFA Champions League spot was dealt a major blow on Thursday after they lost 3-1 to Sheffield United.

Sander Berge’s strike gave the Blades the lead in the first half of the encounter at Bramall Lane.

Although Harry Kane equalized later for Spurs, it was cancelled by VAR for a handball against Lucas Moura.

Lucas seemed to have kicked the ball against his arm in the build-up to the goal, leaving Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho angry.

Mourinho’s men suffered more infliction as Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie scored after the half-time break.

Tottenham were to later get a consolation goal from Kane’s last minute strike, with the loss leaving them nine points behind Chelsea in fourth.

They are seven points adrift of fifth placed Manchester United after their first defeat since the restart.

On the other hand, the win is the Blades’ first in five matches since the resumption of the Premier League action.

The victory take them two points ahead of Tottenham into seventh place, keeping their hopes of making it to Europe alive.

– Sloppy defending –

Tottenham responded when Eric Dier flashed a header just wide, with Moussa Sissoko stretching in vain to reach it at the far post.

Kane couldn’t hit the target from Steven Bergwijn’s pass and Tottenham were punished as Berge put the Blades ahead in the 31st minute.

After spreading the ball wide to Chris Basham, Berge broke into the Tottenham area, collected the return pass and drilled his low shot into the far corner.

It was the Norway midfielder’s first goal since his January move from Genk.

Tottenham thought they had equalised two minutes later as Lucas sprinted forward and, despite being pushed over, managed to knock the ball onto Kane, who cut inside and fired home.

Kane’s celebrations were curtailed when VAR disallowed the goal for a handball by Moura, who had the ball kicked against his arm as he tumbled under pressure from several United players.

Mourinho was disgusted with what appeared to be an extremely harsh decision and his mood wasn’t improved when already-booked United midfielder Oli Norwood escaped a red card for elbowing Son Heung-min.

Tottenham were struggling to find their rhythm and United nearly doubled their lead when David McGoldrick shot into the side-netting early in the second half.

Ben Osborn was making his first Premier League start and the United midfielder had a key role as they struck again in the 69th minute.

Breaking into the area, Osborn’s deft pass picked out Enda Stevens and he squared for the unmarked Mousset to slot home from close-range for his first goal since December.

McBurnie put the result beyond doubt when he tapped in from Berge’s cross in the 84th minute after more sloppy Tottenham defending.

Kane had scored against 28 of 29 teams he has played against in the Premier League, with United the only ones to hold him in check.

He got off the mark against them with a simple finish from Son’s pass, but his 199th career club goal was far too late to avoid a painful defeat.

Kane Scores As Tottenham Edge West Ham In London Derby

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (R) scores the second goal past West Ham United's Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on June 23, 2020. Julian Finney / POOL / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (R) scores the second goal past West Ham United’s Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on June 23, 2020. Julian Finney / POOL / AFPs As 

 

Harry Kane scored his first goal of 2020 as Tottenham breathed new life into their challenge for a Champions League place next season with a 2-0 win over West Ham on Tuesday.

The England captain looked far more like his old self after a laboured performance in his first appearance for six months against Manchester United on Friday and was rewarded with a goal eight minutes from time.

Tomas Soucek’s own goal had opened the scoring as West Ham remain precariously poised outside the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Jose Mourinho’s men were well worthy of a first win in eight games dating back to February.

Victory takes Spurs to within six points of the top four and within one of Manchester United in fifth.

Should Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European competitions not prove successful, fifth would be good enough to qualify for the 2020/21 Champions League.

In keeping with many of the 14 games since the Premier League’s restart seven days ago, this was another slow burner as Spurs took time to start picking holes in West Ham’s rearguard.

Mourinho expressed his delight pre-match at having six fit attacking options available for the first time since taking charge in November.

The Portuguese recalled Lucas Moura and Dele Alli to partner Kane and Son Heung-min in attack with Steven Bergwijn and Erik Lamela dropping to the bench.

Son thought he had broken the deadlock on the stroke of half-time with a smart finish at Lukasz Fabianski’s near post, but the goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

Spurs still had an even better chance to go in ahead at the break only for Lucas to skew wide when unmarked inside the area.

Mourinho launched an impassioned defence of his record of working with world-class strikers on the eve of the game after criticism that his playing style could see Kane look for pastures new.

