Tottenham's pressing 'lazy' in Everton defeat, says Mourinho

By Sports Desk September 13, 2020

Jose Mourinho complained Tottenham's pressing was "lazy" against Everton as they suffered a 1-0 home defeat in their Premier League opener.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed the only goal of the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday as Spurs struggled in their first match of the new season.

There were few chances at the other end after a pair of first-half Jordan Pickford saves, and Mourinho felt Tottenham made life too easy for their big-spending opponents.

"To be honest, I think the struggle started in the way we pressed... or, I would say, in the way we didn't press," he told Sky Sports.

"Our pressure up was very, very poor. I would say it was a lazy pressure. And when you have a lazy pressure, you don't press, you let opponents build from the back and they have players with incredible quality.

"When you let them play from the back, they are comfortable to have the ball."

Mourinho insisted he was not calling his players themselves "lazy", though, adding: "Lazy pressure up front. That's what I'm saying. That creates unbalanced situations for the rest of the team."

Dele Alli was substituted at half-time, a decision Mourinho explained was "tactical".

"They were playing only with one pivot," he said. "Allan was in that position, and [Andre] Gomes and [Abdoulaye] Doucoure were pressing high.

"There was lots of space behind this pressure, lots of space to play in the areas there. I needed another dynamic in there, which we also were not able to get in the second half."

However, Mourinho was unhappy with the officiating in the build-up to the Calvert-Lewin goal as Lucas Digne's free-kick was taken from a different position to where the foul was awarded.

"It's not an excuse for the result, it's not an excuse for the defeat, it's not an excuse for not a good performance," he said. "But with so many referees on the pitch and even on the line, to take a free-kick with a minimum of five metres distance, I find it incredible.

"Before the goal, I was already saying that to the referees. Five metres difference on the crossing situation makes a huge difference."

Victory was deserved for Everton, though, who are quickly looking up the Premier League table after finishing a disappointing 12th last term.

Abdoulaye Doucoure was among their three debutants and said at full-time: "In the club, everyone wants to go to Europe. It's the main goal this season.

"Of course, this is just the start, but it's a great win against a big team. We need to keep this way and, at the end, we're going to achieve what we want."

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