Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham can still ‘lose everywhere’ in Premier League despite reclaiming top spot

Portuguese’s side were 2-0 winners against Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday

Jonathan Veal
Sunday 06 December 2020 20:51
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Spurs triumph in first North London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
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Jose Mourinho labelled Harry Kane and Son Heung-min "world class" after their lethal partnership sent Tottenham back to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 north London derby victory over Arsenal on Sunday.

Son and Kane assisted each other's first-half strikes, meaning they have now combined for 12 goals this term, as Spurs extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches, going back to the first fixture of the campaign.

In front of 2,000 supporters at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the South Korea international opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a wonder strike, curling in from 25 yards, before Kane became the highest scorer in the history of north London derbies when he netted his 11th goal against the Gunners right on half-time.

Kane has laid on eight of Son's goals this term, with Son returning the favour four times and Mourinho knows he is lucky to have such a high-quality duo.

READ MORE: Premier League table and fixtures – all games by date and kick-off time

"You know they are world class," he said. "It's as simple as that, but when we play against [Manchester] City, after the game I was speaking to the Portuguese boy, [City defender Ruben] Dias.

"I was telling him: 'You are not going to play one single match in the Premier League where the strikers are not good.' This is the Premier League.

"But I have to admit that Harry and Sonny are world-class players and on the top of what they do they have a very good sense of the team.

"They have a very good sense of the balance that they need and they also do incredible tactical work for the team when the team doesn't have the ball. So top players, amazing."

The first-half goals killed the game and allowed Spurs to soak up the pressure after the break as they went past the 300-minute mark since they last conceded in the league.

After a win over City on 21 November and a draw at Chelsea last week, this victory reinforces belief that Spurs are strong title contenders this season, even if Mourinho has been keen to downplay it.

The Portuguese did at least concede his side are in a good position.

"We can lose everywhere in the Premier League, we can go to any team and lose, any team can come here and beat us," he said. "Of course people could expect this last three matches, three or four points or six and lose one.

"We did seven [points], we didn't concede one goal against phenomenal teams, of course we are in a good moment and the team is in a good place mentally, but nothing changes."

While Spurs are enjoying their best start to a Premier League season in recent memory, it is the polar opposite for Arsenal, who have now won just one of their last seven matches.

They were not outplayed by their hosts and enjoyed the majority of the ball, but rarely looked like getting back into the game.

Harry Kane (left) and Son Heung-min each scored and assisted one against Arsenal

Mikel Arteta, who is coming under increasing pressure on the back of a worst league start since 1981-82, is clear about how the Gunners will get their season back on track.

"By scoring goals," he said after seeing his side shut out again. "Very simple. We need to score goals. It is not sustainable.

"It doesn't matter what we do in other departments if we don't score, we need to put the ball into the net urgently. At the moment it looks like we need a lot to score a goal.

"In terms of the performance, they did everything that I asked them to do. We played the way we had to play this game. All the stats are in our favour, at the end of the day it is about putting the ball in the back of the net."

There was a further blow to Arteta as midfielder Thomas Partey suffered a recurrence of a thigh injury and was replaced at half-time.

Partey pulled up lame as Spurs broke at pace, allowing a four-on-two advantage.

Arteta said he needed to speak to the Ghana international to find out what happened.

"He is injured and in the same area, unfortunately we don't know how bad it is," Arteta said.

"It was too quick, it was a four-against-three situation, I haven't spoken to him, I don't know exactly how it happened or if he felt something extremely serious. I will look at it and talk with him."

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri - Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.

PA

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