And Kane had no shortage of opportunities after the break as his near post flick was turned behind by Fabianksi before he fired wide after sprinting the full length of the field as Spurs broke dangerously from a West Ham corner.

In between times, Pablo Fornals dragged wide West Ham’s big chance to go in front and aid their battle to beat the drop.

But David Moyes’s men were undone by one of their own when Soucek unwittingly turned a corner into his own net 26 minutes from time.

Jarrod Bowen smashed a shot against the post as the visitors suddenly had to alter their gameplan of containing Tottenham to look for an equaliser.

But in doing so, they left themselves exposed at the back and Kane timed his run perfectly from a Son pass before coolly slotting past Fabianski and collapsing to the ground in a mixture of relief and exhaustion.

AFP

Premier League: Penalty Drama As Tottenham Hold Man Utd

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) vies for the ball against Tottenham Hotspur's English defender Eric Dier (R) during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on June 19, 2020. Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP
Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) vies for the ball against Tottenham Hotspur’s English defender Eric Dier (R) during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on June 19, 2020. Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP

 

Bruno Fernandes’s penalty salvaged a 1-1 draw for Manchester United at Tottenham as the Red Devils had another late spot-kick overturned by a VAR review on Friday.

Jose Mourinho was on course to get the better of his former club when Steven Bergwijn’s strike gave Spurs a half-time lead.

However, United’s second half pressure finally told nine minutes from time when Fernandes converted from the spot after Paul Pogba had been brought down in the box.

Fernandes then thought he had won a second penalty, but a VAR review decided there was little contact as he went down under a challenge from Eric Dier.

A point does little for either side’s chances of breaking into the top four.

United remain in fifth, two points behind Chelsea, while Spurs are four points further back in eighth.

In keeping with all matches since the Premier League’s return earlier this week, all players and officials took a knee before kick in protest against racial injustice.

Once the action did get underway, United settled quickest to the eery surroundings of a 62,000 seater stadium draped in banners with the only fans appearing on giant video screens behind each goal.

Marcus Rashford has had a momentous week as the English international’s campaign to ensure vulnerable children are not left without food vouchers during the English school holidays forced a government U-turn.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described the 22-year-old’s action as far “more important than any game of football that he would probably play.”

However, the England international admitted he was also desperate to get back to the day job after being sidelined since January with a back injury prior to the coronavirus-enforced shutdown of football for three months.

Rashford had the best chance to turn the visitors’ early control into a goal as his low shot was beaten away by the legs of Hugo Lloris.

Tottenham could be the Premier League side with most to gain from a three-month stoppage.

Prior to lockdown, Mourinho spoke of his desire to fast forward to the end of the season when he would have Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Moussa Sissoko and Bergwijn fit again.

All four were fit to return to the starting line-up and it was a inspired moment from the Dutchman which opened the scoring.

Bergwijn surged past the leaden-footed Harry Maguire before David de Gea could only parry his powerful shot into the roof of the net.

De Gea made amends moments later with a stunning save to prevent Son’s looping header from Bergwijn’s cross doubling Tottenham’s lead.

However, that was the last time the Spaniard was troubled as Tottenham sat on their lead after the break and invited plenty of United pressure.

The arrival of Fernandes in January played a huge part in an 11-game unbeaten run for Solskjaer’s men before the break.

Fernandes was inches away from an equaliser as his low drive fizzed just wide.

Lloris then produced a stunning save to tip Anthony Martial’s rising effort over.

Solskjaer had left Pogba on the bench from the start, but the Frenchman made a big impact after being introduced for his first appearance since December 26.

Pogba’s quick feet left Eric Dier in his wake and Dier then pushed the midfielder over inside the box as he tried to recover.

Fernandes coolly sent Lloris the wrong way from the penalty spot to deservedly level.

And United thought they had the chance to win the game when Jon Moss pointed to the spot again in stoppage time.

Rashford was set to take the penalty this time, but was denied the chance to round off his momentous week as VAR overruled the referee’s original decision and United had to settle for a point.

Tottenham Star Dele Alli Sanctioned Over COVID-19 Joke

File: Dele Alli of Tottenham reacts during the Audi cup 2019 final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Muenchen at Allianz Arena on July 31, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Jose Breton/NurPhoto)

 

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been given a one-match ban by the Football Association after joking about the coronavirus in a social media video and will miss his side’s first Premier League match after the restart.

In the weeks before the virus took hold across the world, Alli posted a Snapchat clip in which he made fun of an Asian man in an airport departure lounge in February.

