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José Mourinho Oversees Wonderful Tottenham Comeback Against Olympiacos

José Mourinho praised the character of his players - and the quick thinking of a ballboy - as Tottenham overturned a 2-0 scoreline against Olympiacos to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.

After Saturday’s victory at West Ham United, Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Greek champions, Olympiacos was eagerly anticipated.

The Portuguese boss has, of course, won this competition twice - firstly with Porto back in 2004, then again with Internazionale in 2010.

It is a competition the 56-year-old knows well, but his Champions League era at Tottenham Hotspur didn’t start well.

It was a shocking opening, Spurs looked dishevelled - unable to complete the simplest of passes while also looking like they were running through sand.

No surprise then to see Olympiacos take the lead, and it was of the hosts making. 

Youssef El-Arabi fired in a rocket from distance after some slack combination marking from Danny Rose and Harry Winks - six minutes in, Tottenham were behind.

Ruben Semedo then made it double-trouble for Mourihno, two-nil down and not even 20 minutes on the clock, the worst possible start to the opening quarter. 

Dele Alli prospered from an almighty mistake by Yassine Meriah to pull Spurs back into the tie - the defender air kicked his clearance. Alli tapped home from three yards, a life-line in first-half added time. 

Mourinho either fired his players up or gave them a hair-dryer at the break, whichever it was Tottenham flew out of the blocks in the second half. 

Lucas Moura picked out captain Harry Kane on 50 minutes, the end result? A goal, of course, 2-2.

Comeback complete, Tottenham pushed for the win. Serge Aurier on hand to strike home a wonderful third goal for the hosts - the Ivorian’s shot nestled in the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

And with 12 minutes remaining, Kane was on hand to make the result emphatic, Christian Eriksen whipped in a free-kick and the forward headed the ball in to grab his second and Spurs’ fourth. 

With his brace, the Englishman became the fastest to reach 20 goals in the Champions League, notching the milestone in 24 games - beating Alessandro del Piero’s previous record by two. 
 

Three Stars

José Mourinho - an odd choice perhaps to name the coach, but a valid one. Two-goals down the Tottenham boss identified a lack of creativity in midfield. Unafraid to make an early change, on came Eriksen for Eric Dier after just 29 minutes - it paid dividends as Spurs began to create almost immediately.

“I want to apologize to Eric Dier, it is not easy for a player to be taken off on early on, but it is not easy for a coach either. It is not about individuals it is about the team’” Mourinho told BT Sport after the game

With Olympiacos pegged back Mourinho brought on Moussa Sissoko for Lucas Moura. The result was a more compact Tottenham who then controlled the midfield, enabling their attack to prosper. 

Harry Kane - A much-needed brace that guarantees Tottenham’s place in the last 16 (with Bayern’s result in Serbia). A vital equalizer was then followed by the goal which wrapped up all three points. 

The forward’s movement for both goals was exceptional, Kane has a knack of knowing where to be at the right time, and his new record shows this.

Youssef El-Arabi - For 45 minutes the Olympiacos forward tormented the Tottenham backline, and the Morrocan will have given Mourinho plenty to think about, with the reality of leaking four goals in his opening two games.

The 32-year-old’s opener was sublime, from the way he controlled the ball, cutting inside, to the technique shown in the shot. A remarkable goal to open a remarkable game. 

 
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