Jose's verdict on Maccabi Haifa
Thu 01 October 2020, 23:31|Tottenham Hotspur
Delighted to qualify for the group stage, delighted with the effort of the players after their seventh match in 19 days, Jose Mourinho wasn’t going overboard after our 7-2 victory over Maccabi Haifa in the Europa League play-off on Thursday night.
Harry Kane led the way with a hat-trick – his 12th for Spurs, and in doing so becoming the first Spur to score three hat-tricks in Europe – with Gio Lo Celso (2), Lucas and Dele also on target.
The Israeli Premier League side made it 1-1 with a bolt from the blue from Tjaronn Chery on 17 minutes but it was 4-1 at half-time, then quickly 4-2 and 5-2 in the second half, Harry scoring from the penalty spot. The striker completed his treble on 74 minutes and Dele wrapped it up with another spot-kick in added time.
“The game was a bit strange,” said Jose. “Normally to score seven goals is impressive, but I don’t think the performance was impressive. It was clinical, and we hurt them many, many times in transitions.
“They were adventurous, they risked a lot and tried to play the way they normally play every match in their league. I don’t think they feared us, and they were punished badly with seven goals.
“I don’t think it was a special performance from us but, again, job done. Apart from Lo Celso, who is now a question mark for Sunday, no more problems. So, yes, job done.”
Jose was full of praise for the what the players have delivered in this unprecedented start to 2020/21 with eight games in three competitions - including knockout ties in the Europa League and Carabao Cup - in the space of 22 days.
“If we remember what we did in this past month, it’s incredible,” he added. “Three Premier League matches, three knockout in Europe, the Chelsea game... seven matches in this period of time, with another in two days, really, really hard, so I’m very pleased for the boys.
“Of course, we deserve the group phase, and we have to go through the group phase, then the difficult Europa League will start, with the teams dropping from the group phase of the Champions League. Let’s enjoy it!”
The draw for the group stage of the Europa League takes place at UEFA’s House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland at 12noon UK time tomorrow (Friday 2 October).
Meanwhile, we've been drawn away to Stoke in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup - full details...