Royal Antwerp 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Four half-time substitutions did as much to explain Jose Mourinho’s feeling as lacklustre Spurs slipped to their first defeat in eleven matches.
Israeli frontman, Lior Refaelov, netted the only goal of teh game for Belgian First Division leaders, Royal Antwerp, just before the half-hour mark, proving the Lilywhites are still very much w work in progress as opposed to the finished article their fans are craving.
“I would like to make eleven,” Mourinho explained for his mid-point overhaul.
“I didn’t make five because I was afraid of a long forty-five minutes without any changes to make. There is only one to blame, which is me. I made the team, I chose the players to start and at half-time, I tried to improve the situation – but it was not enough.
“The dynamic of the first half was there and the mentality of the first half was there. It was difficult to change, also because Antwerp change. In the first half the game was very easy to play, lots of space, very easy in midfield between the lines, very easy to play and punish them, which we didn’t.
The Spurs chief continued: “Then in the second half, we improved but they played in a completely different way, took away spaces, accumulated players in their own half. It was very difficult.
“In the end, Antwerp got what they deserved and we also got what we deserved. When the situation hangs like this, it’s always fair and I’m calm with it. The best team won, the worst team lost.”
Spurs now turn their attention back to the Premier League, facing Brighton & Hove Albion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, November 1 (7:15pm).
Royal Antwerp: Butez, De Laet, Gelin, Seck, Miyoshi (Buta 58′), Hongla (Verstraete 70′), Haroun (Capt), Juklerod, Refaelov (Benavente 88′), Gerkens, Mbokani Subs not used: Beiranvand, Boya, Ampomah.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Aurier, Sanchez, Davies, Reguilon, Winks, Lo Celso (Hojbjerg 46′), Bale (Kane 58′), Dele (Lamela 46′), Bergwijn (Lucas 46′), Vinicius (Son 46′) Subs not used: Hart, Doherty, Alderweireld, Cirkin, White, Sissoko, Clarke.