Jose Mourinho admits injury ravaged Tottenham are ‘really in trouble’ after seeing his side beaten 1-0 at home to RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
The north London side face a difficult task to secure their passage to the quarter-finals after suffering defeat on home soil, Leipzig returning to Germany with a one-goal advantage after Timo Werner’s second half penalty secured victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Bundesliga side would dominate the opening periods of the contest and Spurs were fortunate to reach half-time level, though their resistance would eventually be broken following Werner’s converted spot-kick – the Germany international firing home his 26th goal of the season after Ben Davies fouled Konrad Laimer in the penalty area.
Spurs would lack firepower in the absence of injured forward duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, though their injury hit side would improve in the latter stages following the introductions of Tanguy Ndombele and Erik Lamela.
Speaking afterwards Mourinho admits his side’s task has been made difficult by their depleted options at present, though refuted suggestions we saw the ‘real Spurs’ following his double substitution in the second half.
“What do you mean by the real Spurs? Come on, let’s be loyal to the boys and tell them they did everything they could do.
“Lamela [one of the substitutes] – you know how many training sessions with the team? Zero. Direct from injury to recovery with physios and then direct to 20 minutes in the Champions League.
“There are two perspectives – an amazing group and amazing guys but another side you see how we are at the moment.
“It’s a situation like going to fight with a gun without bullets.
“You can say we had luck in some moments, but a great goalkeeper made two magnificent saves.
• Jose Mourinho has failed to win any of his last 7⃣ games in @ChampionsLeague knock-out stages with Chelsea (4 games), Man Utd (2) & Tottenham (1) combined
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 19, 2020
“I’m not worried with the 1-0 – we can go there and win. What worries me is that these are our players for the next however many matches.
“Moura was absolutely dead, Bergwijn was absolutely dead, Lo Celso was absolutely dead.
“We are really in trouble. If it was just this game I’d say no problem but we have FA Cup and Premier League games.
“I know Lamela could only give us 20 minutes and I knew Ndombele could not play for 90 minutes. I tried to manage the pieces I had.
“Don’t tell me Lamela and Ndombele could have started the game, they couldn’t have started the game.”
Spurs will be hoping to bounce back when they travel to face London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend, the two sides currently separated by just a single point in the race to secure a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.