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Opdateret: 43 minutter 53 sekunder siden

From Mané to Ings: awards of the Premier League season so far

ons, 25/03/2020 - 16:00

With football on hold we select some of the highlights of the top-flight campaign until now – and the biggest flop

Jordan Henderson’s influence deserves acclaim but Sadio Mané is remarkably consistent and reaches heights that his captain cannot. The temptation for players who can do it all is to overdo it, but Mané is too smart for that. He is the purest epitome of this Liverpool team because he is supremely efficient. Sometimes that means doing something as simple as running on to a long pass by Virgil van Dijk and slotting the ball past the keeper in the way he did for the winning goal against Bournemouth in Liverpool’s last domestic game before the suspension of the Premier League; and sometimes it means producing supernatural flourishes like his stoppage-time headed winning goal at Aston Villa or the touch that enabled him to take down a pass by Henderson while pirouetting past a defender before ramming the ball into the net against Norwich. Having the athleticism and skill to play as he does is rare; having the presence of mind to use those gifts with such effectively and selflessly is rarer still.

Related: Watford offer NHS use of their stadium in fight against coronavirus

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When football played on during world war one and inflamed a London derby

tir, 24/03/2020 - 18:40

The 1914-15 season, which was played out to the backdrop of a world war, is one of the most controversial in history

By Richard Foster for the Guardian Sport Network

These are unprecedented times, but the Football League also had to face the prospect of postponing or cancelling the season when war was declared on 4 August 1914. The league’s management committee met a few days later and concluded that it was business as usual, with one caveat: a number of grounds would be used for mobilisation purposes. White Hart Lane was requisitioned as a site for manufacturing protection equipment, such as gas masks, so Tottenham had to play their home matches at Highbury.

Many people believed the war would not last for longer than a few months. So, on 1 September, the Division One season kicked off with two fixtures. Manchester City beat Bradford City 4-1 in front of 9,000 fans at their Hyde Road ground while a crowd of 12,000 saw The Wednesday (they did not become Sheffield Wednesday until 1929) overcome Middlesbrough 3-1 at Hillsborough. On the same day, there were Division Two games at Arsenal, Clapton Orient and Grimsby.

Related: How WG Grace, my imaginary friend and mentor, helped me score my greatest run

Related: The evolution of football nutrition: from chocolate to 'Kevin Carbonara'

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Tottenham's Harry Kane two to three weeks from being fit for full training

tir, 24/03/2020 - 14:23
  • ‘I’m at a good stage, pretty much doing everything,’ he says
  • Striker reflects on ‘strange situation’ with coronavirus

Harry Kane is on course to be fit when the Premier League resumes. The Tottenham striker has been out with a hamstring injury since New Year’s Day and says that in normal circumstances he would expect to resume training with the team in two to three weeks.

There will be no matches played until 30 April at the earliest because of coronavirus and Premier League clubs are due to discuss the situation again next week.

Related: Premier League clubs urged by Gillingham to give £50m to struggling teams

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Coronavirus 'my most serious hurdle at Spurs', says Daniel Levy

ons, 18/03/2020 - 23:25

Daniel Levy has described the coronavirus pandemic as the greatest challenge he has faced during his 19 years in charge at Tottenham as the club announced their most recent financial figures and said they had spent £184m on new signings since last July.

Related: Premier League clubs expected to push for season to be completed

Fifa has agreed to delay the first edition of its revamped Club World Cup, due to be held in 2021, to make way for the Euro 2020 and Copa América tournaments which have been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: EFL announces £50m relief package for clubs in response to coronavirus

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Jan Vertonghen's family robbed at knifepoint while Spurs were in Leipzig

søn, 15/03/2020 - 13:21
  • Player’s wife and two young children were at home in London
  • Police are investigating but have made no arrests

The family of Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen were robbed at knifepoint inside their London home on Tuesday night while the defender was in Leipzig on Champions League duty. Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident but have made no arrests.

Related: In persisting with Joséfication Spurs are the architects of their own downfall | Jonathan Wilson

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In persisting with Joséfication Spurs are the architects of their own downfall | Jonathan Wilson

lør, 14/03/2020 - 19:46

In half a season, José Mourinho has dismantled Tottenham’s style and denounced players – and it will only get worse

I n a crisis there is need for extreme measures. In a crisis there is need for a people to have faith in their leader, the only man who can save them. In a crisis the usual norms must be forgotten as the emergency is combated. Tottenham, in case you hadn’t noticed, are facing a crisis. Treacherous agents of the counter‑revolution are targeting their forwards, which is why everybody must be grateful José Mourinho is there to take the hard decisions. And speaking of enemies of the people, have you seen how Tanguy Ndombele’s been playing recently?

There are still those, after everything, who maintain faith. Of course the great leader will save them, if only critics would stop talking Tottenham down. Joséfication must go on. So what if all the principles, all the good practice, all the goodwill generated under Mauricio Pochettino end up being jettisoned along the way? Those are necessary sacrifices on the road to a José future. So what if Joséfication was always a short-term measure that left a toxic residue even when it worked, which it hasn’t for five years? And the only future is José. Don’t ask why: Daniel Levy has spoken.

Related: Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

Related: Spurs ponder where it all went wrong but this is as vital a moment as ever | Jonathan Liew

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Spurs ponder where it all went wrong but this is as vital a moment as ever | Jonathan Liew

ons, 11/03/2020 - 18:48

Tottenham’s future is hazy as players and fans pick over the post-mortem but no one factor lead to the failure in Leipzig

One by one the Spurs players filed past, clutching their vanity bags and refuelling snacks, politely spurning all interview requests. “I don’t want to talk,” Érik Lamela said with an apologetic expression as he bit into a cream cheese bagel. “Sorry,” whispered Japhet Tanganga, taking a swig of his energy drink. Even Harry Winks, normally such a keen and fluent talker, simply burrowed his face into his hooded tracksuit and looked straight ahead.

To a man they looked bereft, distraught, stunned. As if they had just lost a final in injury time, rather than been pinged 4-0 on aggregate by a far superior team. Which on one level felt slightly surprising, given what they must have suspected would happen here in Leipzig after losing the first leg at home. Given also that for weeks their manager has been telling everyone who will listen how weak they are.

Related: All players on Leipzig bench would play in my Spurs team, says José Mourinho

Related: Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

Related: Farewell not just to a Champions League campaign but also a Spurs era | Jonathan Liew

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Who should play attacking midfield for England at Euro 2020?

ons, 11/03/2020 - 17:45

Jesse Lingard was England’s creator in chief at the World Cup in 2018. Who should take his place this time around?

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored

While the FA work out whether England will play their scheduled friendlies against Italy and Denmark later this month – or in the continent-wide Euro 2020 in the summer – Gareth Southgate faces a few big decisions of his own. The England manager is sweating on the fitness of forwards Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford, but he has no such concerns when it comes to attacking midfielders. Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard started for England in the World Cup semi-final in 2018, but Alli is clinging on to his place in the squad and Lingard will almost certainly miss out. Southgate is facing a conundrum: who should come into the squad and who should start in that slot behind the forwards?

Related: How a football shirt number is being used to oppose homophobia in Brazil

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Mourinho: no club in the world could cope with Spurs' injury crisis – video

ons, 11/03/2020 - 11:17

José Mourinho has bemoaned Tottenham Hotspur's injury crisis after RB Leipzig knocked his team out of the Champions League with a 4-0 aggregate win. 'I think of course the best team won,' Mourinho said. 'A really strong team against a team that is in trouble ... we have lots of problems.'

