Jose Mourinho gave a fairly inflammatory post-match interview after losing 2-1 to Liverpool on Wednesday. Here we dissect what the Tottenham Hotspur boss said.
Jose Mourinho did not hold back with his post-match comments. He said some things, he felt some things – and a lot of it just wasn’t true.
So we’ll dissect it a little and see what we find.
‘A draw would be a bad result’
“A draw would be a bad result, in relation to the performance,” Mourinho told Amazon. “So you can imagine how we feel with the defeat.”
“A very, very unfair result,” he went on to say.
Now, we’re not going to claim that Liverpool’s possession stats meant they played better. They had plenty of the ball but you can perfectly control a game without possession.
Instead, we’ll point to what Spurs tried to do. They sat very, very deep in a 4-4-2 system and tried to stifle Liverpool.
But they didn’t. Liverpool had 17 shots and they weren’t exactly wild ones. The Reds hit the target 11 times but their finishing wasn’t up to scratch.
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Curtis Jones and Roberto Firmino all hit chances straight at Hugo Lloris. On another day, they finish them.
Mourinho is definitely right when he went on to say that Spurs had great chances – arguably the strongest chances. Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn both should have scored.
But the only reason those chances meant anything was because Liverpool wasted their in the first half. This wasn’t a case of Spurs holding Liverpool at bay and striking – they rode their luck.
Neither team finished their chances well and the Reds created far more.
‘Didn’t look like that team was champions’
“[They] didn’t look like that team was champions. That was European champion and World champion. That difference was not on the pitch.”
Well, we’d argue it was. Liverpool played the game how they wanted to play it and created plenty of chances.
But it’s okay to disagree with that. The stronger argument is that this wasn’t a team that won all of those trophies.
It featured two teenagers, for one thing. Curtis Jones and Rhys Williams both played the 90. Fabinho was in defence as Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all out injured.
So no, Liverpool probably didn’t look like the champions. They were significantly weaker – and still won.
“These players were in a Champions League final not long ago,” says the interviewer.
“Five,” replied Mourinho. “Five. Five. Five of them. Five of them. This is a new team.”
He’s sort of right, in a way. There were five starters against Liverpool who also started that Champions League final in 2019.
But he subbed on two players who started that game. And Eric Dier, who started here, came on in the final. As did his third substitute, Lucas Moura.
So Mourinho used 14 players against Liverpool and nine of them played that final. The idea that this is a ‘new team’ is a little ridiculous.
As is the notion that Spurs are some great underdog – ‘little ponies’ if you will. They’re a top side who took on an injury-ravaged Liverpool and lost.