‘I had no bench’ – Mourinho claims fatigue despite making just two substitutions

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Jose Mourinho believes that it was a lack of attacking options on the bench that crippled Tottenham Hotspur in the final half an hour of their 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

Mourinho decided to set Spurs up in a low block and was happy to let United have the ball for the majority of the affair.

For the most part, the away side struggled to break down a stubborn Tottenham defence, with Mourinho’s men looking threatening on the break whenever they won the ball back.

Spurs deservedly led 1-0 at half time and the second half started similarly to the first with the home side sitting back and waiting for their opportunity to counter.

However, the Red Devils grew more dominant in the final half an hour of the game and were rewarded for their efforts as they were handed a penalty as Jonathan Moss ruled that Eric Dier had fouled Paul Pogba inside the area.

Bruno Fernandes equalised from the spot for United as the spoils were shared between the two top-four hopefuls.

Mourinho admitted that he was pleased with his side’s effort and application to carry out their game plan but insisted that it would have been a different story at the end if he had the likes of Dele Alli and Lucas Moura to call upon.

The Spurs boss told Sky Sports: “What did I like? I like the team attitude, the team organisation, the control, following a plan, being very solid, giving to United what they don’t like and really happy with that.

“I was unhappy with the fact that, the way I was reading the game, I had no bench to react to it. With Lucas and Dele, they would be on the bench or they would be playing, then I would have on the bench some of our attacking players.

“When they become more dominant because we were quite tired up front, by being tired we couldn’t press, it was easier for them to build and at the same time we couldn’t be dangerous on the counter-attack because we had no legs for that. So it was hard to manage the game in that sense.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I thought that Jose got his game plan spot on and that we looked pretty comfortable until around the hour mark. Tired legs started to creep in after that, which was to be expected given the raft of changes United made. However, I was surprised that Jose did not bring Tanguy Ndombele on for a late cameo in the match just to give the team some fresh legs.

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