Jose Mourinho‘s side Tottenham Hotspur list 0-1 to Liverpool at Tottenham Stadium, London. Previously Jurgen Klopp’s team won 20 of the 21 premier league matches that they played and with an average goal difference of 2 goals per match.
Mourinho – Parking the bus
Only Manchester United were able to contain Liverpool, and the match ended 1-1 draw. Jose Mourinho then hailed his previous club as Sky Sports pundit. No wonder, the manager with a tagline “park the bus” would love what Ole did with Liverpool.
With his team’s ability to defence, Jose had to contain Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. Understandably these were his priority. It was evident from the prematch conference he was not comfortable with his defence facing Liverpool movements along both the flanks. So he took care of his defence line by introducing debutant Japhet Tanganga, whom he could trust with physicality and speed.
With the low block defence strategy, he started against Liverpool. But sadly his midfield did not have anything to contribute, as Scott McTominay and Ashley Young had done in a premier league match. And then Jose Mourinho relied on the counter-attack. His forward line was not comprised of Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Anthony Martial, whom even Pep Guardiola termed as very difficult to contain. Tottenham forward line lost steam during the counter-attack, as Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli were not who can run together and faster than Liverpool defence.
Spurs – As Usual
Jose Mourinho’s “parking the bus” failed miserably. In this way, he minimised the damage. But he had put immense pressure his back-line. It wasn’t very easy to contain Liverpool, and that’s exactly happened at 37th minute. Spurs defence fell and went 0-1 down. Spurs remain pathetic, as the match was being played in or around Tottenham penalty area.
It took an hour for Jose Mourinho to alter this strategy and introduce Giovani Lo Celso and Erick Lamela, in place of Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose respectively. Both of them (Eriksen and Rose) had a forgettable day on the field. The changes had put the Spurs to life – as they were natural in that way.
Liverpool and Champion’s luck
Liverpool found it comparatively challenging to contain Lamela, Son, Lo Celso, Moura and Ali together, and this was the period that Liverpool somehow survived.
In the last twenty minute, Tottenham had two very clear chances, which Son and Lo Celso missed from close range. Liverpool were denied once by post in the first half, but they certainly had champions luck in the premier league this time.
Spurs had more shots (14) at Liverpool goal than Liverpool’s (13). This happened after a long time when Liverpool had lesser attempts than its rival. Though “shot on target” statistics were in favour of Liverpool. As Spurs forward line were not clinical and somehow wasted the opportunities.
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Mourinho – Post Match
Mourinho told BBC Sport: “This is football. Sometimes you get more than you deserve. Sometimes you get less. This was an occasion when we got nothing when we deserved something. This is the best team in the world against a team in a difficult moment, with injuries, in a difficult part of the season. The boys were fantastic when we tried to change and create problems.”
On a potential handball in the build-up to the goal, that was inconclusive on VAR he said: “I didn’t watch it. What I watch is 200% that the throw-in for the start of the goal was our throw. I am confused with VAR because of that.”
“Yesterday we spent half an hour defending throw-ins, and we lost the game on the throw-in. I think the refs did an excellent job, but the assistant on the opposite side didn’t see that Mane touched the ball [in the build-up to the goal].
“We have to try to create a buzz to compete with a team as good as they are. I think we deserved more. We intensified the pressure more in the second half. We were more aggressive. “I told you they would win the league when they beat Manchester City three or four months ago. They were lucky – they could have conceded a goal and got a red card for Robertson’s challenge.”
On finishing in the top four: “It is possible to talk about the top four when you start the season on zero points. But it is hard to talk about it when you start at minus 12 (the number of points off the top four Spurs were when he took over).”