Mourinho singles out Spurs duo for praise – ‘Ardiles and Villa would not be ashamed’

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur are through to the next round of the FA Cup, although they made it far harder than it should have been.

The Lilywhites took the lead through Giovani Lo Celso in the second minute after the Argentine won the ball high up the pitch, ran into the box, and slotted it home.

Before long, it was number two for Spurs and number two for Argentina, as Lamela this time won the ball in the final third and went on a delightful run before poking it past the keeper.

Both Lamela and Lo Celso played the full 90 minutes for Mourinho as they looked to increase their match fitness after respective injury spells.

Spurs conceded late on, making for a nervy finish, but the work rate from Lamela and Lo Celso helped the Lilywhites to see it out and book their place in the fourth round.

Jose Mourinho was impressed with the duo at full time, even stating that Ardiles and Villa would not have been ashamed of their performances.

He said (Football London): “Do you want me to call them Ardiles and Villa? No. They played very well. Ardiles and Villa would not be ashamed of them for sure. They played very well. The team played very well, especially in the first half.

“The second half we started ok but then gave some sloppy reactions to let them feel their way back into the game. Jonathan [Woodgate] was not sleeping, he was awake, he was reading the game. He brought on Gestede alongside Fletcher and they started playing long balls, second balls.

“They scored the goal and we had to defend. But the majority of the game our energy was there. We should have scored more goals and killed the cup tie.

“But I am happy with Lamela and Gio. Lamela was out for so long, he has been coming back step by step. Playing 20 minutes here, half an hour against Liverpool and 90 here. You could see his fitness is coming.

“And Gio again has been step by step. He was so so good against Liverpool and so so good here again. I am happy with the boys. They played with intensity. And I am happy with result obviously.”

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