Jose Mourinho claims ‘modern penalty’ cost ‘tired’ Tottenham

Spurs went down to the biggest Premier League defeat of Mourinho’s tenure to increase the pressure on the manager.

The visitors, who went out of the FA Cup on Wednesday following a 5-4 defeat to Everton after extra-time, started well, hitting the bar through Harry Kane’s free-kick, but went behind from Rodri‘s penalty when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg clattered Ilkay Gundogan in the box.

Replays suggested there was some doubt to the call but the decision stood after a VAR check.

Asked for his assessment of the performance, Mourinho told Sky Sports: “A fresh team against a very tired team who started very, very well, with the game completely controlled.

“We hit the post, that could give us the fuel that you need when you’re especially tired like the boys were.

“And then one more of these modern penalties – I like to call them modern penalties – to put us in a difficult situation but very, very happy with players’ attitude. 

“I had guys on the pitch who played two hours a couple of days ago. They gave everything. We had guys in difficulty – Lucas [Moura] was one the one I took at half-time but we had others. 

Guardiola got the better of Mourinho

/ Getty Images

“Great attitude, great dignity. Losing 3-0, a team not united, not together would give up and be punished in a way the team didn’t deserve but I saw Harry [Kane], Pierre, Ben [Davies] – to give three names but I could give six or seven – give everything so I have nothing to say against my players.

“Not even [about] a couple of defensive mistakes that are always present.”

Asked what he meant by ‘modern penalty’, Mourinho said: “A penalty that even if you touch with the nail inside the box, can be a penalty. Of course depends on the opponent, the team.

“But some you touch with the nail is a penalty. You go to VAR and VAR cannot deny there’s a touch, sometimes a toe, sometimes a nail, sometimes nose. You cannot deny there’s contact. That’s what I call a modern penalty.”

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