Emotional Jose Mourinho says Tottenham lost to Dinamo Zagreb on ‘attitude’

Tottenham’s Europa League run ended in dire fashion with a 3-0 defeat in Croatia

Lawrence Ostlere
Thursday 18 March 2021 21:47
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Jose Mourinho leaves the field at full-time
Jose Mourinho leaves the field at full-time

Jose Mourinho said Tottenham lost their Europa League last-16 tie to Dinamo Zagreb on “attitude” after crashing to a 3-0 defeat in Croatia.

Mislav Orsic completed his hat-trick in extra-time to stun Spurs, who had won the first leg in north London 2-0. Tottenham pushed hard in the final moments for what would have been a tie-winning away goal, but it never came as Dinamo held on and celebrated wildly at the final whistle.

“If I forget the last 10 minutes of extra-time, where we did something to get a different result and go through, in the 90 minutes and the first half of extra-time was one team that decided to leave everything on the pitch,” said a visibly deflated Mourinho. “They left sweat, energy, blood, tears of happiness at the end of the game. Very humble, very committed. On the other side was my team – I am there – that didn’t look like they were playing an important match.

“To me it’s an important match, for the respect of my own career and my own job every match is an important match for me, and I believe that for every Tottenham fan at home every match matters, and another attitude is needed. To say that I feel sad is not enough, because what I feel goes much further than sadness. I just left Dinamo dressing room where I went there to praise the guys, and I feel sorry that one team that is not my team won the game based on attitude.”

Reacting to the defeat, Glenn Hoddle, the former Tottenham player and manager, said: “It was a disastrous performance, a disastrous result for the club. Spurs were diabolical. Mentally, they got it wrong right through the game.”

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Speaking as a pundit on BT Sport, he added: “I said at half-time that if Zagreb score, I am expecting a reaction from Tottenham. But I then didn’t expect Zagreb to take control of the game. Spurs went backwards, downhill, instead of fighting. They should have gone up through the gears, but there was not enough ability on the team, or on the night that somebody was going to take responsibility and change the game.

“Everybody was looking at each other. That can happen, and when it does it is disastrous for the team.”

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