Jose Mourinho hailed Tottenham as “magnificent” after their Carabao Cup shootout win against Chelsea, while revealing more about a touchline exchange with Frank Lampard.
Erik Lamela’s 83rd-minute equaliser cancelled out Timo Werner’s first Chelsea goal, sending the game to the lottery of spot-kicks. Tottenham scored each of theirs before Mason Mount pinged his effort off the crossbar to send Lampard’s side out.
Mourinho’s love affair with the Carabao Cup continues, having progressed from 26 of his 31 League Cup ties, but Tuesday represented the first time he has progressed via a penalty shootout in the competition, losing his previous three.
The Portuguese boss was full of praise for his Tottenham side after their performance, telling Sky Sports: “I told you before the game we would be ready to fight and we were ready to fight. I told the players before the penalties that I don’t care about the penalties, I care about what we did before.
“We were the best team, we were magnificent. In the second half a super team like Chelsea looked very ordinary, and they are not. We played so, so well.
“I told the players they should only think about this game, but I have to think about three games at the same time. They only thought about this game and they were phenomenal, so all credit to the boys.
“I have an incredibly negative record on penalty shootouts, but today I had a feeling that everything was going well. We were by far the best team and the boys deserved to win the match.”
Mourinho insight into Lampard exchange
There were a few words exchanged between Mourinho and Chelsea manager Lampard on the touchline – at one point getting a little bit heated – but the Portuguese shared only kind words after the game and gave an insight into the advice he gave his former player.
In his post-match press conference, Mourinho added: “With Frank, the most important thing is my feelings towards him rather than any words we exchanged… He always gave me everything he had as a player and I never forget that.
“My feelings towards him will always be feelings of how much I owe him for how much of an incredible player and friend he was. The only thing I was telling him, just an opinion of an old coach to a young talented coach, which was when the players need us, it is when they are losing. When they are winning we don’t need to be the protagonists of the touchline, we need to be there when they are losing.
“In the last match when they were losing 3-0 [against West Brom] I felt really sorry for him because he was sad and quiet in his chair. In terms of football, I can’t teach him anything. He knows football, it is just an opinion, stay on the touchline when your team is losing and stay calm when your team is winning.”
Mourinho: What Dier did was not normal
Following the game, Eric Dier was named as man of the match and his performance came just over 48 hours after he was controversially penalised for handball against Newcastle.
He came in for special attention from Mourinho who told Sky Sports: “What Eric Dier did is not normal and I have to praise him in a special way. The football authorities have so many rules at the moment but it should be forbidden for a player to play two matches at this intensity in 48 hours.
“The Newcastle match was a Premier League match, and this one was a match at Premier League level. It is not human what Eric Dier did.
“All the other players were phenomenal, too. (Japhet) Tanganga hadn’t even played a friendly. I feel sorry for Joe (Hart) but I had to [pick Hugo Lloris] to give a sign to my team that we were here to win.”
There was also a comical call of nature for Dier as he sped off down the tunnel in the second half – pursued by a storming Mourinho – but he soon came back out to finish the game and score in the penalty shootout.
Mourinho added: “He had to go! But I was just trying to put pressure on him to have him back for the rest of the game. He was a great example for everybody playing these two matches.”
Lampard: Spurs messed our game up in second half
For Chelsea, it was another Carabao Cup exit on penalties, having lost six of their last eight League Cup shootouts, including all three in the fourth round.
Lampard admitted his side need to deal better with an interruption to their game plan – as Tottenham did in the second half – but he did pick out some good moments.
He told Sky Sports: “You get to penalties and anything can happen at that stage. You want to stay in these competitions of course, but there was some really good bits in our performance.
“The first half was as dominant as you can get in terms of possession. You want to create more chances, yes, but Tottenham were out of of the game. In the second half, they messed our game up a bit, but with the control we had before then we wanted to score more goals or that can happen.
“When teams go long and miss your press and turn you round the other way it’s not easy to get the fluidity and rhythm going. It was a clear change of tactic from them, and it’s something we need to deal better with.
“We looked tired at the end which was understandable given where we are at. Timo Werner had some cramping at the end so he didn’t take a penalty.”
How did Edouard Mendy and Sergio Reguilon fare on their debuts?
Analysis by Sky Sports journalist Charlotte Marsh:
“It was ultimately a good debut from Mendy. The 28-year-old has been brought in to solve a goalkeeping problem and looked assured in a Chelsea shirt. In the first half, he did well to come out and help smother Gedson Fernandes’ run and his first save from a set-piece was a strong punch.
“As Tottenham began to test him more, Mendy was equal to the challenge, denying Lamela and Sergio Reguilon. There was one nervy moment in the second half when he failed to claim a corner, but a strong collection not long after dampened those fears.
“He will have been disappointed with the result and conceding late on, but that asked more questions of Emerson than the goalkeeper. Overall, it was a confident performance and he may have even booked a spot in the starting line-up against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
“On the other side, it was a zero-to-hero performance from Reguilon on his Tottenham debut. He took a while to settle into the game and was given the slip all too easily by Cesar Azpilicueta in the build-up to Chelsea’s goal.
“But after that – and particularly in the second half – the left-back was incredibly impressive. As Spurs moved further forward, Reguilon became dangerous on the left wing and twice went close himself, being denied by Mendy’s foot and nodding wide not long after.
“It was his sweeping cross for Lamela’s equaliser that will really have caught the eye and excited Tottenham fans. While he may need a little bit of shoring up in his defensive duties – which will come with time and adaptation to the Premier League – he showed bags of potential on his first outing.”