The England international was shown wearing a face mask and the video had the title: “Corona whattt, please listen with volume”.

READ ALSO: Is This The End Of The Road For Roger Federer?

The video cut to an unsuspecting man of Asian appearance before panning to a bottle of antiseptic hand wash, underneath which appeared the caption: “This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me”.

Alli later deleted the post and posted an apology to the Chinese social media network Weibo.

He was charged with misconduct by the FA on February 26 and his case has now been heard.

The one-game suspension means Alli will miss Tottenham’s game at home to Manchester United on June 19, their first of the resumed season.

Alli has also received a £50,000 ($63,000) fine and will have to attend an educational course.

“Dele Alli has been suspended for one match with immediate effect, fined £50,000 and must undertake a face-to-face education course,” an FA statement read.

After the FA issued the ban, Alli again expressed regret for his action.

“In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologise again for any offence caused by my behaviour,” he said.

“It was an extremely poorly judged joke about a virus that has now affected us more than we could ever have imagined.

“I’m grateful that The FA has confirmed that my actions were not racist because I despise racism of any kind. We all need to be mindful of the words and actions we use and how they can be perceived by others.”

Alli’s suspension continues a troubling period for the 24-year-old after knife-carrying burglars broke into his house recently.

Following an altercation with Alli, who was shaken but not seriously hurt, the men made off with jewellery.

AFP

Mourinho Does Not Expect To See ‘Crazy’ Transfers After COVID-19

(Files) 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

 

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has warned that the transfer market will look drastically different due to the coronavirus fallout, saying football will not be ready for “crazy numbers”.

Spurs bought Steven Bergwijn for £27 million ($33 million) from PSV in January, while also breaking their club record to sign Tanguy Ndombele for a reported £54 million last year.

But Mourinho believes the Premier League and other leagues around the world will need a different approach to cope with the financial impact of COVID-19.

“It is normal you are going to have a different market,” the 57-year-old told Sky Sports. “I don’t see the world, and especially the football world, ready for some crazy numbers we are used to having and some crazy investments that sometimes some clubs and some leagues are used to doing.

“But my first question after that is: ‘When will the transfer window be?’ Because I don’t think it will be July-August any more, it will obviously have to go further than that.

“If you ask me what I want in my club, I would like my club to be what I know it is going to be: sensible, balanced, not going to spend rivers of money, and we are trying to respect the situation, not just of football but of the world and society overall.”

READ ALSO: Premier League Clubs Vote To Resume Contact Training 

The Premier League is yet to set a date for a return and players have not resumed full-contact training.

Top-flight clubs are expected to approve phase two of training on Wednesday as they inch closer to a restart after the postponement of the Premier League in March.

The Bundesliga has already resumed and Mourinho is itching to get playing again.

“Honestly, since the moment Bundesliga started, the Portuguese league and Spanish league announced a date to start, I think it is the most difficult moment for us, because we want to play,” he said.

“It is hard to see other countries playing football and we don’t do it.”

AFP

Tottenham Boss Mourinho ‘Desperate’ For Premier League Return

File: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho reacts during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove Albion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on December 26, 2019. Tolga AKMEN / AFP

 

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he is “desperate” for the return of Premier League action despite mounting concerns about the English top-flight’s restart plans.

Several stars including Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have gone public with fears about resuming the season during the coronavirus crisis.

Some top-flight bosses are also understood to have expressed concerns about the plan to play from mid-June when they spoke during a League Managers Association meeting on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Eight Staff Of Turkish Club Besiktas Test Positive For Coronavirus

But Mourinho said he would relish the chance to get back to work despite the challenges and risks posed by the pandemic.

“I have not asked for any delay,” Mourinho said in a statement on Thursday.

“I want to train, and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it is safe to do so, particularly now we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.”

Mourinho was forced to apologise in April after being spotted breaking lockdown restrictions to hold a training session with midfielder Tanguy Ndombele in a public park.

Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko also had to say sorry after the Tottenham pair flouted social-distancing guidelines to train together.

Despite those incidents, Mourinho is happy with the way his squad have kept themselves fit during the lockdown.

“I am extremely proud of the way my players have maintained their fitness,” he said. “They have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication.

“We have all been working extremely hard through remote squad training sessions and isolated running now the pitches are available to use again at the training centre.

