Mourinho blames Spurs’ mental fragility as West Ham complete stunning comeback in dramatic 3-3 draw

    Tottenham Hotspur surrendered a three-goal lead to be held to a 3-3 draw in the London derby against West Ham, with Manuel Lanzini scoring a stoppage-time stunner.

    Spurs flew out of the traps and were ahead inside 45 seconds, the north London side winning the ball back on the edge of their own box, before Harry Kane played a quarterback style, raking ball over the Hammers defence to Heung Min Son, leaving the South Korean the task of beating his man and passing it into the back of the net which he did with aplomb.

    Seven minutes later and it was two, Kane – once again involved in the build-up – received the ball 25 yards from goal, before popping it through the legs of Declan Rice and smashing it past the flat-footed Fabianski from and into the bottom corner in trademark fashion.

    Two quickly became three in the 16th minute as Son received the ball between the lines, laid it off to the advanced Sergio Reguilon, the summer signing playing a perfectly weighted, first-time cross to the back post where an unmarked Kane headed past Fabianski with ease as Spurs looked like they were cantering to victory.

    However, West Ham looked greatly improved from the offset of the second half, and had a great chance to pull one back in the 50th minute. The ever-dangerous Michail Antonio being shown onto his stronger foot only to see his floated effort headed over the bar by Pablo Fornals from close range.

    The game looked to be fizzling out to a 3-0 win for Spurs, but then, with eight minutes to play, West Ham finally got on the scoresheet, an Aaron Cresswell free-kick being headed home by Fabian Balbuena.

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    While many were thinking that the goal was nothing more than a consolation, the Hammers pulled another one back three minutes later, a drilled cross by substitute Andriy Yarmolenki being turned into his own net by Davinson Sanchez.

    Having been introduced as a second-half substitute, Gareth Bale had a chance to make sure of the points for Tottenham, the returning Welshman dribbling past two defenders and moving into the box, before putting his effort marginally wide of Fabianski’s left-hand post.

    Bale was made to pay for his miss as the East London outfit completed the most unlikely of comebacks and in the most sensational and dramatic of fashions. Another Cresswell free-kick from the left was this time cleared by Spurs, only to be met by Manuel Lanzini who hit an absolutely unstoppable strike in off the bar to salvage a point with virtually the last kick of the game.

    Speaking afterwards, Jose Mourinho tried his best not to be overly critical of his side, but admitted his side were mentally ‘not strong enough’, while praising West Ham’s ‘belief’ following their incredible turnaround.

    “I have to analyse the second half and have to do it internally, but for you I prefer to say football happened, and praise West Ham’s belief,” he told Sky Sports.

    “It is not easy to be losing 3-0 and be dominated, to keep the belief. I knew they are a different team to last season, but to lose an advantage of three goals is a big punishment and eventually deserved.

    “I found already by analysing from touchline, some things are completely out of the context, once more an indirect free-kick, the own goal, the third is a free-kick and second ball, a rebound.

    “The game was under control, we had Harry Kane to score the fourth when he hit the post, Gareth Bale to kill the game. The game was more to the fourth goal, but that’s football.

    “Not deliberately, but the team was dropping, with (Harry) Winks we found balance again and was in control. It was exactly when we were in control that we conceded the first and their belief went up. My guys were not strong enough to cope with it psychologically. The last few seconds we lost two points.

    “I told them to be aware of set-pieces against, which we knew they were very strong. David found in Soucek his new Fellaini. They fought very hard to be lucky, so I praise them.

    “This is a game that was in the pocket and we lost two points.”

    Read – A decade of FSG: Suarez controversy, Brendan Rodgers, and the contentious transfer committee

    See also – Strange days: Why Everton, Leicester and Spurs are in the reckoning to win the Premier League this season

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