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Mourinho praises players ‘attitude’ as Man City beat ‘tired’ Spurs 3-0

Tottenham Hotspur’s poor recent form continued as they slipped to a 3-0 defeat against league leaders Man City

Spurs came into the game having lost four of their last five games in all competitions, and with just three Premier League wins since Christmas, a polar opposite to the form of Man City who had won 15 games on the spin.

It was Spurs who first came closest to taking the lead though, Harry Kane getting his superb 14th minute free-kick up and over the City wall, only for the England international to see his effort crash against the inside of the post and back into play.

Unsurprisingly though, the game saw Man City dominate possession and chances, and midway through the first half they were awarded a penalty, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg clumsily bringing down Ilkay Gundogan in the box. The Blues have had plenty of issues from the spot in recent seasons, and with Gundogan having blazed one over the bar at Anfield last week, Rodri stepped up to take his first-ever penalty, and despite Hugo Lloris getting a strong hand to the ball he was unable to prevent it from creeping in.

City doubled their advantage five minutes after the break, Mourinho’s side unable to get the ball off Raheem Sterling who dribbled into the box, and after an interchange with Phil Foden, Sterling slipped the ball into the path of the in-form Gundogan whose low effort wriggled past Lloris who really should have done better.

The German put the game beyond any doubt 16 minutes later, latching onto a long pass from goalkeeper Ederson, using his body to brush off the poor challenge of Davinson Sanchez before slotting confidently into the bottom corner.

Speaking afterwards, Jose Mourinho praised his side’s attitude and togetherness, saying that his players were ‘tired’ having played 120 minutes against Everton on Wednesday evening.

“What do I make of the game? A fresh team against a very tired team, but a team that started the game very well,” he told Sky Sports. “We controlled it, we hit the post, and going 1-0 could give us the fuel you need when you are tired.

“And then they one more of these modern penalties, I call them modern penalties, that put us in a difficult situation.

“I am very, very happy with the players’ attitude. I had guys on the pitch who played two hours a couple of days ago and they gave everything. I had guys in a difficult situation on the pitch but they were brave.

“A team that is not united, not together would give up and would be punished but I saw guys like Harry Kane, Ben Davies, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg giving everything. I have nothing to say against my players, not even a couple of mistakes that are always present.

“A modern penalty is one where even if you touch with a nail it can be a penalty. It depends on the opponent. For some you touch with a nail it is a penalty, and the VAR cannot deny there is a touch with the toe or the nail or the nose. You cannot deny there is contact.

“We had nothing in our favour. But the second half was very difficult.”

Next up for City is their rearranged fixture against Everton at Goodison Park before travelling to north London next weekend to take on Arsenal.

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