Lucas Moura

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Antonio forced to don Spurs jersey after losing to Sessegnon at FIFA

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The Premier League derby between Tottenham and West Ham was meant to be on Friday. With the coronavirus postponing all Premier League activity through at least April 30, the real game has yet to take place.

Still, West Ham winger Michail Antonio and Spurs wide man Ryan Sessegnon decided to hold the game anyways despite their isolation during the shutdown. Virtually.

The two agreed to a match of FIFA between the two clubs, and spent two days promoting the event before grabbing the Playstation controllers and streaming the game live on Twitch.

Even their clubs got involved to promote the event, with the two sides streaming the event as well as putting it up on Twitch.

Ryan Sessegnon came out victorious via a 2-0 scoreline, with both Giovani Lo Celso and Lucas Moura on the virtual scoresheet. The second goal was a lovely bit of play between Moura and Dele Alli in the box, which had Antonio reminding himself the stream had to be kept PG despite his frustration.

Antonio was frustrated with his performance, calling it “embarrassing” at halftime and posting that “The passing was off, shooting was bad and couldn’t tackle,” on social media, although he jokingly caveated that by saying “my controller must have been broken.” After the loss, per the rules of the bet, Antonio was forced to don a Tottenham kit, which he did so extremely begrudgingly.

Which Premier League players would you like to see play each other in FIFA to decide the outcome of an otherwise postponed match?

Leipzig dismisses disheveled Spurs from Champions League

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Marcel Sabitzer scored twice as RB Leipzig didn’t give Tottenham Hotspur’s comeback bid a chance in a 3-0 win at RB Arena in Germany on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Emil Forsberg added an 87th-minute goal to complete the scoring and leave the tie 4-0 on aggregate.

Leipzig advances to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal for the first time, while Spurs’ campaign to return to the final dies with a whimper.

[ MORE: Dele reacts | Mourinho, too ]


Three things we learned

1. Spurs go in 11 different directions: Okay, so this is a bit of an exaggeration, but the amount of times Spurs players went for glory over the smart play or chose the wrong run was almost overwhelming. Whether it be an extra touch for four with a dribble or a 25-yard shot with little hope of troubling the keeper, Spurs were both frustrated for space or tempted to think there was more of it. Almost every forward move with a modicum of promise featured these sorts of mistakes.

2. Clinical Leipzig put it to bed early: An early goal from Spurs would’ve put this tie on its ear, and Julian Nagelsmann men knew that. Leipzig came out of the gates with purpose and intensity, turning Spurs’ midfield and defense inside out. It didn’t help that Hugo Lloris was not at his best.

3. Adams makes long-awaited Champions League debut: A season-long battle with injuries meant Tyler Adams’ 55th-minute entrance for Nordi Mukiele was his first-ever UCL appearance. Adams played a role in the third goal, and finished his shift with 32 touches and a tackle. He was 3-for-3 on duels and 2-for-2 on dribble attempts.

Man of the Match: Well, it’s Sabitzer or bust, isn’t it?


Leipzig’s first goal was well-earned, as Spurs were all over the place by the time Sabitzer opened the scoring with a fine finish of a Timo Werner pass.

Werner thought he had it 2-0 off an Angelino assist, but the linesman’s flag was up. Sabitzer provided that goal from the same provider in the 21st.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A goofy bounding ball forced Hugo Lloris to get horizontal and slap a ball free of the cage before halftime. Spurs finished the first half with a single shot on target.

There was a very scary injury to Nordi Mukiele in the the 54th minute after he was struck in the face by a loose ball. He was stretchered off the pitch.

Lucas Moura blazed around the left flank to cut back for Dele Alli in the 74th, but Peter Gulacsi was in the right spot to catch the ball.

Adams saw his shot blocked but Forsberg blasted in the rebound to finish the scoring in Germany.

Mourinho roasts Ndombele after yanking midfielder at half (video)

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Jose Mourinho put one of his players on blast after Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw with Burnley on Saturday.

