Tottenham players were ‘hiding’ in defeat to Arsenal, says Jose Mourinho

Mourinho was unimpressed with the officials giving a penalty and red card against his team

Karl Matchett
Sunday 14 March 2021 19:19

Jose Mourinho was scathing in his criticism of his team’s first-half performance, as Tottenham Hotspur suffered a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal in the Premier League.

Erik Lamela scored one of the goals of the season after coming on as substitute, but was also sent-off later in the game, with the Gunners taking the points after Alexandre Lacazette’s second-half penalty.

Mourinho didn’t spare the officials - or himself, as part of the “team” - either in his post-match assessment, with the first 45 minutes seeing Spurs manage a single shot at goal as Arsenal scored once and hit the woodwork twice.

“I think we played really bad in the first half. 1-1 was not a fair reflection,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

“We were poor. Defending bad, no intensity, no pressing, in terms of creative attacking football some players hiding.


“In the second half we had control of the game, made changes to try and win it. But then it’s a penalty [and] a second yellow card for Lamela but even with 10 [men] the team tried to get a different result.”

The Spurs boss reserved plenty of questions and barely-concealed irritation for the officials, suggesting the Gunners were erroneously given a spot-kick and claiming referee Michael Oliver had long impacted results against Mourinho’s own teams in the Premier League.

“No post-match interviews for referees? It’s a pity. It was a mistake by Michael Oliver, maybe referees get tired [as well as players] and he had a game midweek, maybe tired.

“Normally I’m very unlucky with him, my record with him is astonishing. Chelsea, [Man] United, Tottenham; it doesn’t matter, I’m very unlucky with such a good referee.

“I watched immediately [the penalty incident] on the iPad. It is what it is.

“If somebody has a different opinion it has to be one of the big Arsenal fans with a season ticket. That’s the only one I’d accept a different view from because it’s passion speaking; apart from that I don’t accept a different view because it’s obvious.”

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