Football

Jose Mourinho bemoans Tottenham Hotspur's attacking and defending

Fulham the latest team to come from behind and deny Tottenham a win

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho bemoaned his side's defensive fragility that allowed Fulham to come from behind to draw 1-1 yesterday morning (Singapore time), a sixth draw in the English Premier League for the north London side.

The result was another occasion, similar to matches against Newcastle United, West Ham United and Crystal Palace, where Spurs had been in front but did not capitalise on their lead and allowed their opponents to come back into the match.

Harry Kane's diving header had given Spurs an early lead on a wet evening at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Yet easy chances missed by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Son Heung-min were punished by Ivan Cavaleiro's headed equaliser for Fulham midway through the second half.

"In the second half, we had the biggest chance to kill the game but when you don't do it, you cannot concede goals the way we did," said Mourinho.

"This is the same story basically since the beginning of the season. We can talk about not killing the game yes, we can speak about that, and today was a clear situation where we could and should have killed the game in the first half.

"But then you go back to the goals that we concede and it's not also easy to assimilate that."

It was far from a vintage performance for Spurs defenders Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier, who were both beaten in the air by Cavaleiro for Fulham's goal. Mourinho did not name names but pointed the finger at "individual" mistakes.

"There are some things they have to do with organisation of the team. But other things they have to do with individual skills, individual ability, and it's as simple as that," the Portuguese said when asked about his side switching off.

Meanwhile, Fulham manager Scott Parker said he owes no apologies for fielding a strong side after Mourinho had voiced doubts over the seriousness of their Covid-19 issues.

Spurs had been scheduled to face Aston Villa but that match was postponed after a Covid-19 outbreak forced the closure of the Villa's training ground.

Instead, Spurs' home game with Fulham, itself postponed two hours before kick off on Dec 30 after an outbreak in the Fulham squad, was squeezed in.

Mourinho said on Monday if Fulham arrived for the match "with their best team, I think they should apologise to all of us", while Parker said it was "scandalous" to confirm the match only two days before kick-off.

Said Parker: "Myself and this football club owe no one an apology because you can talk from the outside and people can see what they want to see and work out what the script was but it was far from that."

Several players' preparations for the game had been impacted by the virus and health protocols, he said, adding: "People need to understand the predicament we were in. We are not making it up." - REUTERS

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