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José Mourinho questioned the attitude of some of his players after Tottenham’s 2-0 loss to Leicester, but defended Serge Aurier after conceding a penalty in the first half.
The Spurs slowly came out of the traps against Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes, and a poor 45-minute start was capped off by Aurier’s awkward challenge over Wesley Fofana. Craig Pawson initially rejected Leicester’s appeals for a penalty, only for the VAR to advise the referee to look at the side field monitor again.
It didn’t take long for him to overturn his decision and Jamie Vardy did what he does best to coolly convert the resulting penalty. That hit before the break seemed to take the hosts away, and Toby Alderweireld’s unfortunate own goal further compounded the Spurs’ misery.
After the match, Mourinho declined to criticize Aurier, who has now given away four Premier League penalties since joining the club, in stark contrast to the number of people who remember the Portuguese manager describing the Ivorian defense in the infamous Amazon documentary of the club.
“I would describe it as a mistake. It is not a moment of madness,” Mourinho told Sky sports. “I have to admit that you have to know where you are, that you are in the area, that the player moves away from your own goal without any kind of danger. I would describe it as a mistake.
“I know my players. I know the qualities of my players, I know the little problems of my players. Serge was phenomenal against Liverpool, probably our best player and today he made this mistake.
“Did this mistake cost us all three points? I think it’s unfair to say that. If I had to go with individuals, I could go with other individuals where the attitude is not what I like, so I have to be honest in my analysis of Serge . It’s a mistake, but that’s all. “
In his subsequent press conference, Mourinho admitted that he did not like elements of what he saw from his side, revealing that there were a number of areas that caused him concern in the early exchanges of the game.
“The penalty is not a created penalty, it is a penalty that we commit. It is not something that comes in the sequence of something great. And for me it comes completely out of context at the time. At that time it was our best period in the first half. “, said.
“We started bad. The first, let’s say 20 minutes was a poor performance, some empty spaces in terms of pressure, attitude, recovery of the ball, I did not like it at all.
“But then during the first half we changed, we adapted the positions especially in the center of the field, the team improved a lot, we had a period of dominance, we had a couple of good chances and then the penalty, which for me is out of context of the game. game at that time.
“I agree that we didn’t create 15 chances in the second half, but it’s a good team, they know how to defend, they know how to leave the lines behind and they created difficulties for us with their defensive organization.”