The manager opted to start Oliver Skipp and Tanguy Ndombele, and the pairing struggled mightily in a first half that saw Burnley take a 1-0 lead.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Mourinho took both off at the break, and substitute Giovani Lo Celso helped author Spurs’ equalizer.

The halftime hook wasn’t enough embarrassment for Mourinho’s liking, and he took a shot at record-signing Ndombele after the match. From Football.London:

“My thinking in the first half was that we didn’t have a midfield. Of course I’m not talking about Skipp as he’s 19-year-old. I’m not critical of Skipp at all. Tanguy had enough time to come to a different level. A player with this potential and responsibility has to give us more than he is giving us.”

He also said that the players’ performance forced him to divert his plan of saving Lo Celso and Lucas Moura.

Ndombele passed at 84 percent, and converted two of three dribbles while winning five of eight duels and making a clearance in his 45 minutes.

Mourinho has made complicated comments on Ndombele prior to Saturday, wondering aloud about the player’s uneven health or readiness to play.

Ndombele was clearly a big place to lay the blame for Mourinho, whose above comments are only slightly more measured than his post-match comments on television.

After naming a number of players as fatigued

“I hope he uses every minute on the pitch and every minute knowing what the Premier League is to improve,”  he said, via the BBC. “Many fantastic players in their first season in a new country for different reasons they struggle. There have been many examples of that. He’s a player with great talent. He has to know he has to do much better and know I cannot keep giving him opportunities to play because the team is much more important.”

Mourinho clearly started this midfield and hoped he could get three points off Burnley while resting his first-choice men for the Champions League at midweek.

The risk backfired, and Mourinho isn’t about to take responsibility for that. Instead, he burned a bridge (and lowered the price tag) of a big-dollar transfer.

“I was expecting players not tired to give more to the team,” he said (video above). “Somebody has to realize that this is the Premier League. This is probably a new experience and the first time he comes to Burnley. I hope that next season he can be fantastic because until now it is not enough.”

Hope for the future. Woof.

Three things learned: Tottenham v. Wolves

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LONDON — Wolves beat Tottenham 3-2 in north London on Sunday as Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side continued their surge up the Premier League table as they outclassed Jose Mourinho’s injury-hit Spurs and deserved the win which boosts their chances of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts ]

An end-to-end encounter saw Spurs take the lead early on through Steven Bergwijn who slammed home after Serge Aurier teed up Dele Alli but his show was saved by Rui Patricio. That opener sparked Wolves into life and they grabbed a deserved equalizer when Ruben Vinagre crossed for Matt Doherty to finish.

Spurs retook the lead before half time as Aurier rifled home a shot with his left foot which flew into the top corner but Wolves almost levelled at the start of the second half as Diogo Jota flicked a header just over. Dele Alli then headed inches wide as he spurned a glorious chance and moments later Wolves were level again. Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and Doherty combined to set up Jota to tap home on the line.

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Jimenez then sealed the comeback and the win as he finished up a counter as Jota played him in and Mexico’s star striker finished with extreme composure to stun the home fans and secure a massive victory for Wolves as they move two points ahead of Spurs and are now just three points off the top four.

Here’s what we learned from a wild clash in north London on Sunday as Wolves and Tottenham put on a show.


WOLVES HAVE MOMENTUM IN TOP FOUR RACE

They have a small squad, played away in Spain in the Europa League on Thursday as they reached the last 16 and still they wouldn’t quit. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were dogged at Tottenham as they twice pinned the hosts back and dug deep to secure a huge win. With hefty challenges, rapid counter attacks and total commitment they kept their Champions League dreams well and truly alive and this game summed up everything that is great about this Wolves side. Jimenez and Traore ran themselves into the ground, while the in-form Jota was a brilliant pest and even when they coughed up goals their belief never wavered. Wolves went to Tottenham and grabbed a statement win which took them above Spurs in the table and kept their momentum going. Wolves have lost once in their last seven games, that was a narrow defeat against Liverpool, and they now face only one team who sit above them in the table in their final 10 games of the season. That is fourth-place Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, on the final day of the season. Wolves are three points off the top four and Chelsea can feel Wolves breathing down their necks.


