EPL

Same coach, different players – Mourinho blames Spurs squad for throwing away more points

By Sports Desk April 04, 2021

Jose Mourinho has put Tottenham's inability to hold onto leads down to individual mistakes made by his players, rather than his own managerial ability. 

Harry Kane's quickfire double put Spurs 2-1 ahead at half-time in Sunday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United after Joelinton had opened the scoring.

That is how the game remained until five minutes from time when Arsenal loanee Joe Willock fired in an equaliser, just 52 seconds after Kane hit the post at the other end.

Spurs have now failed to win six Premier League games this season in which they have led at the interval – the most of any side – as they missed out on a place in the top four, but Mourinho insists his players only have themselves to blame for their latest setback.

"I am frustrated. We needed to win the match and we came to win," he told BBC Sport. "We were not far from winning it but, at the same time, we created some instability.

"That was down to many individual defensive mistakes that we made. We always gave Newcastle a chance to be in the game.

"Of course, we had the biggest chance of the game to make it 3-1 and kill it, then we concede a goal the next minute."

When it was put to Mourinho that his teams are normally good at holding onto leads, he said: "Same coach, different players."

Spurs would have climbed above Chelsea had they held on, but they instead sit two points off a Champions League spot ahead of next week's clash with Mourinho's former team Manchester United.

Asked if more time is needed to get the best out of his players, Mourinho said: "I don't think so. We work well, we work hard. 

"But there are mistakes which I probably shouldn't even call mistakes because they are related to qualities that players have."

Newcastle managed 22 shots at St James' Park – double that of Tottenham – and had some promising opportunities to score prior to Willock's leveller.

Kane was responsible for seven of Tottenham's 11 shots, but Mourinho felt it was the defensive aspect of his side's game which cost them a fifth win in six league games.

"The Premier League is hard and is high-level football, and when in some actions you don't show that you belong to that high level of football, it's difficult," he said.

"We made defensive mistakes that lead to instability. In the first half we were always in control, even in the second half when we had the ball we didn't have any problems.

"We could've scored a couple more, but in defensive situations we create instability with our mistakes, instability brings hope to our opponent, and our opponent didn't give up. 

"I had the same feeling and I'm on the bench. It's difficult to have the feeling of absolute control because I know that what happened can happen.

"You cannot score three, four, five goals every match. You come away from home and score two goals... we cannot ask for lots of goals every match, many times it's not possible."

Kane took his tally for the season to 19 goals in 28 appearances with his first-half double and admitted to being frustrated that his side failed to see out the victory.

"Whenever you are ahead in a game, as we have been a lot this season, and you give the lead away in the last 5-10 minutes, it's always hard to take," he told BBC Sport.

"I feel like we could have played better in the second half. We were a bit sloppy. We didn't take our chances and got punished for it.

"I think we had some good chances. The final ball, final pass or final touch weren't quite there. That's the fine margins. We need to play better."

Related items

  • Australian Open: Kvitova crashes out at Melbourne Park Australian Open: Kvitova crashes out at Melbourne Park

    Petra Kvitova was convincingly beaten to bow out of the Australian Open in straight sets in the first round on Tuesday.

    The Czech 20th seed, a finalist in Melbourne in 2019, was crushed 6-2 6-2 by Romanian Sorana Cirstea on John Cain Arena.

    Kvitova produced a staggering 39 unforced errors with just seven winners to bow out in 71 minutes.

    It continued a mixed record at Melbourne Park for the two-time Wimbledon champion.

    Kvitova has now bowed out of a grand slam in the first round 11 times – with four of those coming at the Australian Open.

    Cirstea will face either Misaki Doi or Kristina Kucova in this year's second round.

    The 31-year-old also beat Kvitova at the Australian Open last year – in the second round.

  • Pioli claims referee apologised to Milan but admits his players got it wrong against Spezia Pioli claims referee apologised to Milan but admits his players got it wrong against Spezia

    Stefano Pioli has revealed the referee apologised after ruling out what should have been a valid Milan goal in Monday's defeat to Spezia.

    The Rossoneri slumped to a shock 2-1 loss as Emmanuel Gyasi scored with almost the final kick of a thriller at San Siro.

    Title rivals Inter drew 0-0 with Atalanta on Sunday, but Milan failed to claim a win that would have sent them to the Serie A summit.

