Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho this evening opened up on a host of topics, after guiding his side to a 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
Spurs get the job done… Just
The Lilywhites got their European campaign underway a short time ago, in a meeting with Bulgarian outfit Plovdiv.
Mourinho’s men were of course forced into the Europa League’s qualifying rounds despite finishing 6th in the Premier League table last season, after north London rivals Arsenal clinched the FA Cup.
And, despite having been viewed as overwhelming favourites this evening, Spurs were, in the end, made to sweat to secure their advancement.
It was Plovdiv who took the lead in the clash, netting through Georgi Minchev 20 minutes from time.
A hectic 7-minute spell shortly after, though, saw Tottenham turn the matchup on its head.
First, Dinis Ameida was given his marching orders for a handball offence, in the process handing the visitors a lifeline from the penalty spot.
Incredibly, before the spot-kick had even been taken, another of Plodiv’s stars, Bircent Karagaren, was then also sent for an early bath.
Harry Kane stepped up to slot away the ensuing penalty a short time later, before Tanguy Ndombele’s all-important 85th-minute strike sent Spurs into the Europa League’s 3rd qualifying round.
‘A process of evolution’
As outlined above, meanwhile, on the back of his side’s narrow victory, Jose Mourinho was subsequently drawn on a range of topics surrounding the clash during his post-match press conference.
Perhaps most notable was the Tottenham boss’ explanation for exactly why Bircent Karagaren, the 2nd of Plovdiv’s players to be red carded, was in fact sent packing.
Bizarrely, it has been revealed that the Bulgarian attempted to ‘dig a hole’ in the penalty spot, in an attempt to make Harry Kane’s task in finding the net a more difficult one:
‘One of the players was digging a hole in the penalty spot with his foot so he got a second yellow card.’
Mourinho was also drawn on the performance of Tanguy Ndombele, after the Frenchman was introduced from the bench just past the hour mark, before deciding proceedings with a late finish.
And the Spurs boss was full of praise for his oft-maligned midfielder, assuring that, though he previously questioned Ndombele’s ‘effort and motivation’, there have never been any doubts regarding his ability:
Mourinho: “Tanguy is in a process of evolution. Last season he wasn’t. He was in a situation where I couldn’t see evolution. Now he’s training very, very well. I believe in Tanguy. Never doubted his ability but doubted his effort & motivation. Now I think he can do well for us.”
— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) September 17, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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