‘We were quite comfortable in that situation’: Jose Mourinho rubs it in after keeping unbeaten streak against Arsenal while praising Tottenham stars for adapting to tactical task at North London Derby
Jose Mourinho praised Tottenham for successfully adapting to their tactical switch when they achieved the hard-fought 2-1 victory against arch rivals Arsenal, who dominated large parts of the game.
In his first North London derby since joining the club last November, the Portuguese manager saw his side come from behind, with Son Heung-min and Toby Alderweireld canceling the opener of Alexandre Lacazette.
This helped Spurs claim three points to jump the Gunners to eighth place in the Premier League table and Mourinho, who has taken a 4-4-2 formation, believes his team can still qualify for the Europe Next season’s league.
Jose Mourinho guided Tottenham on Sunday to victory in the North London Derby against Arsenal
Tottenham’s manager told Sky Sports: “I think the game was more tactical than anything.
“Honestly, I think Mikel (Arteta) found a way to play, be stable and improve – they improve and we felt we should adapt to them somewhat and I think we did very well.
Because how often (Arsenal full-backs Kieran) Tierney and (Hector) Bellerin normally reach the last third and how well they were checked today. I think they were very controlled at that level. ‘
Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal the lead after 16 minutes in the Premier League clash
Tottenham tied the game shortly afterwards via Son Heung-min due to a defensive foul
Arsenal controlled large parts of the game, but Sead Kolasinac’s weak pass gave the hosts a leveler before Alderweireld could get home in the 81st minute.
Mourinho added, “Even in the first half of the second half, when they had more ball and they were more in our half, we were quite comfortable in that situation.
“I also think the two midfielders did a great job and then we found our chances and big spirit (that) really helped.
“I don’t think anyone thought about it during the match, neither did I, but Arsenal had 48 hours more than us to rest, so it was hard, but this effort came from their hearts, this fight.
“Even in the last minutes of the game after 2-1, zero problems, everything under control so we are happy.
“We are happy because we have made the fans happy, we are happy because we are still fighting to win a Europa League position.”
Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld headed home the winning goal ten minutes before the end
Match winner Alderweireld believes Spurs has been a bit lucky to secure victory in a completely different north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The defender talked about the importance of the three points and told Sky Sports: ‘I think it is huge for us. I think we really wanted to win this game. You know it’s hard without the fans – a totally different atmosphere – but I think we did everything we could. We fought.
“I think we were lucky to get three points.”
When asked what luck was, he added: ‘I think with the goal, because against Bournemouth you missed a bit of luck getting the last pass, so I think today we were lucky to get the 2- 1. ‘
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was proud of his players despite the defeat.
Gunners boss told Sky Sports: “We’re really, really sad. We wanted to do it for our fans, for glory and happiness. We tried our best.
“I am very proud of our players to play the way we played. I have never seen them before I dominated the opponent and destroyed them as much as I have seen today.
“But we gave them another goal and we conceded a set piece and you can’t do it at this level.”