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Mourinho gets the response he demanded as Lucas leads from the front

Spurs went into the game on the back of an historic collapse against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League, and it genuinely felt like another big defeat could leave Mourinho on the brink of losing his job.

And crucially, they did not make any defensive howlers of their own, despite Mourinho naming a new-look back four.

Mourinho had demanded commitment and effort from his players and that’s exactly what he got.

Tottenham’s performance was not pretty but it was effective and feisty, with the likes of Japhet Tanganga, Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso hurling themselves into challenges, suggesting that the manager retains the support of the dressing room (or at least the majority of it).

Champions League football remains a realistic possibility, particularly with Newcastle next up after the break.

Mourinho’s changes make the difference

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Mourinho responded to Thursday’s defeat by making seven changes, with Vinicius and Kane starting together for the first time and Tanganga and Joe Rodon coming into the back four.

Giovani Lo Celso also started for the first time since December following injury, with Harry Winks and Matt Doherty absent from the squad altogether and 16-year-olds Alfie Devine and Dane Scarlett among the subs.

Although the introductions of Rodon and Tanganga may have been enforced by illness to Toby Alderweireld and Serge Aurier, they nonetheless were effective.


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