Mourinho’s Dele dilemma despite Tottenham’s triumph

Brian Jeeves

Stoke City 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs booked a Carabao Cup last-four meeting with Brentford, however, focus surrounded Jose Mourinho’s frustration directed towards Dele Alli after the England midfielders error was capitalised upon by the Potters, Jordan Thompson, who wiped out Gareth Bale’s opener.

“For me, a player that plays in that position is a player that has to link and create and not to create problems for his own team,” Mourinho fumed.

“In that situation, an objective counter-attack would probably end with a goal, and it ended with a counter-attack behind our defenders.

“We were unbalanced because when you are in possession you have full-backs out wide and another midfielder in a different line and they caught us in a counter-attack and they transformed the result of the game that was totally in our hands So yes, I am upset.”

Dele responded in frustration when substituted shortly after. Nevertheless, the North Londoners advanced thanks to further goals from Ben Davies and Harry Kane. Mourinho was otherwise satisfied as his side took another step towards a potential trophy.

“For a certain period, it was 1-1 and at 1-1, the game is open,” he added.

“I believe in the first half we were very solid, very dominant, not enough intense aggression to score more goals but enough to dominate the game,

“Hugo didn’t touch the ball, they didn’t have a shot, have a corner and the first half was totally us but the result was short.”

The Lilywhites chief added: “I know on the bench they had Vokes and they had Fletcher on the pitch, I knew that if the result goes in that direction they would have a go and we needed to kill the game.

“Instead of killing the game, we killed ourselves by losing a counter-attack ball and allowed them to score the 1-1. After that, it was a moment where we needed stability and attitude and we had it and the second goal came and the third too. I heard Son scored a goal that with VAR would be legal, but we deserved it, we totally deserved it.”

Stoke City: Lonergan, Collins, Batth (Capt), Souttar, Smith, Cousins, Thompson, Fox (Fletcher 34’), Oakley-Boothe (Vokes 79’), McClean, Brown (Powell 71’) Subs not used: Nna Noukeu, Ince, Shawcross, Tymon

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Doherty, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Hojbjerg, Winks, Dele (Lamela 66’), Bale (Son 46’), Lucas (Sissoko 66’), Kane Subs not used: Hart, Alderweireld, Reguilon, Vinicius

Referee: Darren England


Brian Jeeves