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Spurs boss Mourinho hails Wolves after win

PUBLISHED: 17:57 15 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:57 15 December 2019

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho at Molineux

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho at Molineux

PA Wire/PA Images

Jose Mourinho believes Wolves can qualify for the Champions League, after Tottenham’s smash and grab win at Molineux.

Jan Vertonghen's injury-time header gave Spurs a fortunate 2-1 victory to end the hosts' 11-game unbeaten run, after Adama Traore had cancelled out Lucas Moura's opener.

Tottenham climbed to fifth, three points behind Chelsea ahead of their clash next Sunday, while Wolves sit two points back in eighth.

But Spurs boss Mourinho expects their opponents to push the top four and challenge in the Europa League, with the draw for the last 32 made on Monday.

He said: "It's a question for Nuno (Espirito Santo) but they're with us, Chelsea, United, Arsenal fighting for top six and smelling the top four.

"I think that's what they do. In the Europa League I always think it's unfair that the losers (in the Champions League) drop back.

"For me, the losers of the Champions League should go home. But now they get Inter, Ajax, and teams that are already good.

"They get guys from the Champions League, but they can beat anyone - home or away. They have an incredible mentality."

Tottenham have now won five of their seven games under Mourinho since he replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month to continue their revival.

"It was one of those victories where quality is not enough. If you are not a real team in the real sense of what the word team means, it's impossible," added Mourinho.

"Sometimes football is strange because you could have exactly the same game and no goal in the last minute and you're speaking about a draw.

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"Wolves would be one point ahead of us and we would not be as happy as we are now."

Moura opened the scoring after eight minutes, drilling in after a jinking run took him past Jonny and Romain Saiss.

Eric Dier hit the post in the first half but Spurs were second best and Traore's 20-yard rocket levelled after 67 minutes.

The hosts looked the only winners but Vertonghen's header from Christian Eriksen's corner in the first minute of stoppage time stole the points.

Wolves boss Santo called for more protection from referees for Traore after Toby Alderweireld, Harry Kane and Dier were booked for fouls on the winger.

This season 24 players have been cautioned for fouling Traore in 26 games.

Nuno said: "Referees know, we mentioned that, and they realise. They should punish the tackles and protect the players who have talent like Adama.

"It's tough to defend (against) and opponents do what they have to do, it's up to the referee to judge.

"All the referees know in cases of players like this they must act immediately to prevent an injury because sometimes a tackle can cause a serious injury and it's not fair.

"He scored a good goal, it's one of the things he must do.

"We controlled most parts of the game and created a lot of chances.

"Mistakes happen in football, it happened at the end, but I'm very proud with the way the team performed. We keep on going, it's football."


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