Spurs got their season off to a poor start, Jose Mourinho’s side putting in a lacklustre display during a 1-0 home defeat to Everton today.
Carlo Ancelotti’s new look Toffees side started in excellent fashion and really should have taken the lead after 15 minutes through Richarlison, however, the Brazilian attacker lost both his footing and composure after rounding Spurs ‘keeper Hugo Lloris.
Despite Everton having the lions share of possession Spurs looked dangerous on the break, with Dele Alli forcing England teammate Jordan Pickford into a decent stop after being played in by Son.
Colombian superstar James Rodriguez then curled an effort just wide from the edge of the area, before fellow debutant Matt Doherty was denied by Pickford from close range after a classy chipped pass from Harry Kane.
Everton looked the more menacing at the beginning of the second period and they would make the breakthrough in the 53rd minute. Toffees striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin rising highest to meet an out swinging Lucas Digne free-kick and power home a bullet header.
Despite Jose Mourinho emptying his bench and tweaking formation a couple of times, Spurs were unable to turn around what was a worryingly insipid second-half display and Everton held out for a deserved and impressive opening game win.
Speaking afterwards Spurs boss Mourinho admitted his side’s performance wasn’t good enough and suggested much of his side’s struggles stemmed from a lack of pressing from his attacking players.
“I’m disappointed with the performance, yes. After the goal Everton dominate the game and were dangerous in counters too,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“Taking Dele Alli off was tactical. Allan was in that position and Gomes and Docoure were pressing high with lots of space in those areas. I needed more there.
1 – José Mourinho has been defeated on the opening matchday of a league campaign for the first time in his managerial career in what is his 19th such match, winning 11 and drawing seven of the previous 18 before today. Skewed. pic.twitter.com/zkT1zn4fXO
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 13, 2020
“The struggle starts in the way we didn’t press. Our pressure up front was very poor – I’d say it was lazy pressure. When you have lazy pressure they build from the back.
“When you let them play from the back they are comfortable to have the ball. I repeat in the first half we had some good chances.”
When asked what he would do to lift his side’s spirits after such a poor showing, Mourinho suggested he would have some choice words with his squad ahead of a hectic run of fixtures for the north London club.
“I will be honest with the players, saying things I cannot say to you,” the Portuguese coach replied.
”But I can say to them keep working and not much time to think because on Thursday we have a knockout game (in the Europa League) so there is not much time to cry or complain.”
Spurs face Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Europa League on Thursday before an away Premier League clash with Southampton next weekend.