Soccer

Jose Mourinho cools fears ‘incredible’ Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele could miss Arsenal game on Sunday

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho praised the performance of Harry Kane in both halves of the pitch, after Spurs secured a 2-0 last-16 first-leg win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League.

The England captain netted both goals, one in each half, to put the Premier League side in a strong position ahead of next week’s second leg, though the Spurs boss felt his side perhaps warranted an even bigger scoreline given how much they dominated play and the chances they created.

That said, given Dinamo hadn’t been beaten in the competition this season until the full-time whistle went, Mourinho acknowledged that he would have accepted a two-goal cushion beforehand.

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“I believe that one more goal would be a good reflection of the game and put us in a much better position, but if before the game you ask me if 2-0 is a good result, I say yes,” he said to BT Sport after the match.

“To win and [keep] a clean sheet is a good result. But only if we do the job there, so still a difficult match [ahead].

“They will be more comfortable [at home] and have nothing to lose so it will be a difficult match for us.”

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One contentious moment in the match saw the impressive Tanguy Ndombele go to ground in the box under a challenge which left him ultimately needing to be substituted. Mourinho felt it was a penalty at the time, but calmed any fears that the midfielder could miss the north London derby at the weekend.

Harry Kane, who was subbed off and sat with an ice pack on his knee, should also be fine to feature against Arsenal – and his manager lauded his contribution to the team all over the pitch.

“I think so [it was a penalty]. They said not and we have to accept [it].

“No concern [for Ndombele], even Harry I don’t believe it is anything big. It’s a game everyone wants to play on Sunday, little things are not going to stop them playing. I believe they are going to be OK.

“Harry is doing everything: the striker job of scoring goals, the team work of creating space and assisting play, he’s doing the extra work which not many strikers do which is pressing, coming behind on defensive set pieces and he helps us a lot.

“He has an incredible number of clearances and we couldn’t be happier.”

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