Spurs were without Steven Bergwijn, Ben Davies, Harry Kane, Davinson Sánchez, Moussa Sissoko, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min against Leipzig. Mourinho said: 'You can cope for one or two matches, we cannot cope for three or four months. It's too much.'

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All players on Leipzig bench would play in my Spurs team, says José Mourinho

ons, 11/03/2020 - 01:04
  • It will be ‘very difficult’ to return to Champions League next year
  • Tottenham beaten 4-0 on aggregate by RB Leipzig in round of 16

José Mourinho warned that Tottenham will find it “very difficult” to qualify for the Champions League next season after RB Leipzig ended their participation in this year’s competition by winning their last-16 tie 4-0 on aggregate.

Spurs were no match for Leipzig, who reached the last eight with a 3-0 win at the Red Bull Arena, and there is no sign of their injury problems easing before they host Manchester United on Sunday. The season is in danger of fizzling out for Mourinho’s side and their poor form in the Premier League has left them lagging behind in the race to secure Champions League football.

Related: RB Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

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Farewell not just to a Champions League campaign but also a Spurs era | Jonathan Liew

ons, 11/03/2020 - 01:00

Only 10 months after Tottenham reached the European Cup final they hit the buffers in Leipzig – it looks like a long way back

So farewell then, Tottenham. Who knows when our paths will cross again? A fixture they embarked upon with a puncher’s chance and plenty of underdog spirit ended merely in crippling defeat and more questions. A broken team that under the joyless stewardship of José Mourinho has been broken still further, they looked here exactly what they are: the eighth‑best team in the Premier League, exhausted and error-prone, bad in defence and bad in attack, with no discernible long-term strategy and no identifiable short-term plan.

Related: RB Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

Related: Champions League return a tall order for Tottenham, admits José Mourinho

Related: Josip Ilicic scores four as Atalanta beat Valencia to continue European dream

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RB Leipzig 3-0 Tottenham (4-0 agg): Champions League last 16 – as it happened

tir, 10/03/2020 - 23:34

Hugo Lloris could have done better with both Marcel Sabitzer goals in the first half before Emil Forsberg sealed a 4-0 aggregate win

12.10am GMT

Related: Farewell not just to a Champions League campaign but also an era

12.10am GMT

Related: Champions League return a tall order for Tottenham, admits José Mourinho

11.06pm GMT

Related: Josip Ilicic scores four as Atalanta knock Valencia out in empty occasion

10.34pm GMT

I’ll leave you to chew over that fine soliloquy. I’m sure plenty of those words will be examined from all angles over the next few hours, days and weeks. Anyway, in lieu of all that, a reminder that Jacob Steinberg was in Germany to witness a sorry end to Tottenham’s Champions League campaign. Here’s his report ... and thanks for reading this MBM. Nighty night!

Related: RB Leipzig's Sabitzer leaves Lloris squirming and hurries Spurs to exit

10.32pm GMT

But of course that’s not it. Does this exit cause Spurs problems going forward, asks BT Sport’s Reshmin Chowdhury. “I think probably it is good. Sometimes difficult moments are ones that can prepare the future in a better way. There is nobody to blame when it looks in every match like we have a traumatic injury, that ends with months and months. We lost Son, we lost Bergwijn, and I don’t want to speak about the ones we lost so long ago. And that’s the history of this season. This season started with problems, look at the position we were in the table when I arrived. It is non-stop. Look to our bench. It’s very hard. I can’t blame the players.” So are transfers afoot? “This summer, unless something happens during the Euros, we have Sissoko, Kane, Son, Bergwijn, so that is massive.”

10.27pm GMT

Mourinho’s take. “Of course I was very positive yesterday, and that’s the way I have to be all the time ... but we know that in this moment, it is very difficult, Leipzig are a very strong side ... we start the game, we had an opportunity that I thought it was almost an own goal, if you look to us lately, it was Rudiger that scored for us, it was a penalty, it’s hard ... then they come, our first couple of mistakes, they score, and after that it is very difficult ... their physicality is very impressive ... we cannot hurt people, but they can hurt us all the time ... but if I can be critical, some of my players with some mistakes, I keep for us ... they tried to give what they can give, and that’s it ... we made mistakes that we have analysed in previous matches but when you don’t have more to give, you give what you can ... it is more difficult for me to work with players who cannot express their potential than ones who play within their limits and I cannot ask more from them ... so I am with the boys, and that’s it.”

10.12pm GMT

Jose’s verdict to come. But in the meantime, Jacob Steinberg’s report from Germany has landed. Here it is!

Related: RB Leipzig's Sabitzer leaves Lloris squirming and hurries Spurs to exit

10.10pm GMT

A grim-faced Dele Alli bravely faces the music on BT Sport. “It’s devastating. We had belief before the game, but this is the Champions League, and if you don’t step up, you’re going to be punished. After last year, it was a great run, so it is disappointing to go out like that. After the first goal went in, it didn’t change much because we knew we had to score two to go through. But we conceded too many chances as a team and were punished. It’s hard to come back when you’re on top and then concede two goals. We had to show maturity and fight, and we didn’t do that. We can’t use [the absence of Kane and Son] as an excuse, we still have quality on the pitch, some good players. But that’s football. We have to apologise to the fans who came out here all this way. We have to fight. We can’t be in the position we’re in in the league. We can’t give up. Confidence is obviously gone, but it’s a big game at the weekend and we have to pick ourselves up and turn this around. We have to stay together, it’s not down to one player to score goals and another to stop them. It was the whole team. We know it’s not good enough.”

10.03pm GMT

Baby Mourinho 4-0 Mou Classic. To Mourinho’s credit, he goes straight over to Julian Nagelsmann and offers his opposite number warm congratulations. He then defiantly strides down the tunnel, his arm thrown around Lucas Moura. On BT Sport, Gary Lineker suggests that might be some sort of this-is-all-I’ve-got-left signal to Daniel Levy, but let’s not try to read too much into it. Though it is clear that last year’s runners-up need a serious rebuild. If they can’t turn their abysmal form around in short order - and Manchester United visit N17 on Sunday - this could be their last Champions League match for a wee while. Leipzig, by contrast, will take some stopping. For all Tottenham’s faults, they’ve been magnificent in both legs, and fully deserve to make the quarters for the first time in their short history.

9.56pm GMT

Leipzig - to the sound of the Beastie Boys - celebrate their advance to the quarter-finals. They’ve fought for their right to party. Fully deserved. They’ve been magnificent. Last year’s losing finalists, by contrast, are knocked out with barely a whimper.

9.54pm GMT

90 min +5: And to think it’s been something of an off night for Timo Werner. Small mercies for Spurs.

9.53pm GMT

90 min +4: Fernandes has a dig from distance. His effort rolls into the arms of Gulacsi. The Leipzig faithful cheer sarcastically, somewhat cruelly given the gap in quality on display tonight.

9.51pm GMT

90 min +3: “Grim as all this is, it will be as nothing as to Mourinho’s performance-art piece of a post match interview where he basically turns the entire history of Tottenham Hotspur into a dirty protest,” predicts Dom, who is currently perched “on a window ledge in Tunbridge Wells”. It’s been one of those nights for Spurs fans.

9.49pm GMT

90 min +1: Aurier is replaced by Malachi Fagan-Walcott, who will be 18 tomorrow. A bittersweet early birthday present for the academy centre-half.

9.48pm GMT

90 min: Spurs and an ashen-faced Mourinho just want this over. But there will be six added minutes.

9.47pm GMT

89 min: Spurs have been better in this second half. But it was a low bar. Overall, they’ve been thoroughly outplayed by Leipzig over both legs.

