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SPORTS

100 goals not bad for a negative team, says Tottenham boss Mourinho

FOOTBALL By Reuters | March 8th 2021
March 7, 2021 Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale with manager Jose Mourinho as he is substituted [ REUTERS]

Tottenham Hotspur became only the second club in one of Europe's big five leagues to reach 100 goals in all competitions this season after a 4-1 defeat of Crystal Palace on Sunday, giving manager Jose Mourinho a chance to have a dig at his critics.

Until the current three-match winning run in the Premier League, Tottenham were sliding down the table with Mourinho's tactics coming under scrutiny.

But a 4-0 victory over Burnley last weekend and Sunday's defeat of Palace in which Harry Kane and Gareth Bale combined in stunning fashion with two goals each, has put Tottenham back into sixth spot and in contention for a top-four place.

"If the stats I was given are correct -- 100 goals scored in the season, which for a very defensive team, a very negative team, is not bad," Mourinho told reporters.

Tottenham have a Europa League last 16 tie against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday and then a north London derby against Arsenal. There is also a League Cup final to look forward to as Tottenham's season comes back to life.

"It was a good week for us. Three matches, nine points, and for next week when we play a crucial match in the Europa, and against Arsenal, nothing could be better for us than to win nine points this week," Mourinho said.

Bale scored after 25 minutes but Christian Benteke's soaring header earned Palace an equaliser on the stroke of halftime.

A few weeks ago that might have knocked the stuffing out of Mourinho's side but they responded with Bale restoring their lead before Kane struck with a sublime goal and then wrapped it up with a header from Son Heung-min's assist.

"We can see that when you concede a goal in the last minute of the first half and start the second half very positive without a scar from conceding that goal, the players have a lot of confidence in this moment," Mourinho said.

On the dream duo of Kane and Bale, Mourinho said: "It was an amazing goal -- when I saw the ball leave his foot I knew where it was going, the trajectory was incredible.

"(Bale) needs to enjoy the positive talk with everybody that was doubting his first half of the season. He's playing very well and working hard for the team."

The only other club in Europe's big leagues to reach 100 goals in all competitions is Bayern Munich (106).

 

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