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West Ham United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur – Reaction
JOSE MOURINHO made a winning return to the Premier League, overseeing Tottenham Hotspur’s first victory on the road in ten months. However, the new chief was quick to direct any praise towards his players, who for the opening hour of this London derby, displayed total dominance.
Spurs led 3-0 inside 50 minutes at the London Stadium, thanks to goals from Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane. And although West Ham struck late through Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna to give the scoreline a somewhat unrealistic look, Mourinho was more than happy with his side’s toil.
“I am not worried about my Tottenham career – I am worried about Tottenham and the players,” he explained.
“It was very very important. eleven months without music in the away dressing room, without a smile – without happiness – and they did it. I am very happy with them, I am very happy for them.
“If somebody didn’t watch the game and just knows the result they will think it is very, very difficult for us to win. the feeling is that we were closer to 4-0 than West Ham were to 3-1.
“This is the Premier League, that first goal changed things a little bit. My players also paid the price for a very, very difficult week.”
It has been almost a year since Mourinho parted company with Manchester United and the Portuguese was back in his element pitchside.
“To confess the most difficult moments for me in the last eleven months were the parts of the summer where I didn’t have a pre-season and I was looking at other managers and clubs doing pre-season.
“The weirdest feeling was when I was going to football stadiums, sometimes I was thinking what am I doing here? In the box or in the Sky studio, what am I doing here? The weirdest feeling.
“I belong out there so today I was where I belong. That’s my natural habitat. Was I extra emotional? No. Was I nervous? No, but I just love it, especially when things go in your direction, of course, the best thing in football is to win matches.”
On the notable performance from Dele Alli, the Spurs chief added: “Dele was like the team, he was brilliant for sixty-sixty-five minutes and then he paid the price of the times, so he went a little bit down.
“He was the old Dele Alli, the Dele Alli of a couple of years ago, that impressed not just England, but the world. He did exactly what I wanted him to do, with two days of work.
“With the important selection of information, I tried to make clear for him exactly the spaces where we wanted him to play, offensively and defensively, he is an intelligent footballer to understand what we wanted and very, very important for the team. I am really pleased with his performance.”