9.46pm GMT

Angelino crosses from the left. Aurier slides in to clear, but can only tee up Forsberg, who slams home from eight yards with his first touch, 32 seconds after making it onto the pitch!

9.45pm GMT

86 min: Leipzig want a penalty, arguing Tanganga went in with unnecessary force. But the ref’s not interested, and we play on. But not before Leipzig’s two-goal hero is replaced by Emil Forsberg.

9.43pm GMT

84 min: Upamecano romps down the middle, one-twos with Haidara, and nearly gets a shot away. Lloris comes out to claim. Tanganga comes across and gives the big defender the mother of all shoulder barges. Tanganga goes down having been clattered with some force.

9.40pm GMT

82 min: Angelino makes ground down the left and feeds Werner, who wins a corner off Dier. Angelino takes. Spurs half clear. Upamecano chests down and blooters a volley straight into Tanganga’s ribcage. That’s winded the young Spurs defender, and play is stopped so he can catch his breath.

9.38pm GMT

80 min: Spurs replace Lo Celso with Gedson Fernandes, the visit of Manchester United on Sunday now uppermost in Jose Mourinho’s mind.

9.36pm GMT

78 min: Leipzig stroke it around the back for a while, a textbook example of game management.

9.34pm GMT

76 min: Adams zips down the right. His cross is deflected off Sessegnon and out for a corner. Werner’s set piece is nothing to write home about. “Is that Mourinho managing Alli and co., or is it Mourinho’s brother?” Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for Mr Phil Grey.

9.32pm GMT

74 min: Moura drives down the left, beats Upamecano and pulls back for Alli, who whistles a first-time shot straight down the throat of Gulacsi. Alli goes over Sabitzer’s leg after shooting, and VAR has a look, but it’s never a penalty.

9.31pm GMT

73 min: Schick dribbles down the middle. He’s got options to the right ... but weirdly passes to nobody on the left.

9.29pm GMT

71 min: Mind you, Leipzig are putting it around as well. Sabitzer is booked for bowling Alli to the ground. Everyone’s getting a little tetchy.

9.28pm GMT

70 min: Alli is booked for a mist-down swipe at Angelino’s ankles. Frustration seems to have taken hold of Tottenham.

9.26pm GMT

69 min: Tanganga is booked for giving Werner a rugby-style cuddle.

9.26pm GMT

68 min: Some good news on the stricken Mukiele: he was briefly unconscious, having swallowed his tongue. But thankfully he’s reportedly recovered and all is now well.

9.24pm GMT

66 min: Upamecano and Haidara combine down the right with Spurs light at the back. Werner’s in the middle, and really should be found, but his team-mates over-elborate on the flank and the chance is gone.

9.23pm GMT

64 min: Lamela goes in clumsily on Sabitzer. He stands on one of his ankles. Lightly? Certainly. Deliberately? It’s not clear, so the referee takes no action other than to award a free kick.

9.22pm GMT

63 min: Lo Celso fires a fine pass down the left, releasing Sessegnon into space. But there’s nobody in the centre. The resulting cross, however, is put in a dangerous enough position to force Halstenberg into the panicked concession of a corner. Sadly, Lo Celso’s delivery is not all that. But there have been some recent signs of Tottenham belatedly sparking into life.

9.20pm GMT

62 min: Laimer works his way down the left but can’t quite find Werner in the middle with his low cross. Spurs are able to clear.

9.20pm GMT

61 min: Moura is illegally blocked by Halstenberg out on the Spurs left. Lo Celso swings a free kick into the mixer, but it’s not all that, and easily cleared by Leipzig. One first-half Lo Celso shot apart, Spurs have failed utterly in their attempts to work Gulacsi in the Leipzig goal.

9.18pm GMT

60 min: A second change for Leipzig, as Amadou Haidara replaces Nkunku. The game restarts, and Werner glides in from the left before rasping a rising shot inches over the crossbar.

9.17pm GMT

58 min: Moura tries to give Spurs some momentum, shooting ambitiously from distance. The shot just about stays in the arena. “Now that your good self and others have cited the Ajax comeback, if Spurs don’t do that now it means Liverpool won’t repeat their Barcelona trick tomorrow,” argues Perspective’s Ian Copestake, who may or may not be losing his mind with worry. “Come on Spurs!”

9.15pm GMT

57 min: Werner slips a pass down the inside left for Schick, who balloons a wild effort yards over the bar from the left of the D. A decent chance, that, and Spurs are still clinging onto hope by their fingernails. But they need something to happen soon.

9.14pm GMT

56 min: Mukiele can’t continue, he’s in some pain and distress. He lies back on the stretcher and is carted off, holding his head. God speed young man. Meanwhile on comes 21-year-old US midfielder Tyler Adams in the big Frenchman’s stead.

9.13pm GMT

54 min: Worrying scenes here as the stretcher comes on for Mukiele. It’s not clear what’s happened to the big man. Thankfully he’s soon sitting up, but he looks pretty groggy. He might have taken a whack in the face from the ball.

9.11pm GMT

52 min: Lamela plays a long pass down the middle for Moura, who can’t quite get the better of Klostermann in a footrace. For a split second there, Leipzig were in trouble, but that’s staunch defending.

9.09pm GMT

50 min: Laimer is booked for a check on Lamela. Replays suggest it was the nearby Upamecano who put in most of the physical work, but it’s his team-mate who cops the flak.

9.08pm GMT

49 min: Moura turns neatly in the midfield. There’s acres in front of him ... and options ... but he overruns it, allowing Leipzig to counter. Werner sashays in from the left and takes far too long to get a shot away. Spurs regain possession, thankful Werner was so uncharacteristically ponderous.

9.05pm GMT

47 min: Spurs start the second half on the front foot, probing down both flanks. They annoy the hosts enough for Werner to clip Tanganga to the floor. Leipzig’s star striker escapes with a ticking-off.

9.03pm GMT

Leipzig get the second half underway. Spurs had been sent out early, presumably in disgrace, by man-management guru Mourinho. They were waiting alone for a good couple of minutes. Let’s see how they respond to this motivational technique.

8.58pm GMT

Half-time catharsis. It’s fair to say the Tottenham faithful aren’t in the best of moods. The floor’s yours, folks. Better out than in ... and who knows, you might even tempt fate into serving up another Ajax-style miracle. “Surely this is the end for Mourinho at Spurs?” asks Niall Sheerin. “There is nothing there. No structure or shape; no discernible tactics or style; no spirit or spunk. In ditching Poch for Mou, Levy implicitly acknowledged that he failed in his mission to ship out the deadwood and refresh the squad in the summer. Surely it’s now time for him to acknowledge the error and #bringbackPoch.”

“Mourinho is already working on his post match interview where he contrives to blame tonight’s performance on Ndombele, Luke Shaw and Eva Carneiro,” zings Stephen Carr.

8.49pm GMT

And that’s the end of a miserable first 45 for Spurs. On the touchline, as his troops trudge back to the dressing room, Mourinho engages the fourth official in some heated debate. Not sure what he’s unhappy about. Not sure what he’s unhappy about in particular, that is. Spurs need something approaching an Ajax-style miracle. They’ve done it before.

8.47pm GMT

45 min +1: Winks is booked for cynically clipping Laimer, who was looking to break from a nondescript Spurs attack. He doesn’t bother complaining. He had to take one for the team.

8.46pm GMT

45 min: Spurs nearly concede a farcical third. Some slapstick shenanigans in their area. Dier tries to punt clear. The ball twangs off Schick’s standing leg and slowly rolls towards the bottom right. It should never go in, though Lloris nearly lets it. The keeper scoops away just in time.