3-4-3 NOT THE WAY FOR SPURS TO GO

It wasn’t pretty and the 3-4-3 system doesn’t really suit Tottenham. Given the absence of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son up top, Jose Mourinho keeps going back to it and although they had more of a cutting edge in attack they lacked defensive stability as strangely both Vertonghen and Alderweireld were left on the bench. Given their recent displays, what else could Mourinho do? Going forward Bergwijn, Lucas Moura, Goivani Lo Celso and Dele Alli can all operate centrally and combine in the final third, but it isn’t Kane, Alli, Eriksen and Son in their prime when former boss Mauricio Pochettino preferred 3-4-3 in their title pushing seasons a few years ago. Dele Alli missed glorious chances and there was just no direction in the final third and no belief without Son and Kane. Defensively there is so much work to do as Mourinho abandoned any kind of formation late on and he doesn’t appear to have a plan with this group of players. Tottenham have now lost three games in a row in all competitions and they are in freefall. The negativity Mourinho is spreading about injuries is in the psyche of his team. This is not good, at all. Spurs look very unlikely to make the Champions League next season and Mourinho will have some big questions to answer, injuries aside.


JIMENEZ BACK IN FORM

Wolves’ Raul Jimenez has now scored 13 goals in 28 Premier League games this season. That is the same amount he scored in 38 games last season. Mexico’s star striker is having an even better season this time around and after a run of four goals in 11 games (a rough patch, for him!), Jimenez was back to his menacing best against Spurs. Early on he had a few loose touches but he managed to work his way into the game and he set up countless counter attacks to set up another second half comeback fro Wolves. Jimenez is a hero in Wolverhampton and Mexico and if he leads this side to the Champions League he will be able to shine on the biggest stage of all, which he truly deserves. In the last two seasons he’s scored 39 goals in all competitions, assisted 18 times and has become the highest-scoring Wolves player in the Premier League. His 13 Premier League goals this season have been worth 16 points to Wolves, the joint-most won thanks to a player’s goals alongside Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. That is why Jimenez is well on the way to becoming a Wolves legend.

Tottenham issue Kane, Son injury update

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Tottenham have issued an injury update on Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son and Jose Mourinho seems increasingly positive that they will play together again this season.

Kane hasn’t played since he suffered a hamstring injury on Jan. 1 which required surgery, while Son broke his arm in their 3-2 win at Aston Villa which has left Mourinho without his two first-choice strikers.

Speaking ahead of Tottenham’s mouthwatering clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday (Watch live, 9 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com), Mourinho revealed that Kane is ahead of schedule with his recovery and is back in training on the pitch.

“I would say he is a little bit ahead. It gives me a hope that instead of (being fit for) one or two matches, three, four, five. Just speculating a bit, the feelings are good. He is doing what he can do at this stage but always with a good feeling. Everything is going well. When he was injured I said ‘forget him’, then I said ‘one or two games’. At this moment I have better hopes than that, hopefully that feeling is right and he can help us in the last few games of the season. He’s obviously a great pro and a fighter and wants to be back as soon as possible. But what is that soon as possible? I don’t know. I cannot imagine when (Heung-min Son will be back) but there is a good possibility that before the end of the season we have Harry and Son playing together.”

This is a boost for Tottenham and Mourinho had previously said he feared that neither Kane nor Son would be available to play again this season.

It appears that both will be able to play a handful of games which could be crucial in helping Tottenham reach their goal of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. Son could wear a special cast to help him play as he recovers from arm surgery in his homeland of South Korea, while Kane’s return may be a little longer as Tottenham will not risk rushing their star striker back from injury once again.

Son stepped up admirably in Kane’s absence but his injury has left Tottenham woefully short in attack with Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso their main attacking threats, while Dele Alli and Erik Lamela have both suffered a dip in form.

Mourinho has bemoaned his lack of attacking options and Tottenham’s sluggish attacking displays in their defeats against RB Leipzig and Chelsea proved how much they are missing Kane and Son. If the duo can get back and feature by the end of March or start of April, the final months of the season will look a lot different for Tottenham.