“Every player has been extremely committed in terms of their individual work and now we wait for clearance to commence working in small groups again, which I will fully support.”

AFP

Mourinho Admits He Was In The Wrong Over Training Session

 

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has accepted he was in the wrong for holding a one-on-one training session with midfielder Tanguy Ndombele in a public park in London.

Mourinho was pictured on social media flaunting government rules by meeting up with the midfielder Tuesday, even though they kept to social distancing guidelines.

Fellow Spurs players Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were spotted running side by side in a separate session, while Serge Aurier filmed himself on Instagram running alongside a friend.

“I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household,” said the Portuguese manager.

“It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the BBC the players and Mourinho should be leading by example.

“My concern is people, particularly children, who might support Spurs or follow football may see these images, pick up a paper, watch the internet and think, well if it’s OK for them, why isn’t it OK for me?” he said.

The Premier League has been suspended since mid-March due to the spread of COVID-19.

The British government has introduced a strict series of measures to prevent the spread of the virus and Tottenham have reminded players of their responsibilities.

The club said last week they would be using the government’s furlough financial assistance programme for non-playing staff, a move that was seen as controversial and attracted a lot of criticism.

AFP

Alli Blames Mental Weakness For Tottenham Collapse

Tottenham’s English midfielder Dele Alli listens during a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match between Leipzig and Tottenham, in Leipzig, eastern Germany on March 9, 2020. Ronny Hartmann / AFP

 

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli questioned the mentality of his side after crumbling to a 3-0 Champions League last 16, second leg defeat to Leipzig on Tuesday to bow out of the competition 4-0 on aggregate.

Marcel Sabitzer profited from two errors by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the first 21 minutes to give Leipzig a commanding lead before substitute Emil Forsberg added the third late on.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was repeatedly used the absence of key injured players such as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min for a run of six games without a win in all competitions.

But Alli insisted that is not a good enough excuse for the manner in which last season’s Champions League finalists exited the competition with a whimper.

“We were missing some good players, but that’s football, that happens. This is Tottenham, the players that come in have to step up and we haven’t done that today,” Alli told BT Sport.

“I think we have to apologise to the fans. They travelled all this way and to go out and lose like that, they deserve better.”

Alli refused to point the finger at Lloris, but claimed Spurs were not mentally strong enough to produce the same sort of fightback as they did from 3-0 down on aggregate against Ajax in last season’s semi-finals.

“We were second to a lot of balls, to concede them goals shows our mentality wasn’t strong enough,” added Alli.

“We have to stay together and not talk about anyone in particular.

“It’s not down to one player to score goals, to stop goals, the whole team performance and the mentality wasn’t strong enough.”

Tottenham now have just nine games left this season in the Premier League to try and avoid missing out on the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.

Mourinho’s men lie eighth in the table, seven points off the top four, and badly need to end their barren run at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

“I think probably it is (a) good (thing),” said Mourinho of his side’s exit from Europe. “Sometimes difficult moments are moments that can prepare the future in a better way.”

On top of losing Kane and Son, Mourinho pointed to the absence of Steven Bergwijn, Moussa Sissoko and Davinson Sanchez for his side’s capitulation in Germany.

“People can say excuses but I’m pretty sure it is bad for anyone.

“I don’t think anyone would resist to such a situation. In this moment we have matches to play in the Premier League with these players, there are not others, and we go until our limits. Let’s see how we end the season.”

AFP

Leipzig Cruise Past Tottenham Into Champions League Quarter-Final

leipzig players celebrate after the UEFA Champions League football match between RB Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur, in Leipzig, eastern Germany on March 10, 2020. Odd ANDERSEN / AFP

 

Tottenham crashed out of the Champions League as RB Leipzig cruised to a 3-0 win on Tuesday to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time 4-0 on aggregate.

Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer struck twice in the first 21 minutes to put the tie to bed before substitute Emil Forsberg added the third late on with his first touch.

Unlike many fixtures across Europe this week, there were no restrictions on supporters attending due to the spread of coronavirus and the Leipzig fans were able to enjoy a nerve-free evening.

Spurs travelled to eastern Germany shorn of striking options without the injured Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn.

However, it was at the other end that they buckled inside the opening quarter of the game as two errors from Hugo Lloris in goal turned a tough task into an impossible one.

Mourinho left club record signing Tanguy Ndombele on the bench after publicly criticising the French midfielder’s desire in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Burnley, but the switch to a 3-4-3 formation did little to prevent Spurs’ winless streak in all competitions stretching to six games.