8.45pm GMT

44 min: Aurier bustles down the right. He thinks he’s run the ball out for a goal kick, but the ball clipped Angelino and the officials give Aurier a pleasant surprise. Lo Celso takes the corner. A chance to change the picture just before the break? Nope. Gulacsi claims with ease.

8.43pm GMT

43 min: There won’t be much hope if Spurs concede another. Werner and Schick advance on the Spurs box. The visitors are fortunate that the pair get in each other’s way, allowing Tanganga to clip the ball away from danger.

8.42pm GMT

41 min: This is better from Spurs! Sessegnon dinks into the box from the left. Leipzig half clear. Lo Celso cuts in from the right and curls a splendid low shot towards the bottom left. It’s heading in, but Gulacsi sticks out a strong hand to parry and Upamecano mops up without panic. So close to a precious away goal, so close to some precious hope.

8.40pm GMT

40 min: Upamecano tries to release Mukiele down the inside-right channel with a glorious Beckenbaueresque rake. Just a bit too much on the long-distance pass, and it’s a goal kick. Mukiele applauds his team-mate’s ambition nonetheless.

8.39pm GMT

38 min: Upamecano carelessly gives the ball away to Lamela, but then, with Moura hoping to advance towards the box, charges it down and regains possession for Leipzig. Wonderful defending. At the moment, Leipzig are in that sweet spot where they end up impressing even when they make the odd mistake.

8.37pm GMT

36 min: The free kick leads to a corner. The corner leads to a throw. The throw leads to an extended passing sequence. Spurs can’t get hold of the ball at all. This is painful viewing from a Tottenham perspective.

8.35pm GMT

34 min: Sessegnon is correctly booked after overrunning the ball and raking his shoe down the back of Mukiele’s leg.

8.34pm GMT

33 min: Angelino is getting a ruinous amount of space down the left. He sets in motion a move which ends in Lloris punching clear under pressure from Schick and Mukiele. “Red Bull look like they’ve had their Red Bull tonight, while Mourinho’s men have had an early Horlicks,” quips Justin Kavanagh, because somebody had to.

8.32pm GMT

31 min: Leipzig look uber-relaxed at the moment, much as you’d expect them to, the state of the tie. Werner glides in from the left and tries to curl one into the top right. Too high and wide, but a decent effort nonetheless. “It seems some substitutions could do Spurs good here. I suggest Wanyama in the middle, Llorente in attack.” Sports satirist Eivind Krohg, ladies and gentlemen.

8.29pm GMT

29 min: Alli bursts down the left and is clipped from behind by Upamecano, who really should be booked. But it’s just a free kick. Spurs waste their set piece in short order, and suddenly Leipzig are breaking at speed, yet again. Werner is found just inside the box to the right. He takes a touch and lashes a shot straight at Lloris, presumably having decided that anything might happen. This time Lloris parries with strong hands.

8.27pm GMT

27 min: Werner crosses from the right, but his ball is too high for Schick in the middle. Spurs are hanging on.

8.26pm GMT

26 min: The hosts do very little with their corner. This is such an open game, though. The chances of it ending 2-0 tonight look extremely slim.

8.26pm GMT

25 min: But it’s Leipzig who look most likely to score the next goal. Angelino is afforded yet more space down the left, and he wins a corner off Aurier. Tottenham were ludicrously light at the back there, with Werner in the middle lurking. Spurs clear the corner and try to break through Alli and Lamela, but Mukiele wins the ball back, Leipzig spring back upfield, and win another corner.

8.24pm GMT

23 min: Spurs are really up against it now. But again, let us remember: this is exactly where they were in Amsterdam last season, and look what happened there. It’s a straw-clutching exercise, of course it is, but this is all Tottenham have got right now. An away goal before half-time could change everything.

8.23pm GMT

What a stunning goal this is! From the centre circle, Laimer sprays a ball down the right for Angelino, who crosses towards Sabitzer at the near post. Sabitzer powers a header down towards the bottom-left corner and in! There were a couple of Spurs mistakes - Aurier missed a header from Laimer’s pass, while Lloris was again weak of wrist - but take nothing away from the wonderful sweep of the move.

8.20pm GMT

19 min: Leipzig have the ball in the net again. Some space for Angelino down the left. His low cross flies across the face of goal, and is tapped in with great ease by Werner. But Werner had needlessly gone early, and it’s clearly offside. Werner, overly eager, let Spurs off the hook there.

8.18pm GMT

18 min: Moura works some space down the right and forces Upamecano into conceding a corner with a low cross. Nothing comes from the set piece.

8.17pm GMT

17 min: Dier and Tanganga hesitate, nearly allowing Werner to nip between them and race goalwards with the ball. Dier makes a last-ditch tackle to save the situation, before rollocking his young team-mate in the trenchant style. Spurs need to gather themselves, and quick.

8.16pm GMT

16 min: A shot of Mourinho responding to the goal pictures him gesticulating with one outstretched arm before turning away in disgust. It’s a textbook performance of the internationally recognised mime for See What I Have To Work With?! He’s not a happy man.

8.15pm GMT

14 min: But that goal has understandably deflated Spurs, while putting a fresh blast of wind in Leipzig’s sail. Momentum’s shifted. Mukiele ripples the side netting from a tight angle, though the flag belatedly goes up for offside.

8.13pm GMT

12 min: Spurs fans shouldn’t get too disheartened yet. Their team started well. And the narrative arc of this tie is following last year’s semi-final against Ajax. If history is to repeat, another goal for Leipzig before half-time and it really is on!

8.11pm GMT

Laimer scampers down the right and cuts back for Werner, whose shot from just inside the box is blocked. Werner recycles possession and tees up his captain Sabitzer, who arrows a low shot towards the bottom left. It’s a decent effort, though Lloris should tip it round the post. A weak hand and it’s in. A tale of two captains, and now Spurs are really up against it.

8.09pm GMT

8 min: During that last attack, Alderweireld had his arms wrapped around Schick, who made a half-arsed plea for a penalty kick. There wasn’t enough in it, though the Spurs defender will need to stop that if he doesn’t want to risk needless bother.

8.07pm GMT

6 min: Leipzig respond with their first serious attack of the evening. Werner presses down the right. Spurs are on the back foot. The ball’s worked towards Angelino, just inside the box, on the left. Leaning back, Angelino tries to whip a diagonal shot towards the bottom right, but gets it all wrong. It’s open.

8.06pm GMT

5 min: Some space for Alli out on the right. He swings a low cross into the box, hoping to find Lamela. Klostermann is on point and able to clear. Beforehand, Moura nearly got on the end of a long ball, only to be denied by Upamecano. This is a lively start by the visitors.

8.05pm GMT

4 min: Sessegnon makes himself known down the left, and looks to have won a corner, but the flag goes up for offside. For a split second there, the home team looked exposed. An encouraging moment for Spurs.

8.04pm GMT

3 min: Not that Leipzig have started much better themselves. Angelino takes a throw that sails infield and curls straight back out of play. Werner, hoping he’d be found on the half-way line, out on the left, gives the it-doesn’t-matter thumbs-up.

8.02pm GMT

2 min: And on that very subject, Dier overhits a simple backpass and concedes a ridiculous corner. Angelino to take from the right. Moura clears at the near post. In the dugout, Jose doesn’t look particularly impressed at what he’s just witnessed, but he soon gathers himself and reaches the touchline for an encouraging clap.

8.01pm GMT

And we’re off! The visitors get this second leg underway. It’s the very first Champions League knockout game at the RB Arena, and the home crowd aren’t disappointing. A fine noise .. and a hectic, pinball start. A few nerves on display, but not much control.

