José Mourinho criticised the attitude of his Tottenham players at the opening whistle against Leicester in a game they lost 2-0 to dent their hopes of closing back on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.
The Spurs manager saw Serge Aurier concede a reckless 45th-minute penalty, which Jamie Vardy converted to put Leicester in control. The second goal came when Toby Alderweireld turned a Vardy header into his own net, meaning that Spurs have lost two and drawn one of their past three fixtures. It was Leicester who jumped up into second place – four points behind Liverpool.
“We started bad,” Mourinho said. “The first 20 minutes was a poor performance, some empty spots in terms of pressing, attitude, recovering the ball. I didn’t like [it] at all. The fact we didn’t start well is not because I didn’t tell them to start well. I didn’t tell them: ‘Don’t be proactive or be reactive.’ But I admit we did start bad.
“We changed during the first half, adapting the positions in midfield. We improved a lot, had a period of domination and then the penalty. The penalty is not a penalty created, it’s a penalty that we commit. For me, iIt was out of context to the game at that moment because it was our best period. Aurier made a mistake. But before his mistake we had other players making mistakes in other areas of the pitch. I can’t blame a player for a mistake.”
Brendan Rodgers described Leicester’s performance as “outstanding”, strategically “amazing” and the victory as “thoroughly deserved”. Mourinho did not agree. “It is a game we lost on a penalty and an own goal and the result looks like the opponents were totally in control or better than us, but that is not the reality,” he said. “Our performance was not good but the game was not like they deserved to win or we deserved to lose. It was not a good game.”