Jose Mourinho accuses Spurs players of ‘hiding’ during Arsenal defeat

Jose Mourinho accuses Spurs players of 'hiding' during Arsenal defeat
The Portuguese coach was not happy with his side’s display (Picture: Getty)

Jose Mourinho has criticised Tottenham’s performance against Arsenal and accused some of his ‘important players’ of ‘hiding’ during a sub-par first-half performance.

Spurs went ahead in Sunday’s north London derby at the Emirates thanks to a stunning rabona from Erik Lamela, but they were pegged back by Martin Odegaard on the stroke of half-time with Alexandre Lacazette grabbing the winning goal in the second half from the penalty spot.

Tottenham were abject and passive for much of the match, with Harry Kane not touching the ball in the opposition half until the final embers while Gareth Bale was subbed off, and Mourinho felt some players went missing.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Lacazette and Odegaard netted to sink Spurs (Picture: Getty)

‘I think we played really bad in the first half. The 1-1 was not a fair reflection of the first half,’ Mourinho told Sky Sports after the game.

‘We were poor, defending bad, no intensity, no pressing. Even in terms of creating attacking football, some important players hiding. First half really bad.’

Asked about the players that he felt were ‘hiding’, Mourinho continued: ‘You know but if they didn’t do better it’s because they couldn’t do better.

‘And I’m not even going in the direction of individuals because the team is the team, I belong to the team. I am as guilty of that first half as the players are.

‘The good thing is that we really improved in the second half. Even before the changes, we come to the second half with a complete different control of the game.

‘We made the changes with what we thought would improve the team and in the end did it, even playing with 10 men.

Gareth Bale Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Bale had an underwhelming game and was subbed off (Picture: Getty)

‘But then I repeat: It’s the penalty. I prefer to stay on this and just say it was a mistake by Michael Oliver.

‘Players get tired from so many matches. Coaches get tired. Referees, maybe they get tired. He had a game midweek, Champions League or Europa League, maybe tired. And normally I’m very unlucky with him because my record with him on penalties is astonishing, with Chelsea, United, Tottenham. I’m very, very unlucky with such a good referee.’

Mourinho appeared to confirm the players who he felt had not delivered in his post-match press conference, saying: ‘Gareth and Tanguy, we need more intensity in that game, to press more, we need to get more depth, we need to be more intense in the game, we needed initially Sissoko to give us that intensity in midfield that Tanguy was not bringing.’

MORE : Erik Lamela’s north London derby goal is ‘the best I’ve ever seen’ claims Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg

MORE : Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho claims Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squad is ‘incredible’ ahead of north London derby

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