Mourinho explains Tottenham’s latest late-game collapse

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For the fourth time in six Premier League games, Tottenham Hotspur conceded a late goal to drop unnecessary points as they drew relegation-threatened Fulham 1-1 on Wednesday.

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In total, Tottenham’s inability to close out games has cost them seven points in the last month alone. With seven more points added to their total, they would sit atop the Premier League after 17 games played. Alas, for the third time in a month, 1-0 became 1-1 inside the final 16 minutes they simply couldn’t afford to not win (Crystal Palace and Wolves being the others), and Tottenham sit sixth in the Premier League table as a result.

So, why does it keep happening? Typically, Jose Mourinho’s attacking risk aversion has seen opponents enjoy far too much possession in dangerous areas, only for the dam to inevitably burst under considerable pressure. On Wednesday, however, Tottenham were hardly without chances as Son Heung-min had three golden opportunities to score and came up empty each and every time. Here’s Mourinho’s assessment of the situation — quotes from the BBC:

“In the first half, Alphonse Areola made some impossible saves, couple of others in a second, too.

“We have to kill a game and we didn’t — but you have to keep a clean sheet, not make mistakes, so it was a very avoidable goal. The markers are there, there wasn’t even an advantage in terms of numbers.

“They were intelligent enough to understand the way they play, they change, they become more defensive and they are getting results. I thought they were a bit lucky, but they were good.

“We have bad results and we should — and we could have — avoided these results.”

“Once more we concede a goal that is completely avoidable. I have to admit in the second half, they played more. They were losing and tried, but Hugo Lloris did not make a save but we did not kill the game. Again, we lose the man in the corner.”

Up next for Tottenham is a trip to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United (Watch live, Sunday, 9:05 am ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), who on Tuesday picked up their first win of the 2020-21 season.

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