7.57pm GMT

The teams are out! Leipzig line up in their white shirts with red trim, while Spurs are resplendent in second-choice navy blue. A cracking atmosphere at a packed, Coronavirus-defying RB Arena, the 2,300 travelling Spurs fans making themselves heard as best they can. It’s time for the official Uefa remix of Zadok the Priest, the coin toss, and some pre-match pleasantries. It won’t be long before the game is underway!

7.47pm GMT

Jose Mourinho speaks. “We have nothing to lose. We are already losing. I believe we are going to do it. We go with everything. It is not much that we have. But we go with everything.” That’s from a pre-record from yesterday with BT Sport. No word from him this evening, though he has been spotted exchanging elbow-taps (damn this virus) with his opposite number Julian Nagelsmann.

7.27pm GMT

Pre-match presents. At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking little or no effort had gone into the bland pennant Marcel Sabitzer will hand over before kick-off. But squint a little harder: it’s been designed to look like a polo shirt. Full marks for busting tapered-flag convention wide open, if nothing else.

7.03pm GMT

Leipzig make one change to the side sent out at the all-new Spurs stadium three weeks ago. The 21-year-old French defender Dayot Upamecano replaces Ethan Ampadu, the 19-year-old Welsh loanee from Chelsea, at the back.

Tottenham make four changes to the side defeated in the first leg. Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies, Gedson Fernandes and Steven Bergwijn make way for Japhet Tanganga, Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela. Of those dropped, only Fernandes is named as a sub. Sanchez meanwhile failed a fitness test; youth-team defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott, 18 tomorrow, gets a surprise call-up to the bench as a result.

6.53pm GMT

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi, Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg, Mukiele, Sabitzer, Laimer, Angelino, Nkunku, Schick, Werner.
Subs: Haidara, Poulsen, Forsberg, Adams, Lookman, Olmo, Mvogo.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Alderweireld, Dier, Tanganga, Aurier, Winks, Lo Celso, Sessegnon, Lamela, Lucas Moura, Alli.
Subs: Vertonghen, Gazzaniga, Ndombele, Skipp, Fernandes, Parrott, Fagan-Walcott.

1.49pm GMT

This looks like an uphill battle for Spurs, who at the halfway point of this Champions League round-of-16 tie, are trailing to knockout new boys RB Leipzig after a 0-1 loss at home. Jose Mourinho’s men have lost four of their last five fixtures in all competitions, drawing the other slightly fortuitously at Burnley on Saturday. They need to snap that run with victory tonight, though their record this season of four wins in 21 away matches in all competitions won’t fill them with too much confidence. Nor will the fact they’ve lost all three of their matches against Bundesliga opposition in this campaign: the first leg of this tie, plus 3-1 and 7-2 defeats to Bayern Munich in the groups.

But all is not lost. In-form Leipzig may have won three and drawn two of their last five games, but they’ve already lost at home in the Champions League this season, to Lyon. The 0-2 scoreline that evening is exactly the one Spurs require to get through. Additionally, while Tottenham’s 2019-20 record against German teams is abysmal, they brushed aside Borussia Dortmund at this stage last season. And it’s impossible to forget their last knockout tie in which they lost the first leg 0-1 at home. Spurs may not have won the competition last season, but they’ll always have Amsterdam.

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Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

tir, 10/03/2020 - 22:57

If any positives are to emerge from Tottenham’s humbling by RB Leipzig, perhaps it will force this drifting club to rethink a strategy which is failing them at the moment. This is not just about José Mourinho, even if he increasingly looks like a manager whose best days belong in the past. It is also about Daniel Levy taking the easy way out when results dipped and not having the vision to stick with Mauricio Pochettino, who should have been given the opportunity to build again after losing the Champions League final to Liverpool last season.

Related: Farewell not just to a Champions League campaign but also an era

Related: All players on Leipzig bench would play in my Spurs team, says José Mourinho

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José Mourinho tells Tottenham to dare in pursuit of shock win over RB Leipzig

man, 09/03/2020 - 21:21
  • Manager says side can overturn 1-0 Champions League deficit
  • Task made harder by ankle injury suffered by Steven Bergwijn

José Mourinho laughed. What else could he do? The alternative was to burst into tears, lift the white flag and write off Tottenham’s chances of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League when they face RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening.

After all they are 1-0 down from the first leg and, well, how exactly do they turn the tie around when their attacking options are so limited? Mourinho was already without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, neither of whom are expected to feature for a while, and he wore a resigned smile as he delivered the news about Steven Bergwijn.

Related: Champions League elite have got fat on easy dominance and quality has suffered | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Dele Alli rescues Spurs at Burnley but Mourinho takes aim at Ndombele

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Manchester derby, José slams Ndombele and Serie A latest – Football Weekly

man, 09/03/2020 - 15:29

Max Rushden, Lars Sivertsen, Mark Langdon and Philippe Auclair discuss Manchester United’s double over their neighbours, Chelsea thumping Everton, José Mourinho’s comments on Tanguy Ndombele and we get the latest on Italy as Coronavirus threat deepens

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

We look back at the big Premier League talking points, as Manchester United completed a league double over Manchester City thanks to goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay. We then look at the home wins of Chelsea and Liverpool, before looking at the latter’s game against Atlético Madrid later this week in the Champions League.

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

man, 09/03/2020 - 10:00

Phil Foden gets a reality check, Chelsea’s veterans show their worth and West Ham’s board have a decision to make

The rehabilitation of Luke Shaw has been a success of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s reign. A player given harsh treatment by José Mourinho may never turn into the first-choice England left-back he looked set to be as a teenager at Southampton but his recent repurposing as a left-sided centre-back has revealed extra dimensions to his game. It is a highly specialised position, one only really suited to those games where Solskjær sets his team up to soak up pressure, but since Shaw was deployed there at Liverpool in January, 3-5-2 has been the default formation for United’s more testing fixtures. Shaw’s presence also gave Brandon Williams licence to overlap, though both were put through plenty of defensive work by Manchester City. At 24, Shaw has become a senior figure guiding young blood through matches, something inconceivable under Mourinho. John Brewin

Related: Manchester United turning a corner with Bruno Fernandes at the wheel

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Burnley 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – as it happened

lør, 07/03/2020 - 21:00

Both teams earned a deserved point in a see-saw match at Turf Moor.

8.00pm GMT

Paul Wilson was at Turf Moor to witness this particular game of two halves. Here’s his report. Thanks for reading this MBM ... and enjoy the rest of your sporting weekend. Nighty night!

Related: Dele Alli capitalises on Ben Mee mistake to earn Spurs draw at Burnley

7.59pm GMT

And now here’s Sean Dyche’s take on the refusal of the officials to give Burnley a penalty for the Sanchez-Wood incident. “People are falling all over the place. Today we saw it with Joe Gomez: he gets a push in the back and I guarantee if he flails his arms about and goes rolling on the floor, it’s given. Because he tries to do the right thing, it’s not given and Bournemouth get a goal from it. A similar thing with Chris Wood, who has tried to bring the ball down on his chest and turn in the box. The bloke came through the back of him, it’s a definite penalty, nothing given. If he falls on the floor holding his face, he probably gets it. I think the game has got to be careful. You can’t not get a decision because you’re trying to play the game correctly. I can bore myself stupid about this!”

