Football

Tottenham will bank on Jose Mourinho in Europe

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho  

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Atletico faces Juventus hoping Alvaro Morata keeps scoring

Tottenham turned to Jose Mourinho to try and maintain its status as a Champions League club, but a terrible start to the Premier League season leaves the Portuguese with a mountain to climb either domestically or in Europe.

Could winning the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history actually be Spurs’ best way to secure the riches and prestige of Europe’s premier club competition for a fifth consecutive season?

Despite its dreadful domestic form and a 7-2 thrashing at home to Bayern Munich last month, Mauricio Pochettino left with his side well-placed to reach the last 16 once more.

Home debut

Victory over Olympiakos in Mourinho’s home debut on Tuesday will secure their passage into the knockout stages.

“I think we can go and win that match at home and qualify in the Champions League,” said Mourinho, who has a proud record of always qualifying from the Champions League group stages in spells as Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

A rejuvenated Spurs could certainly cause problems for some of Europe’s more fancied sides.

However, Mourinho has failed to win a single knockout tie in the Champions League over the past five years. Spurs will now have to see if Mourinho is still capable of Champions League miracles.

Best hope

Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata may be Atletico Madrid’s best hope of a solution to its scoring problem as it faces Juventus having hit six goals in his last seven games.

In total Morata has seven goals, almost a third of his team’s 22 in all competitions and in the last month, that dependence has increased. Atletico has scored 10 goals, of which Morata has claimed six. From Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid to Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus and then Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, Morata has been never truly established himself as a scorer to be relied upon.

Yet at 27, his best years should still be ahead of him and in Atletico he may finally have found somewhere he can settle.

He is delivering now and while his own challenge will be to sustain it, Atletico must find a way to share the load.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:48:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/tottenham-will-bank-on-jose-mourinho-in-europe/article30078991.ece

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