Tough day for Mourinho as he admits Chelsea were superior
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho admitted that his old club Chelsea were superior as his side’s revival came to a shuddering halt in a dispiriting 2-0 Premier League derby defeat on Sunday (Dec 22).
The Portuguese has suffered two defeats in the six league games he has been in charge of Spurs since replacing Mauricio Pochettino – and both have come against former clubs.
Manchester United were the first to blot his copybook with a 2-1 win earlier this month at Old Trafford, but this home defeat by Chelsea, the club he led to three Premier League titles, was much more worrying, underlining the task he has taken on.
Mourinho had never lost a home match against a previous club in any competition, winning 12 and drawing one, but his former midfielder Frank Lampard totally outwitted his old mentor in the coaching stakes as his Chelsea side dominated throughout.
Tottenham could have leapfrogged their London rivals into fourth with a win, but they self-destructed with a pitiful display.
Mourinho’s central midfield of Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko was overrun, right back Serge Aurier was badly exposed for Willian’s 12th minute opener and his forward line was toothless with Harry Kane barely having a shot.
Keeper Paulo Gazzaniga’s rush of blood gifted Chelsea a penalty just before halftime from which Willian made it 2-0.
Then, Son Heung-min’s red card for an equally daft loss of composure when he kicked out in retaliation against Antonio Rudiger meant Tottenham played the last 30 minutes with 10 men.
It left Tottenham seventh, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, and a quick response is required if the optimism of Mourinho’s start is not to vanish before the New Year has been rung in.