7.52pm GMT

Jose Mourinho’s verdict is in, mainly on Ndombele by the sounds of it. “The quality and dynamic of Lucas and Lo Celso made a difference. I want to say, but I cannot say: we had something in the second half that we didn’t in the first. Lucas had fatigue, Lo Celso had, Bergwijn had, Alli had, and they gave what you saw. Don’t ask me much more than this. I was expecting players not tired to give more to the team. Somebody has to realise this is the Premier League ... I hope that next season he can be fantastic, because until now it is not enough. Skipp is a kid, he had a fantastic 120 minutes, I needed to protect Winks. He is in evolution and I would never want to criticise a kid like him.”

7.37pm GMT

Dele Alli speaks to Sky. “There was a lot of aggression [in the Spurs dressing room at half-time]. We knew we weren’t good enough, though it’s a difficult place to come. If you lose focus, they can punish you. It was a sticky changing room to be in! We probably should have won the game, we created enough to win. I knew it was going to be a physical battle, but I tried to help the team as much as I could. It’s a great achievement [to reach 50 Premier League goals] but I’d swap all 50 for the three points and the win.” He also reveals - with a huge cheeky grin on his face - that he knew he’d send Nick Pope the wrong way with the penalty ... because they practice together with England, and Alli usually puts the ball in the opposite corner. “He asked me why I switched sides! I said I knew he thought I would go that way!”

7.27pm GMT

Burnley end the day in tenth spot on 39 points. Tottenham are in eighth, two points ahead on 41. The race for Europe has a crowded field, with Burnley only six points shy of fourth-placed Chelsea, albeit having now played one more game.

7.23pm GMT

The corner’s hit long. Wood chests down at the far post, but can’t get a shot on target. And that’s that! A draw that will please neither side in the push for Europe. But on balance the right result. Burnley were the better team in the first half, Spurs in the second. Though the hosts will point to Sanchez’s shove on Wood, and the referee’s refusal to award a penalty kick.

7.22pm GMT

90 min +4: McNeil crosses from the left, forcing Alderweireld to chest behind for a corner. One last chance for the hosts!

7.20pm GMT

90 min +3: Westwood is booked for kicking the ball away in frustration at the award of a garden-variety free kick in midfield.

7.19pm GMT

90 min +2: McNeil makes to tear away down the left. Lo Celso pulls him back by the shorts, and goes into the book for his brazen cheek.

7.19pm GMT

90 min +1: A free kick for Spurs out on the right. Lo Celso takes it, but not particularly well.

7.18pm GMT

90 min: There will be four extra minutes for the two sides to find a precious winner.

7.16pm GMT

89 min: Aaron Lennon, formerly of Spurs, comes on for Hendrick.

7.14pm GMT

87 min: And it’s no good.

7.14pm GMT

86 min: Both teams are pushing hard for the winner, and this is great entertainment. Aurier makes good down the right and cuts back for Alli, whose first-time slapshot is deflected into the side netting. The first corner, from the right, is punched over the bar by Pope. The second will come from the left.

7.13pm GMT

84 min: What a save by Lloris! Bardsley sends a long diagonal into the Spurs box from the right. A poor clearing header by Sanchez, who has been dismal today. McNeil tries the spectacular volley. The ball breaks to Vydra, who whips a shot towards the bottom right. Lloris parries, and Alderweireld clears. Time stood still when the ball was at Vydra’s feet, though much good it did him.

7.09pm GMT

82 min: Lo Celso has been excellent, as usual, since coming on. He nearly scores a spectacular goal, taking a touch to the right of the D and curling powerfully towards the top left. He’s got Pope beaten, but the ball sails inches wide. Such a fine effort.

7.08pm GMT

81 min: Moura drives at Burnley. He rolls a pass left towards Alli and Vertonghen; the former leaves it to the latter, whose first-time shot is blocked. Burnley go up the other end, Wood slapping a 20-yarder straight at Lloris, who looks fine after that earlier injury scare.

7.07pm GMT

80 min: Moura shoots from distance. His effort is deflected wide left for a corner. The set piece is hacked clear, then the ball is returned by Tanganga, who sends a wild effort high into the stand behind the goal.

7.06pm GMT

78 min: Yet another yellow card, as Bergwijn tugs back Hendrick. Spurs make their last change, replacing Lamela with Aurier.

7.04pm GMT

77 min: Wood takes a crack from distance. It’s straight at Lloris, who handles well, with Vydra closing in, hoping for another fumble.

7.04pm GMT

76 min: Lo Celso swings in the free kick. Pope climbs highest to claim. It’s good fun, this second half, with both teams going hard for the winner.

7.03pm GMT

75 min: Hendrick is booked for a cynical check on Bergwijn, who was motoring down the left. A free kick in a dangerous position. Spurs load the box.

7.01pm GMT

74 min: There was a defensive nick on that Alli shot. It should have been a Spurs corner, but they’re not getting it. Alli’s far from happy.

7.01pm GMT

73 min: ... Lloris comes through a crowded box to punch clear. Spurs break at great speed through Bergwijn, Alli eventually flashing a diagonal shot wide left from a position on the right.

6.59pm GMT

72 min: More space for Taylor out on the left. His cross is slapped out for a corner. From which ...

6.58pm GMT

71 min: McNeil slips Vydra away down the inside right. He drops a shoulder to get inside Vertonghen, but as he cocks his leg back to shoot, is dispossessed by Dier’s sliding tackle. A goal-saving challenge by Dier.

6.57pm GMT

70 min: Alli drives at the Burnley back line. He slips a pass wide right for Moura, who fizzes in a low cross. Tarkowski flicks the ball clear just in time, with white shirts lurking.

6.57pm GMT

69 min: Taylor, in a tight spot near the left-hand corner flag, digs out an excellent cross. Lloris claims, but hurts himself as he makes the save. A theatrical grimace. He might be worth keeping an eye on.

6.55pm GMT

68 min: Rodriguez is replaced by Vydra, recently in the goals against Southampton and Bournemouth.

6.54pm GMT

67 min: This is a completely different game now. Spurs are dominating possession, pushing Burnley back into their final third. Skipp and Ndombele will be feeling a little down right now.

6.53pm GMT

65 min: Moura and Lamela attempt a one-two down the inside-right channel. Had Moura not fallen over, he’d have gathered the return pass and would have been clear on goal. Lamela claims Moura was illegally bodychecked by Mee, but the referee isn’t interested.

6.51pm GMT

63 min: Bergwijn embarks on a power skitter down the left. He loses possession upon entering the box, but that’s another example of Spurs moving up a gear since the equaliser. They’ve been much more positive, on the front foot at last.

6.49pm GMT

61 min: Spurs are making sorties into enemy territory now. Lo Celso is at the heart of much of it. Alli and Lamela appear rejuvenated too, exchanging crisp passes down the middle and nearly opening Burnley up. Much better from the visitors.

6.47pm GMT

59 min: Taylor zips down the left. His excellent low cross is dummied by Wood, but there’s nobody behind him to take a shot. Moura breaks upfield, and is tactically bowled over by Cork, who is the latest figure to go in the book.

6.45pm GMT

58 min: A corner for Spurs out on the left. It’s worked back out to Alderweireld, who welts a long-range effort over the bar. Pope had it covered.

6.45pm GMT

57 min: As if to illustrate the point, Sanchez barges into the back of Wood again, as the striker makes his way down the left wing. This time it’s a foul and a booking! The resulting free kick comes to nought. Then Tarkowski clips Alli at high speed and he’s in the book as well. The home side, and their fans, are greatly irritated at the minute.

6.43pm GMT

55 min: A Burnley throw from the right. It’s flung into the box towards Wood, who is barged clumsily from behind by Sanchez. Anywhere else on the pitch, and that’s a foul. Not in the area, it would seem. The referee waves play on, preposterously so. Burnley are rightly livid.

