Toby Alderweireld

Mourinho, Alderweireld react to North London Derby win

Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho played down the import of winning the North London Derby prior to the game.

Toby Alderweireld would do no such thing after Spurs beat Arsenal 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

“It’s massive for us,” Alderweireld said. “We did everything that we could. We fought and got a little bit of luck as well to get three points today. … We wanted to prove some points because in the press there’s a lot of negativity in the team. Today we showed that we have character and really want it.”

[ MORE: JPW’s Three Things ]

Alderweireld admitted it’s important to finish above the Gunners.

“It’s massive, not only for the team, for our confidence to get the momentum going but especially for the fans. They can’t watch us in real life. Everybody wants to be here and I think this is a present for them on Sunday.”

Mourinho, for his part, said the game was tighter than he’d like but he enjoyed matching wits with Mikel Arteta.

“The game was close,” he said. “I think the game was more tactical. Mikel found a way for them to be stable and improve. They are improving. I think we did it very well because how many times Tierney and Bellerin reached the last third and how well they were controlled. We were dominant at that level.”

“We found our chances and great experience. Really hot, nobody thought about it but Arsenal had 48 hours more than us, so it was hard but from that heart, this effort, this battle, 2-1, zero problems, everything under control. We are happy because we made the fans happy and we are still in the fight to be in a Europa League position. Chelsea and Liverpool didn’t help us at all but this is about us. We must get the points and we lost some important points.”

Spurs have Newcastle, Leicester, and Palace left on the docket to go with a 2-point lead on Arsenal, who face Liverpool, Villa, and Watford. Burnley is level on Arsenal with 50 points, while Sheffield United is two clear of Spurs in seventh with 54.

Tottenham strikes late, leaps over Arsenal

Leave a comment

Heung-min Son had a goal and an assist on Toby Alderweireld’s late winner as Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal 2-1 in a home North London Derby on Sunday.

[ MORE: JPW’s Three Things ]

Alexandre Lacazette scored a spectacular goal for the Gunners to give Mikel Arteta’s men an early lead, but Arsenal sees its rivals climb above them and into eighth place on 52 points.

Arsenal’s 50 points drop them into ninth place, four back of seventh-place Sheffield United. The Gunners are in danger of missing out on European competition for the first time since 1996.

WATCH TOTTENHAM – ARSENAL FULL MATCH REPLAY


Key points

Europe without Arsenal? Eighth-place looks set to deliver the Europa League to the Premier League thanks to Man City’s European ban and Arsenal and Spurs are locked in a four-team battle for seventh and eighth. Sheffield United’s 54 points lead the pack by 2 over Spurs and the Blades don’t have a soft out on the schedule with Leicester, Everton, and Southampton. Spurs have Newcastle, Leicester, and Palace and a 2-point lead on Arsenal. The Gunners have Liverpool, Villa, and Watford, while Burnley has 50 points and faces Wolves, Norwich, and Brighton.

A very Mou second half wins it: Arsenal was the better team on the day but Mourinho got goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris whenever Spurs opened the door in the second half. Mourinho let Arsenal have the ball with the hopes of conjuring danger in different parts of the field. Spurs registered seven shots on target and, like Arsenal, could’ve had more goals had the keepers not played quite well. But Spurs were credited with the only “big chances created” of the game as Arsenal’s best opportunities were supreme individual efforts from Aubameyang and Lacazette.

Man of the Match

You’d say Son by default given his goal and assist, and he could’ve had a hat trick had Martinez and David Luiz each denied him from close range, but advanced stats site SofaScore makes a brilliant case for the notes industrious day of Lucas Moura, who had two key passes, 10 tackles, and charged in 26 duels to win 16.


Tottenham – Arsenal recap

Emiliano Martinez leapt high to snare an in-tight Harry Kane chance.

Hector Bellerin then roasted Ben Davies on the right flank to play an invitation through the 18 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang couldn’t pick up.

That’s when the fireworks started, Lacazette having some time with the ball outside the 18 and lashing an absolute piledriver past a flying Hugo Lloris.

But Spurs had an answer when Heung-min Son beat David Luiz to a wayward Sead Kolasinac pass and popped the ball over a desperate Martinez for 1-1 in the 19th minute.

Davies hammered a shot that Martinez pushed off the bar in thrilling fashion as the game passed the half-hour mark.

Nicolas Pepe answered that shot with a curled shot wide at the other end.

Aubameyang tore into a 26-yard free kick that just missed the far post in the 40th. Pepe then pumped another shot to Lloris as Arsenal crept closer to a second goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The second half began tamer, with Hector Bellerin winning a corner kick and Shkrodan Mustafi popped an overhead kick into the hands of Lloris.

Aubameyang then smashed the woodwork in the 59th minute before Pepe won a free kick on the edge of the 18.

Mikel Arteta took off Nicolas Pepe for fellow live wire Bukayo Saka with 20 minutes to play.

Martinez made an incredible save on Son when Kane drove the left side of the box and cut back for the South Korea, only for the keeper to react so well.

Lloris made a fine stop on an Aubameyang arrow for the far corner in the 79th.

That’s when Alderweireld put Jose Mourinho’s men on top with his close-range header of Son’s corner.

Kane hit the post in the 83rd as Spurs aimed for comfort.

Premier League social media wrap: Mother’s Day edition

Premier League social media
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

There’s a lot of love for Premier League wives and mothers on Sunday, even though it’s not Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Mother’s Day is a March celebration in England, while of course today is the day in the United States and many other countries in the world.

Spurs boss Toby Alderweireld hailed both his wife and mother on this Moederdag, posting a throwback photo to his wedding as well as a pic of his wife and children.