Leipzig took just 10 minutes to open the scoring when Lloris did not get a strong enough right hand to stop Sabitzer’s strike from outside the box finding the bottom corner.

Timo Werner then fired home from close range only to be denied by the offside flag as Leipzig opened up the Tottenham defence at will.

And the visitors did not learn their lesson as Serge Aurier was caught napping by a purposeful burst from Angelino.

The Manchester City loanee’s cross was met by a powerful header by Sabitzer, but Lloris should still have done better to keep the ball out at his near post.

Lloris did make some measure of amends by saving from Werner and Patrik Schick to keep the score down before half-time, while at the other end Peter Gulasci was finally forced into action by Erik Lamela.

Spurs produced a remarkable fightback from 3-0 down on aggregate away at Ajax in last season’s semi-finals to make the final for the first time in the club’s history thanks to Lucas Moura’s hat-trick.

But in keeping with their collapse since that night in Amsterdam last May, Mourinho’s men lacked the quality and belief needed to reproduce that thrilling fightback.

Moura was again the one source of inspiration as he teed up Dele Alli for Spurs’ best chance of the night, but the England midfielder’s mishit effort was easily saved by Gulasci.

Forsberg was more clinical just 32 seconds after replacing Sabitzer to fire into the far corner three minutes from time.

Tottenham’s season now hinges on refinding their form in the Premier League if they are not to miss out on the Champions League for the first time in five years.

Spurs are languishing in eighth in the Premier League, seven points adrift of the top four, and in desperate need for Mourinho to exact revenge on Manchester United for his sacking last season when the Red Devils visit north London on Sunday.

AFP

Dele Alli Rescues Mourinho’s Tottenham At Burnley

Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 7, 2020. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 7, 2020. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Dele Alli rescued a point for faltering Tottenham at Burnley on Saturday, scoring a penalty to earn a 1-1 draw and keep Jose Mourinho’s team in the hunt for a top-four finish.

The home side were dominant in the first half at Turf Moor, taking the lead through Chris Wood, but a much-improved Spurs battled back after the break to avoid a damaging third straight defeat.

Sean Dyche’s men, who were in relegation trouble as recently as January, are now unbeaten in seven league games but will rue missing the chance to clamber above Spurs after taking the lead.

The draw leaves Tottenham in eighth place, just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and two behind fifth-placed Wolves. Burnley are a further two points adrift.

Fifth spot could be enough to secure Champions League football next season depending on the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban.

“There was a lot of aggression at half-time, we knew we were not good enough,” said Alli, whose goal was his 50th in the Premier League.

“If you switch off for a second they can punish you. Going in at half time 1-0 down, it was a sticky changing room to be. But we did better and created enough opportunities to win.”

Spurs, again without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, started brightly but Burnley were quickly into their stride and deservedly took the lead in the 13th minute.

Jay Rodriguez shot straight at Hugo Lloris from the edge of the box but the Tottenham goalkeeper spilled the shot and Wood pounced to tap home the rebound.

Burnley continued to carry more of a threat, regularly unsettling the Spurs defence and Dwight McNeil forced a flying save from Lloris from a free-kick.

Ashley Westwood fired wide eight minutes before the break while Wood was narrowly off target from Westwood’s free-kick.

Spurs changes

Mourinho made two substitutions at half-time to lift his flat team, bringing on Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso for Oliver Skipp and Tanguy Ndombele.

Burnley were quickly out of the blocks, putting Spurs’ creaking defence under pressure but the visitors were given a lifeline when Ben Mee clumsily tripped Erik Lamela in the 48th minute.

Alli stepped up and sent Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope the wrong way, burying the ball in the bottom right corner.

The goal lifted the visitors, who were suddenly playing with more confidence but Burnley’s players believed they had a case for a penalty minutes later when Davinson Sanchez made a robust challenge on Wood.

There were chances for both sides as the second half wore on.

Wood shot straight at Lloris while Lo Celso curled just wide at the other end. Minutes later Burnley substitute Matej Vydra saw his close-range shot saved by the sprawling Spurs goalkeeper as they pushed for the winner.

Liverpool are just three wins away from guaranteeing their first top-flight title since 1990 and Manchester City look secure in second place, seven points clear of Leicester.

But just six points separate Chelsea from Crystal Palace in 11th spot.

 

AFP

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