Mourinho reveals tactical thinking behind Leicester game plan in interesting interview

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Jose Mourinho
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur cruised to a 3-0 victory against Champions League chasers Leicester City this evening in the Premier League, but the scoreline does not tell the whole story.

Spurs had just 29% of the possession throughout the match, had just three shots on target, and conceded 24 shots and 13 corners to the Foxes (BBC).

Despite all this, they managed to net three times and keep a clean sheet against Brendan Rodgers’ side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

With injury and suspension problems aplenty for the away side, Rodgers was forced into a back five with 36-year-old Wes Morgan starting against the Lilywhites.

Mourinho revealed in his post-match press conference that he wanted to be honest about his tactics and game plan for the match.

He claimed that Spurs decided to sit back and let Leicester have the ball with their three centre-backs in order to bring them out and make them feel comfortable.

Tottenham then used counter-attacks and fast transitions to tear the Leicester defence apart and see out the comfortable victory.

Mourinho said (Football London): “I think it was an intelligent performance. I knew that for them to play with this back five is not a very comfortable situation. I want to be honest with Brendan. I don’t remember someone was so honest with me when I was playing without a striker, but I want to be honest with Brendan and it’s easy to analyse that to play without Ricardo Pereira, Soyuncu and Chilwell destroys a backline.

“So we decided to take away from them where they can hurt us, which is basically behind us. We took away from them our defensive depth by making our defensive block a little bit lower than we normally do. Then we gave the ball to them, to their back three because we wanted them to bring the ball and we wanted them to feel quite comfortable, leaving their comfort zone, which is where they are not playing many matches. Bennett and Morgan, we wanted to take them away from their comfort zone to try to explore the counter-attack and fast transitions. So when we scored three goals in the first half, I think the game is over.

“Then it’s just about being compact and controlling the game, so I’m very happy because it’s a lot of pressure for us. For them too because they have had a phenomenal season and now they are fighting to keep the position that was their position for the whole season and we are fighting until we can and see in the end.”

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