Tottenham hit back to beat Olympiakos in Mourinho's home bow

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on November 27, 2019 - Duration: 01:21s

Tottenham hit back to beat Olympiakos in Mourinho's home bow

Jose Mourinho haul’s Eric Dier off the pitch, but leads Tottenham to a win over Olympiakos.


Tottenham hit back to beat Olympiakos in Mourinho's home bow


(SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR COACH, JOSE MOURINHO, ON SUBSTITUTING ERIC DIER, SAYING: "The most difficult moment of the game for me was not when Olympiakos scored the first or the second goal.

The most difficult moment of the game for me was when I made the change in the first half.

Hurt the player but hurt myself.

Not easy for the player, but also not easy for myself.

It's important that the player understands, and I was lucky that my choice was with a very intelligent boy and a boy who has a very good understanding of what a team is.

Because I did it for the team.

It was not about his performance.

It was about what the team needs." 2.


(SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR COACH, JOSE MOURINHO, ON BALL BOY, SAYING: "To do that, you have to be a very good ball boy.

I was between 10 and 15 or 16-years-old, I was a very good ball boy and the kid is a very good ball boy.

He understands the game, reads the game.

He's not there just to look at the stands or at the lights or the scarves.

He's there living the game and playing the game very, very well.

In the end I wanted to invite him to the dressing room to celebrate with us, but he disappeared.

I don't know where he is.

But a very good ball boy.

Very good, really." STORY: Eric Dier became the first Tottenham Hotspur player to discover Jose Mourinho's ruthless streak as the Portuguese manager's decision to haul off the midfielder after half an hour ultimately proved a masterstroke on Tuesday (November 26).

Mourinho's first home game in charge after replacing Mauricio Pochettino was turning ugly as Greek side Olympiakos Piraeus led 2-0 inside 20 minutes of the Champions League Group B game.

But twice Champions League winner Mourinho acted decisively, sacrificing Dier's defensive shield, and sent on Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen who, just as on Saturday (November 23) in Mourinho's debut win over

Class="kln">West Ham United, had been left on the bench.

It took a while for the tactical switch to work but Dele Alli levelled on the stroke of halftime and the second half saw Tottenham run riot with Harry Kane scoring twice either side of a thumping effort by Serge Aurier.

Tottenham, runners-up in June under Pochettino, have qualified for the last 16 and in Mourinho's first two games in charge they have scored seven and conceded four, perhaps confounding those who said he would bring boring football to north London.

While the Dier/Eriksen swap worked a treat, Mourinho said it had been the hardest part of his evening.

Mourinho, sacked by Manchester United last season after his reign there turned sour, has been charm personified since swapping punditry for the Tottenham job.

As well as praising his players' response to adversity on Tuesday, and the fans, he also waxed lyrical about a ball boy, whose sharp thinking allowed Serge Aurier to take a quick throw-in that ultimately led to Harry Kane's 50th-minute equaliser.

"To do that you have to be a very good ball boy," Mourinho said with a straight face.

Tottenham's performance rather summed up their season.

They were caught cold and were lucky that a defensive howler allowed Alli to reduce the arrears before the interval.

In the second half, with Eriksen providing the ammunition for Kane, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura, Tottenham were ruthless.

With a home game against Bournemouth this weekend, Mourinho has every chance of starting with three straight wins.

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