Jose Mourinho believes his side deserved at least a point against Premier League leaders Liverpool. Roberto Firmino’s solitary strike in the first half proved to be the difference between the two sides, strengthening Liverpool’s hold on the title and marking the best ever start made by any team in Europe’s top five leagues with 20 wins and one draw in their opening 21 games.
Spurs adopted Mourinho’s familiar tactic of deploying every man behind the ball in the opening half hour, challenging Jurgen Klopp’s side to break them down.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, preferred to Adam Lallana in the starting lineup, was instrumental in doing so, breaking in between the lines and driving at the heart of the Tottenham defence. Indeed, the England international would come the closest for the Reds as his effort cannoned off the post following bright work by Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian would eventually prove to be the match winner, drilling his effort into the far post after a brilliant initial touch took the ball away from Tanganga, with a late flurry from Spurs proving to be in vein.
Mourinho pleased with performance despite result
Speaking after the match, Jose Mourinho praised his side despite the defeat, believing that they showed enough to take something from the contest.
“I think we deserved a point, that’s why I have a good feeling with the boys,” Mourinho said. “I think we tried everything. We are speaking about probably the best team in the world, who are even in conditions to play a big FA Cup match with their second team and we are a team with difficulties.
“In spite of that, we deserve more than we got. I have only reasons to be proud with the players.”
Mourinho bemoans referee call as Spurs concede from throw-in
There was controversy surrounding the Liverpool goal, with complaints that Spurs should have been given a through after Sadio Mane touched the ball last to divert it out of play.
Indeed, Mourinho believes the officials got the call wrong, but also highlighted his disappointment over the manner of the goal given the practice his team had done from throw-ins in training.
“It’s our throw-in,” Mourinho said. “Mane was the last to touch the ball and then from there they score the goal. Because I am a player’s coach and not a referee coach, I have to be a little upset with my boys. Yesterday we spent a long time working on defensive throw-ins and that’s where we concede the goal but that’s football.”
“For me, lots of positives from the players and the team in great difficulties in these moments. It’s difficult to try to compete against such good opponents so I have only reasons to be happy with the boys.”
The result means that Spurs have 30 points – less than half of the current league leaders – and nine points off Chelsea in fourth place.