6.41pm GMT

53 min: Burnley will be wondering how they’re no longer ahead. The penalty came out of nowhere, and it was the only coherent move Spurs have put together since the opening minute. But the visitors now have the collective tail up. A palpable change of mood around Turf Moor.

6.39pm GMT

51 min: Mee had no complaints with the penalty decision, by the way. A defeated shake of the head. But Taylor isn’t so quiet with the referee now; he’s booked for a late clip on Moura, who was skedaddling down the right wing.

6.38pm GMT

No Harry Kane, so it’s Dele Alli who steps up to take. He cracks a fine penalty into the bottom left, and that’s his 50th goal in the Premier League. Well, that didn’t take Spurs long!

6.36pm GMT

48 min: PENALTY TO SPURS! Here’s a game-changer! Lo Celso slips a ball down the inside-right channel. Mee slides in to poke clear, but Lamela gets there just ahead. Mee’s toe clips Lamela, who goes over, giving the referee one of the easier decisions.

6.35pm GMT

47 min: Wood, chasing a long ball down the left, brushes Sanchez off with great ease. Wood crosses, Spurs clear after a fashion.

6.33pm GMT

Burnley get the second half started. Jose Mourinho has made two changes, hooking Skipp and Ndombele and sending on Moura and Lo Celso. Moura is the only substitute who has scored for Spurs this season.

6.20pm GMT

Half-time entertainment.

Related: Eric Dier's trip through the fourth wall was an oddly moving act of defiance | Barney Ronay

6.18pm GMT

This scoreline flatters Spurs. Jose Mourinho strides off purposefully, pen and notebook in hand. He’ll have made a few observations, no doubt, and is likely to be raising them in the trenchant style. Burnley, especially Dwight McNeil, have been magnificent.

6.17pm GMT

45 min +1: There will be two added minutes. During the first, McNeil crosses deep from the left. Rodriguez heads down for Bardsley, who attempts to send a spectacular bicycle kick into the top left. It’s high and wide, though not by much.

6.15pm GMT

44 min: Rodriguez whips a ball into the Spurs box from the left. It nearly finds its way to Wood, but Lloris claims just in time. Spurs really could do with hearing the half-time whistle. Mourinho has some thinking to do.

6.13pm GMT

43 min: Alderweireld bundles Hendrick to the floor out on the right touchline. Westwood sends a long diagonal free kick towards Tarkowski at the far post. Tarkowski heads across; Wood can only bundle the ball wide left. The flag would surely have gone up for offside anyway.

6.12pm GMT

41 min: Burnley by contrast are playing some lovely football. Taylor, McNeil and Rodriguez combine well down the left yet again. The move comes to nothing, but the ease with which they’re knocking it around must worry Jose Mourinho. His team are being thoroughly outplayed.

6.09pm GMT

39 min: Another lull. Spurs are so lethargic.

6.08pm GMT

37 min: Bardsley goes down with a muscular problem, but is soon up and about again. Whether we’ll see him in the second half is another issue. Meanwhile Burnley come again. McNeil loops long. Rodriguez heads down for Wood, who tees up Westwood. His shot from the edge of the box flies wide left. Burnley are getting plenty of shooting practice today.

6.06pm GMT

36 min: Alli makes his way down the inside right and looks for Bergwijn or Alderweireld in the box. But the pass goes astray, Burnley clear, and then Alderweireld lets a simple pass clank between his ankles and out for a throw. More sarcasm in hooray form. Spurs have been extremely poor so far.

6.04pm GMT

34 min: Some space for Vertonghen out on the left. As he runs with the ball, he holds his hands out in exasperation, as there are no options for him in the middle. He does extremely well to win a corner, but trudges off furious, nevertheless, gesticulating wildly. The set piece comes to nothing, which won’t help his mood.

6.02pm GMT

32 min: Burnley stroke it around in midfield. Spurs aren’t busting a gut to close them down. The game falls a little flat as a result.

6.00pm GMT

30 min: Spurs finally warm Pope’s hands. Lamela drives down the middle of the park and from 20 yards unleashes a rising shot towards the top right. Pope is behind it all the way. Whether or not it was the right decision to shoot is moot; Vertonghen was tearing alongside him down the inside-left channel, and could have been slipped clear into the box.

5.58pm GMT

28 min: Taylor is allowed to romp all the way down the left. His whipped cross takes a little deflection and nearly tricks Lloris at his near post, but the keeper reads the situation well to react and gather.

5.57pm GMT

26 min: Alli dithers on the ball, allowing Bardsley to make off down the right flank. He slips the ball infield for Hendrick, who has a crack that’s deflected into the path of Rodriguez, free in the box down the inside-right channel. The offside flag rescues Spurs.

5.55pm GMT

25 min: Spurs look extremely nervous and uncertain. Skipp has time on the ball in the centre circle, but there’s nobody ahead making a run, and eventually he’s closed down. The ball breaks to Alderweireld, who shanks straight out of play to sarcastic cheers.

5.54pm GMT

24 min: The first 30 seconds apart, Spurs have done absolutely nothing in attack. They’ve barely spent any time in Burnley’s half.

5.53pm GMT

22 min: Tottenham are all over the shop here. A simple long punt nearly releases Wood, Dier hesitant under the high ball. Wood is eventually forced to turn tail but nearly tees up Rodriguez in the area. Spurs eventually hack clear, but if they keep on like this, Burnley will be adding to their lead sooner rather than later.

5.52pm GMT

21 min: Alderweireld clumsily bundles Rodriguez to the ground, the best part of 30 yards from goal. McNeil goes direct for the top right, but Lloris is behind the free kick all the way and makes a save for the cameras.

5.51pm GMT

19 min: Lamela is booked for an out-of-control slide on the highly effective McNeil. He complains, though you can tell his heart isn’t really in the argument. A fair decision.

5.50pm GMT

17 min: Cork drills a pass down the left for Wood, who is bowled over near the corner flag by Sanchez, but there’s no free kick. In other rules-related news, there was a hint of handball in the build-up to the goal, the ball ricocheting off McNeil’s left arm as he made two attempts to whip a cross past Sanchez. It wasn’t flagged by VAR because it wasn’t the assist, and it might not have been deemed handball in any case, with the player’s arm by his side, and the players in close proximity to each other.

5.45pm GMT

15 min: Burnley have won ten of the 12 Premier League games this season in which they’ve scored first. History continues to deal Spurs blow after blow.

5.44pm GMT

It’s fair to say this had been coming, and once again it’s McNeil who instigates all the trouble. He beats Sanchez out on the left and crosses. Dier heads weakly clear. Rodriguez, 20 yards out down the inside-left channel, wallops a low shot straight at Lloris, who finds it too hot to handle. Wood, standing nearby, pokes the rebound into the bottom left. No more than Burnley deserve for an excellent start.

5.42pm GMT

11 min: McNeil is causing all sorts of bother out on the left. This time his cross is half-cleared by Alderweireld, and ends up at the feet of Cork, who bobbles a shot straight at Lloris.

5.41pm GMT

9 min: ... an almighty scramble in the Spurs box! It’s a good old-fashioned stramash. A comic-book cloud with boots and fists poking out of it. No idea how Burnley don’t force the ball over the line. But Spurs somehow hold out amid a melee that started with Westwood’s deep corner, causing mayhem at the far post. Westwood’s already scored directly from a corner at Liverpool and Southampton, and he nearly did so again.

5.38pm GMT

8 min: Taylor and McNeil are having the run of this left flank. They combine again, the latter fizzing a cross along the byline, forcing Dier to poke out of play. And from the corner ...

