Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has continued his offensive against Liverpool by claiming their bench was putting so much pressure on referee Anthony Taylor he feared Giovani Lo Celso would be sent off.
After the 2-1 defeat the Portuguese criticised Jurgen Klopp’s touchline antics claiming to broadcaster Amazon Prime: “If I behaved the same, I’ve no chance to stay there. I’m out one minute after.”
However, he went further by suggesting he had to substitute Lo Celso, on a caution, as he was concerned the Argentinian would receive a second yellow card influenced by Liverpool’s staff.
“With this yellow card and the behaviour of these guys they have on the touchline, putting incredible pressure on referees I feared for a possible second yellow card,” he is quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.
“And Gio was playing exactly in front of their bench in an area that (is) very dangerous. So I was afraid of the yellow card and I had to take him off.”
Tottenham’s first Premier League defeat since the opening weekend of the season saw them concede top spot to Klopp’s side.
Mourinho has consistently played down his team’s credentials as genuine challengers to the defending champions and while defeat at Anfield was a blow, the Spurs boss insists they remain focused on remaining competitive.
“I think the first thing that makes title contenders is to go to every match to win it with that ambition and I promise you the ambition is there,” he added.
“If in any match you see us not trying to win it is not that we don’t want it is because the opponent pushes us to different situations.”
Asked what the message to his players was going forward, Mourinho said: “It is to follow the same road.
“It is not because we have lost that we are going to leave that road. The road is to improve, to prepare the future of this team better and better like other clubs do, like other managers have the time to do.
“We have a big game again on Sunday against one of the best teams (Leicester) and we have to move on. Let’s go for Sunday again.”