Jose’s verdict on Lokomotiv Plovdiv
Thu 17 September 2020, 20:11|Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho spoke about a moment that just about summed up our Europa League second qualifying round tie against Lokomotiv Plovdiv on Thursday evening.
That moment arrived at around 8.25pm local time, 6.25pm back at home in the UK, when Georgi Minchev, off the bench just two minutes earlier, stooped to head the Bulgarian team into the lead.
It was a game we’d dominated, yet suddenly we were 1-0 down and, in a one-off tie, facing the exit door.
“I have to admit, everyone on their side in the stadium had a moment where they really dreamed, and we had a moment we felt a nightmare could arrive,” explained Jose, pitchside, after Harry Kane’s penalty (80 minutes) and Tanguy Ndombele (85) turned it around to give us a 2-1 win.
“I knew that the game would be tricky, and, as I was saying at half-time, the first half was not bad at all. I couldn’t complain much with the players, just asking them for a bit more intensity.
“The team was not bad at all. We created chances, we had a big penalty (appeal) that could change everything, we hit the post and we were totally dominant, but the game had this danger of a one-match knock-out, so when they scored, of course it was a risky situation.
“We took our risks by taking Davinson off and playing with only one defender, one against one, but at that moment I believed the players had the quality and intensity and then with Lucas, Lamela, Tanguy, we had fresh players coming from the bench to try to change it.
“It was a hell of an experience for the players, a match where sometimes in football miracles happen, and when you play a knock-out, only one leg, it’s the perfect scenario for a miracle to happen.”
We now visit Macedonian outfit Shkendija in the third qualifying round next Thursday (24 September) after their 1-0 win against Romanian side Botosani.