5.36pm GMT

6 min: McNeil rolls a pass down the touchline on the left to release Taylor, who has time to size up the scene. He crosses for Wood, but Alderweireld manages to half clear. Burnley recycle possession, McNeil whipping another cross in from the same flank. Dier chests down without much control. The ball breaks to Wood, who whistles a fierce drive inches over the bar from the edge of the box. That would have been some goal.

5.34pm GMT

4 min: An early goal would have given Spurs some much-needed succour. In the ten games where both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have been missing, they’ve lost eight and drawn one. It doesn’t augur well.

5.33pm GMT

2 min: In fact the ball rolled an inch behind Lamela. Or Lamela over-ran it, whichever you prefer. Either way, Spurs really should be a goal up. Burnley were uncharacteristically opened up with great ease.

5.32pm GMT

And we’re off! Spurs get the ball rolling. They’ll be hoping to put an end to their four-game losing streak, and they should be ahead within 30 seconds! Lamela, Bergwijn and Alli make their presence felt down the right. The ball rolls across towards Lamela on the penalty spot, but somehow continues rolling under his foot when it was surely easier to score!

5.28pm GMT

The teams are out! Turf Moor erupts as the hosts, draped in their famous claret and blue, take to the field. Spurs sport their equally storied lilywhite. With both teams in their first-choice duds, this is an aesthetic delight. Here’s hoping there’s football to match. We’ll be off in a minute!

5.24pm GMT

Jose Mourinho, channelling the great Art Blakey, bangs the same drum very loudly. “The feelings of the players are very important. We have an important game today, but we have another important game on Tuesday and we had two hours of football two days ago that pushed many of my players to run more thank 50 kilometres. We have to make decisions that are good for the team and the players. That is why Lucas and Lo Celso and Winks are not playing, because they are not in the best condition, and we hope they can be in the best condition on Tuesday. The players are ready to work and give everything; the point is to give them a good chance to play at a high level. I look to Leipzig today, they had Timo Werner on the bench, and are not in the situation like we are, they have six or seven attacking players. So for us it is more difficult than for others. I am not going to speak again because people are tired of listening to me.”

5.08pm GMT

Sky have a pre-match word with Sean Dyche. “We’ve had a few blips but come out of that strong. It certainly would be a marker to go above a club like Spurs, but you’ve got to earn the right. The whistle hasn’t gone yet, so we’ll see. We weren’t a million miles off when we didn’t win, but we had some big moments against Leicester, and a really good performance at Manchester United, and that inner belief grew. Our performances have been strong and consistent. We’re going to have to raise our game today.”

5.01pm GMT

The 3pm kick-offs have finished. Wins for Arsenal and Crystal Palace have pushed Burnley into the bottom half; they can move up to eighth with a win this evening. Spurs have been nudged down to eighth as a result of Sheffield United’s victory; they’ll leapfrog Wolves into fifth if they get the three points on offer tonight. Mind you, if they lose by four clear goals, no prizes for guessing who’d leapfrog them on goal difference. Their old north London pals Arsenal. So plenty at stake at Turf Moor.

4.41pm GMT

Burnley make just one change to the XI selected last weekend at Newcastle. Chris Wood replaces Matej Vydra up front.

Spurs make five changes to the team that crashed out of the FA Cup at home to Norwich. Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Japhet Tanganga, Tanguy Ndombele and Erik Lamela replace Michel Vorm, Serge Aurier, Harry Winks, Giovani Lo Celso and Lucas Moura.

4.31pm GMT

Burnley: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, McNeil, Wood, Rodriguez.
Subs: Brownhill, Brady, Hart, Pieters, Lennon, Vydra, Long.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga, Vertonghen, Skipp, Dier, Ndombele, Bergwijn, Alli, Lamela.
Subs: Winks, Lo Celso, Sessegnon, Gazzaniga, Aurier, Lucas Moura, Fernandes.

4.45pm GMT

To think Burnley (last title 1960) were in a spot of relegation bother not so long ago. But we never should have doubted Sean Dyche’s side. Four wins and two draws in their last six matches have seen the Clarets catapult up the table, and now they’re bothering the European spots instead. It’s been a fantastic run of form.

By contrast, Tottenham Hotspur (last title 1961) are in a bit of a state. A three-game winning burst at the start of February, against Manchester City, Southampton and Aston Villa, slightly flattered Jose Mourinho’s injury-hit side. Now they’ve lost four games on the bounce, if we count the midweek penalty shoot-out loss to Norwich City in the cup, which we surely must. The team haven’t looked at all confident going forward lately, unless you factor in Eric Dier’s determined stand sortie the other night. European football next season is far from a pipe dream, but they’ll need to arrest the slide, and quick.

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Dele Alli rescues Spurs at Burnley but Mourinho takes aim at Ndombele

lør, 07/03/2020 - 20:44

This is still not Tottenham as we know them, but at least the slump has been stopped. José Mourinho has never lost four games in a row before, let alone five, so he will have been pleased to see his side come back from a goal down and a shocking first-half performance to draw a line under the losing sequence, even if Burnley and their captain, Ben Mee, will be kicking themselves for letting their visitors back into the game.

Mee was guilty of an uncontrolled tackle at the start of the second half that gifted Spurs a penalty and gave them a route back into a game that they never seemed likely to find for themselves. Burnley were so much on top in the first half they were probably not too worried about the number of chances they wasted, but the game changed when Spurs equalised and in the end a point apiece was a fair result. The home side missed their chance to overtake Spurs in the table and will have to console themselves with extending their unbeaten league run to seven matches.

Related: Alexandre Lacazette breaks West Ham’s resistance for fortunate Arsenal

Related: United and City ensure Manchester derby is not just about the football | Jonathan Liew

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Eric Dier in right frame of mind to play for Tottenham, insists José Mourinho

fre, 06/03/2020 - 23:36
  • Manager says Dier will start at Burnley after incident with fan
  • Mourinho: ‘Nothing to be afraid of, nothing to be ashamed of’

José Mourinho has said Eric Dier will start at Burnley on Saturday because the player has put his high-profile altercation with a Tottenham fan behind him and is in the right frame of mind.

The Spurs manager believes his player has “nothing to be afraid of, nothing to be ashamed of” following the incident on Wednesday in the emotional aftermath of the FA Cup penalty shootout defeat at home to Norwich.

Related: Eric Dier's trip through the fourth wall was an oddly moving act of defiance | Barney Ronay

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Eric Dier's trip through the fourth wall was an oddly moving act of defiance | Barney Ronay

fre, 06/03/2020 - 18:00

Sympathy for Spurs player’s action reflects an age where anonymised abuse isn’t just aimed at sporting celebrities

‘Where can there be a place in the game for a man of such extravagant talent, a man of such wicked temperament? A man who has now … OH MY GOODNESS ME!!! He has KICKED … He has PUNCHED A FAN!!! Eric Cantona has jumped in and SCISSOR KUNG FU KICKED a fan. I have never seen such a disgraceful incident in all my years in football. Cantona must be thrown out of the game. I care not one jot about his supreme talent!!”

The words of the young firebrand Jonathan Pearce there. Pearce was commentating on the radio as Cantona scissor kung fu kicked – excellent football-style technique descriptor there – an abusive supporter at Selhurst Park in January 1995. In the process he captured perfectly the mind-boggling weirdness of a moment where modern football became, ahead of time, a truly interactive entertainment.

Related: Eric Dier in right frame of mind to play for Tottenham, insists José Mourinho

Related: After Eric Dier snapped, let's turn the spotlight on the abusers too

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