Legions of PL players are sending love back home, including Southampton center back Maya Yoshida who is on loan with Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria.

Many know that Man City forward Gabriel Jesus “phones home” to his mom in Brazil with his goal celebrations, which he incorporated into his Happy Mother’s Day message.

Brighton and Hove Albion keeper Mathew Ryan was sending love to and from Australia.

Former Manchester United and Newcastle player Giuseppe Rossi sent love to his mother.

Now with Real Salt Lake, he commiserated with his mother on her coronavirus pandemic annoyances.

Finally, one of the many mothers in the NBC family proffered well wishes for the mothers of the world.

Spurs prevail late in 5-goal thriller at Aston Villa

Leave a comment

Heung-Min Son completed his brace deep in stoppage time gave Tottenham Hotspur a 3-2 win over Pepe Reina and defiant Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Pepe Reina made six saves for Villa, who got goals from Bjorn Engels and a Toby Alderweireld own goal but couldn’t find a point and sit a point clear of the bottom three.

Alderweireld also scored his first Spurs goal in three years, as Spurs move into fifth place with 40 points. That’s one back of Chelsea, which plays Monday.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to win ]


Three things we learned

1. Alderweireld, Engels find redemption: It seems like this happens more often than it should, and it happened twice Sunday when defenders cost their team goals and then made amends in their non-traditional third. First Alderweireld knocked in a Villa cross after a miscommunication with Hugo Lloris, only to rocket an equalizer home. Then Bjorn Engels conceded a penalty to Spurs before nodding a header home.

Just like match days when goals are either universally hard to find or going in all over Europe, this game has a way of showing its sense of humor.

2. Bergwijn, Davies light up the left: Aston Villa’s right side of the defense was troubled by a pair of “new” faces: Ben Davies returned at left back from a long injury lay-off and Stever Bergwijn is proving to be a wonderful January transfer.

3. Reina has a day to defy the score line.: Tottenham had four or five late chances to take all three points, but got it down with their final bid after an Engels giveaway. The ex-Barcelona and Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina make six saves on the day, and was loud in organizing the backline. Most of the time, Reina bailed them out when they failed to heed his notes.

Man of the Match: Grealish was very good, drawing a half-dozen fouls and producing plenty of danger, but it’s was between Reina and Bergwijn before Son’s heroics. Of course it’s the South Korean.


The first half-dozen minutes were rough-and-tumble, with physical and cynical fouls for both sides.

Villa claimed the lead in the ninth-minute when Pepe Reina sprung Anwar El Ghazi with a long pass and Alderweireld couldn’t deal with the Dutchman’s cross.

Dele Alli had a promising bid to level the score blocked within minutes, but Villa was also pressing for a second. Douglas Luiz came close to making it 2-0 in the 19th minute, but Ben Davies got a bit of it to concede a corner instead.

Harry Winks and Steven Bergwijn led a rush down the right. The latter crossed beautifully for Dele Alli, whose flying header went wide of the far post.

Spurs midfielder Eric Dier bailed out his backline when Grealish thought he had Mbwana Samatta cued up for a point-blank shot.

Alderweireld scored a beauty off a 27th-minute corner, wheeling to lash a shot over Pepe Reina.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Dele beat the defense but stung a shot wide of the far post near the 35th minute, and Hugo Lloris made a fine parry on El Ghazi minutes later.

Ben Davies had a fantastic first half in his first start in 2.5 months after an ankle injury, working a 1-2 en route to a double block from the Villa backline before half.

VAR gave Spurs the chance to go ahead in first-half stoppage when Bjorn Engels cut down Bergwijn in the box. Reina’s saved Son’s silly spot kick, but the South Korean bundled the rebound with an outside-of-the-boot jab.

Lloris made a fine save in the 52nd minute, but the Spurs keeper saw the ball in his goal when Engels joined Alderweireld in redemption, nodding Grealish’s corner home.

Reina stopped a low drive from Bergwijn off a bad Villa giveaway, and Bergwijn had a 70th-minute shot deflected out for a corner. Reina then stopped Dele’s break in the 74th, and a Son drive 11 minutes later.

Then he stopped Son on the ensuing corner, but the South Korean was not to be denied on the day and grabbed his second goal at the very death.

Toby Alderweireld signs new Tottenham contract

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ah, the old Jose Mourinho factor has come into play here.

After months, no, years, of stalling, Toby Alderweireld has finally signed a new contract at Tottenham Hotspur.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

The Belgian center back, 30, has agreed a new three-year extension to his current deal, which was due to expire in the summer, and it is believed he is now being paid over $130,000 per week. Per reports, Mourinho played a big factor in convincing Chairman Daniel Levy to offer the deal to the experienced Belgium international.

Aldwereireld had a year left on his previous deal after a clause was triggered which extended his stay at Spurs but also meant he would be available for a knockdown $35 million in the summer window.

In the end nobody bought Alderweireld and he remained at Spurs, and now he will remain a little longer.

This is a huge relief for Tottenham, as Alderweireld has consistently been their best central defender since arriving from Atletico Madrid in 2015.

His former teammate at Germania Beerschot and Ajax, Jan Vertonghen, is set to see his contract expire in the summer but seeing Toby re-sign may now give him a nudge in the same direction.

The only other ‘contract rebel’ left at Spurs would then be Christian Eriksen, who has struggled badly for form this season and out of the three players who’s contracts were running out he always seemed the most likely to leave.

Alderweireld is steady and underrated but Mourinho has obviously already seen just how important he is to this Spurs team.