    The hosts dominated the first half and took a deserved lead through Rafael Leao, just after Theo Hernandez had missed a penalty.

    Yet their profligacy cost them in the second half when Kevin Agudelo equalised.

    Milan were then left furious as Junior Messias' fine late effort was struck off due to a premature whistle from referee Marco Serra, who had blown up for a foul on Ante Rebic.

    Serra appeared to realise his mistake, though that did nothing to appease Milan, who subsequently hit the bar through Zlatan Ibrahimovic only for Gyasi to snatch a last-gasp winner on the counter.

    While Pioli was keen to point out the official's error, he acknowledged Milan did not control the game well enough.

    "I tried to calm my players down, but I didn't manage as Spezia's goal proves," he told DAZN.

    "We knew it was an injustice, we have ourselves to blame, but we share responsibility with the referee.

    "I am sorry to say that. He even apologised, maybe that wasn't even a fault. It's a shame.

    "However, we should have scored more goals in the first half. It's a bad night and we must react now."

    Milan had 25 attempts in total, with eight on target. It was the most shots they have managed in a Serie A defeat since December 2017 against Verona (31).

    Leao was a standout performer with four shots and as many key passes, while Ibrahimovic, making his 150th league appearance for the club, had a team-leading eight efforts.

    "We could have won the game, somehow we lost," said Pioli, whose side finished the match with an expected goals (xG) value of 2.5.

    "We knew we had a good chance, Leao's goal should have given us self-confidence, we failed to seal a win that we strongly wanted, but the season is still long."

    Milan remain second, two points behind Inter and one ahead of Napoli in third, with Juventus next up on Sunday.

  • Tuchel reveals Mount was unhappy at not starting Man City defeat but insists 'everyone loves Mason' Tuchel reveals Mount was unhappy at not starting Man City defeat but insists 'everyone loves Mason'

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Mason Mount was not happy with starting Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Manchester City on the bench, but insists that it will "not last long."

    The Blues' defeat at City saw them fall 13 points behind the Premier League leaders, and eyebrows were raised when Mount was named among the substitutes, not coming on until the 81st minute of the clash at the Etihad Stadium.

    The England international has the most goal involvements in all competitions for Chelsea this season (13 – seven goals and six assists) and has created the most chances (47), ahead of Marcos Alonso (42), Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James (both 38). 

    Speaking at a news conference ahead of the European champions' trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, Tuchel said that he received the "burning eyes" that previous Blues manager Frank Lampard had spoken about when he had dropped Mount in the past.

    "Yeah, I get them and this is absolutely normal," Tuchel smiled. "But it's still within Mason's character of kindness and being polite and being respectful, so there is no harm in this.

    "I get the eyes, I get the look. I know the look, of course. He is here to play these kinds of matches, but we were simply opting for runners. We thought we could break the line more often with Hakim [Ziyech] as a left foot on the left side and going for Christian [Pulisic] as a right side because of the arrival of Christian in the box.

    "Normally, he is a bit more offensive, a bit more of a runner than Mason and we expected the spaces more behind the last line and not in front of the back four from City. So that was the decision.

    "I felt Mason not 100 per cent in the zone where he is like untouchable, which he normally almost is. So we took that decision and it can happen from time to time. He's not happy about it, but it will not last long because everyone loves Mason – me included."

    The former Borussia Dortmund head coach also suggested that Mount has missed playing with wing-back James, who has been missing with a thigh injury since the turn of the year, with the duo, along with N'Golo Kante, working well as a triumvirate since playing together at Stamford Bridge.

    "Reece, N'Golo and [Mount] were so strong together," Tuchel added. "This is what we've been talking about. When you turn, you know without even looking he will come now or I will go and get the pass and he will come in, so I will be here.

    "We are missing this. And I think, without asking him now, Mason is missing this. He has this genuine understanding with Reece and with Ben [Chilwell] on the other side."

    Meanwhile, Emerson Palmieri, who Chelsea are rumoured to be attempting to recall from a season-long loan at French club Lyon to help solve their problems at left wing-back, has confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

    The Italy international said on Instagram on Monday: "Hi everyone, just wanted to come here to say that I tested positive for COVID on Friday, and I truly feel fine and the rest of the family do too.

    "Many thanks for all your caring messages. I hope to be back as soon as possible."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.