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Mourinho and Tottenham’s title ambitions take a blow after Leicester City defeat

Tottenham lost against Leicester City on Sunday.
Tottenham lost against Leicester City on Sunday.
ANALYST
Modified 21 Dec 2020, 23:27 IST
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A week ago, almost everyone was touting Tottenham Hotspur as Premier League title contenders. However, the last seven days have dealt the North London side a reality check.

From sitting at the top of the Premier League, Spurs have dropped to fifth in the league table after a run of three games without a win. Jose Mourinho's side drew with Crystal Palace last week before suffering only their second league defeat of the season to Liverpool in midweek.

However, Sunday’s 1-0 loss against Leicester City has dealt their title ambitions a serious blow. Not only have Spurs lost their position as league leaders, but they are also now also trailing Liverpool by six points.

Even worse, the likes of Leicester City, Manchester United and Everton have also moved ahead of Mourinho’s side. Tottenham made a bright start to the campaign and their recent slump cannot define their season.

A test of Tottenham’s character

Mourinho is right to be worried about the attitude and mentality of his players. Against Leicester, Spurs looked way off the pace and were often reactive instead of proactive.

The first half was destined to end without a goal until Serge Aurier carelessly barged into Wesley Fofana in the Spurs penalty area. From the resulting penalty, Jamie Vardy stepped up and put the Foxes ahead right before half time.

Tottenham never recovered from Vardy's goal and allowed Leicester to grow stronger and stronger as the game progressed. Brendan Rodgers’ side created several chances and nearly made it 2-0 after the restart, but VAR ruled James Maddison’s incredible strike as coming from an offside position.

Leicester eventually doubled their lead when Vardy’s header was diverted into the Spurs net during an attempted clearance by Toby Alderweireld.

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Tottenham's title chances slipping away

Mourinho sounded like a broken record when he spoke in the aftermath of the game. The Portuguese knows that his side's title chances are gradually slipping away and he is unsure if his players will respond appropriately.

"We didn't start well. I could go on about the individuals but I don't," Mourinho told Sky Sports after the game. "But in our best period in the first half, when we were totally in control and had a couple of good chances to score and expecting to be at 0-0, you go 1-0 down.
"Then, in the second half, we score an own goal when we had possession and we were creating more. That was difficult," Mourinho noted.

It remains to be seen if Spurs have the character and attitude to bounce back and get their title charge back on track. Similar performances in the past have prevented Tottenham from challenging for the Premier League title.

Mourinho, a serial winner, will definitely be looking to turn things around quickly following a poor week that has dented the club’s title ambitions. 

Published 21 Dec 2020, 23:27 IST
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