3 Times Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho proved he was a master tactician
Jose Mourinho is considered to be one of the best managers in the Premier League after what he did for Chelsea in his first stint at Stamford Bridge. He led them to several titles, including the two Premier League-winning campaigns.
He is known for his mind games and also for his on-field tactics. His management proved to be crucial for Manchester United in their Europa League title-winning campaign and the Special One’s latest victim was Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this season.
Let’s take a look at three instances when the Portuguese proved he was a master tactician.
Chelsea 3-3 Tottenham (FA Cup 2006/07)
Tottenham were leading 3-1 in the first half of the 2007 FA Cup sixth round at Stamford Bridge. The Blues then roared back from being down and enforced the tie into a replay. Jose’s bold decision did the tricks.
Full-backs Ashley Cole and Paulo Ferreira were withdrawn as he introduced a few attack-minded players. Michael Essien, who started as a midfielder, moved to left-back but was solely focussed on bombing forward. At the same time, Chelsea were left with only one specialist defender in Ricardo Carvalho.
Goals from Frank Lampard and Salmon Kalou in the last 20 minutes ensured them a replay, which the Blues eventually went on to win 2-1. Mourinho led them to victory in the finals over Manchester United that season.
Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea (Premier League 2017/18)
Mourinho took charge for the second time against his former club after United were badly beaten 4-0 earlier in the campaign.
Strike duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial were available for the encounter at Old Trafford. But Mourinho did a Mourinho and opted for Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard as the frontmen in a 3-5-2 flat formation.
The Swede was in stellar form but the Portuguese tactician knew energy and movement were more important against his former side. Rashford went on to open the scoring within 10 minutes and Ander Herrera added another goal just four minutes after the break.
Mourinho made Herrera keep Eden Hazard in check, as the Spaniard pressed hard against his target and never left him with space. Another interesting fact was that United scored twice but never allowed Chelsea a shot on target.
Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City (Premier League 2019/20)
Spurs were not even near their best prior to this fixture but went on to a 2-0 win in classic Mourinho style.
They struggled in the first half with City’s wingers Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling causing a lot of trouble from the wide areas. Tottenham spent the majority of the game with every player behind the ball.
Ilkay Gundogan’s first-half penalty was saved by Hugo Lloris and Oleksandr Zinchenko’s two yellow cards owed a great deal to the scoreline. Mourinho’s counter-attacking style came into effect against Guardiola’s tactics.
The first goal came after a counter-attack was stopped by Zinchenko, who received his marching orders. Steven Bergwijn opened the scoring with an instinctive volley as he announced himself to the Premier League in fine fashion.
Later on, substitute Tanguy Ndombele sped with the ball and found Son Heung-Min, whose shot found the back of Ederson’s net via a deflection off Fernandinho.