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Mourinho facing familiar questions after Tottenham fail Arsenal test

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or Tottenham, this was a damaging defeat which ended their Spring renaissance, reopened old wounds and raised familiar questions about Jose Mourinho’s management.

Spurs went down 2-1 at rivals Arsenal and could have few complaints about the result which dealt a blow to their hopes of finishing in the top four.

Mourinho’s side appeared to have turned a corner after five straight victories, including three in the League, and pre-match it felt like stuttering Arsenal were there for the taking – particularly after Mikel Arteta dropped his captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the bench for a breach of the club’s protocols.

Instead, it was Spurs who were disjointed and looked short of confidence as they miserably failed their first real test since losing at West Ham last month.

Since December, they have now been beaten by Liverpool twice, Leicester, Chelsea, Man City, the Hammers and now Arsenal – a worrying pattern which proves that they are struggling to go toe-to-toe with direct rivals.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play through substitute Erik Lamela’s sensational rabona goal – one of the most memorable in the history of this fixture – but Arsenal deservedly rallied to win through Martin Odegaard’s deflected strike just before half-time and Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty.

Spurs finished with ten men when Lamela was sent off for two bookable offences, the second an arm to Kieran Tierney’s face which looked harsh.

Once again, Mourinho appeared to limit his players’ ability to play to their obvious attacking strengths by setting up his side to cede possession and play on the counter-attack.

They beat the Gunners 2-0 with that approach back in December but here it was ineffective and Spurs were all at sea before Lacazette scored from the spot after being fouled by Davinson Sanchez.

Kane, Gareth Bale, Heung-min Son, Lamela and Lucas Moura is a formidable group of attackers but they barely had a sniff before a late rally during which Kane had a goal disallowed and hit the post.


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