Jose Mourinho has warned that Tottenham are in “big, big trouble” after they slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United.
The Lilywhites were beaten by the Blades at Bramall Lane after Harry Kane’s equaliser was controversially ruled out by VAR due to a handball from Lucas Moura during the build-up. Tottenham struggled to break down a defence marshalled by Chris Basham as Kane, who had another goal ruled out at 2-0, added a consolation strike in the closing stages of the second half.
Chris Wilder’s side climbed above Spurs into seventh in the Premier League, while Mourinho’s men dropped to ninth, nine points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.
He said: “I think the way we trained, what we did in training I think we have to be better than we were. We have to create more chances than we did. From what we trained in the past days, I have to admit that at that level, I am disappointed.
“Even in the first half, we were very dominant in the long defensive balls. In all these kicks, extremely long, we were very dominant there. Dier, Sissoko, Davinson won every ball in the air, but then we need to win the second ball and be more aggressive there in the transition to attack.”
He added: “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. So I hope that they care and fight for the best position in the table for the end of the season.”
Mourinho has every right to feel disappointed, as Chelsea and Leicester had dropped points beforehand, and the game presented the perfect opportunity to make up some ground on the top four. Now their Champions League hopes have been all but ended by the Blades just over a year since the club’s famous run to the 2019 final in Madrid.
Once again Tottenham’s defensive frailties were laid bare, as Lys Mousset peeled away from Eric Dier to slot home a cool finish for Sheffield United’s second goal.
Mourinho has put all his faith in Dier and Davinson Sanchez, who have started the last three games since the Premier League restart, but they didn’t repay his trust on Wednesday. Oli McBurnie outpaced Sanchez, to make matters even worse.
Although the manager eventually had enough, as he called upon Jan Vertonghen to replace Ben Davies later on, the damage had already been done. McBurnie added the third goal soon after the veteran came on the pitch, to add insult to injury.
In fairness to Mourinho, the Lilywhites have been leaking goals all season even before his arrival, but this was another devastating blow for their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
Meanwhile Japhet Tanganga, who has been one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise abysmal campaign, is out with a back injury to compound Spurs’ problems further.
Tottenham fans, who do you blame for the club’s defensive woes? Let us know in the comments below!
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