EPL

Kane proud of Tottenham response to 'embarrassing' European exit

By Sports Desk March 21, 2021

Harry Kane acknowledged Tottenham's Europa League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb was "embarrassing" but the striker was delighted with their response at Aston Villa.

After losing a north London derby to Arsenal last weekend, Spurs crashed out of Europe in midweek, going down 3-0 in Croatia after winning the first leg 2-0.

They became the first English team since Manchester City in 2016-17, against Monaco, to be eliminated after claiming a two-goal lead from the first leg.

Jose Mourinho and his Tottenham players were critical of their own performance in the aftermath but victory at Villa got them back on track.

Kane played a part in the opener for strike partner Carlos Vinicius, netting his first Premier League goal, before a penalty – won and converted by the England captain – took the Spurs talisman to 30 goal involvements in the competition this season.

"Massively [important]," Kane told Sky Sports of the win. "The past couple of games have not been good enough in all areas really, so we knew we had to bounce back.

"Just before the international break as well, we didn't want to go away with three losses or two losses and a draw.

"We knew we needed to win. The boys put in a great shift and we deserved it."

Mourinho called Tottenham's commitment into question after Thursday but they won 73 duels to Villa's 57 in a determined display back in league action.

Their performance was epitomised by Lucas Moura, who created four chances – including an assist – but also won six fouls.

The Brazilian was the only visiting player to contest more duels (21) than Kane (19).

Kane appeared to agree with Mourinho's assessment of the Dinamo match while highlighting the clear improvement on Sunday.

"The attitude [was an issue]. I think the last couple of games we dropped below our standards in that aspect," he said.

"Working hard together, all in the same direction, we lost a bit of that. It was nice to see that back today, everybody fighting, putting our bodies on the line.

"That's what we're going to need from now until the end of the season if we're going to give the top four a push.

"Whenever you go through a difficult couple of games like we have... a London derby and then obviously going out of the Europa League in that fashion, it was embarrassing for us as players.

"The only way we can give back to the fans, give back to the club is to get back out there on the pitch and show what we're made of. I think we've done that."

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