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Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United – Reaction
Jose Mourinho offered a fair reflection following Tottenham Hotspur’s return to Premier League action.
Steven Bergwijn handed Spurs the lead midway through the opening half against a Manchester United side unbeaten in their previous eleven league outings. However, Bruno Fernandez converted from the spot in the closing stages to level the contest, while another spot-kick, awarded to United by referee, Jonathan Moss, was subsequently overruled by VAR, much to the Lilywhites relief.
A point did very little to enhance Tottenham’s flagging hopes of a Champions League berth next season. However, Mourinho was happy with certain aspects of their game.
“We analyse United but I don’t think it’s for us to speak about them,” the Portuguese explained.
“ I just say that I think we gave them what they’re not very good at, which was to give them the opportunity to have the ball and play in an organised attack. I think they’re much more dangerous in counter-attack situations, they have fast people in attack and they can be really dangerous, but we managed to control that in an amazing way.
Mourinho continued: “In the end, when Rashford had a long ball in the space and in this kind of action, we controlled him very very well. We wanted to be dangerous in counter-attack but we knew it would be difficult for 90 minutes. The Lucas injury and Dele suspension took us that power.
“You ask me better today the options than the last part of the league before the lockdown? Of course. much better as in that period we had zero attacking players and today we had four. We played with Bergwijn, Lamela, Kane and Son, and our bench was very strong in defensive options. We had Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen on the bench but we didn’t have Lucas or Dele or Lamela or Bergwijn.
“Imagine Bergwijn on the bench and Lucas playing and coming out minute 60-65 – Bergwijn coming for the last period? I can imagine the impact that we could have.
“So a bit of frustration but at the same time really happy with the players. Really happy to see people like Harry, Sonny, Moussa – four months without playing, Harry six months without playing, and then giving us ninety minutes, I think from the boys I can only be really happy with them.
Speaking about the penalty that was and the one that wasn’t, the Spurs boss added: “We knew that we could have a penalty against and we were very careful with it. We know that Manchester United has an incredible record with penalties given this season and we knew that everything in the box was very dangerous for us.
“We had to be very cautious, we were prepared to block every shot with hands behind the body. We knew that it could happen.
“I think in the first penalty the referee Jonathan (Moss) made this decision, which I admit is difficult for referees. Then the VAR is a different story. I think referees can make mistakes but I don’t think VAR should make mistakes.”