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Mourinho rips refs, VAR, says ‘some important players hiding’ in Spurs loss

Arsenal claimed bragging rights in North London with a 2-1 win against Tottenham, as Alexandre Lacazette and Martin Odegaard turned the tables after Erik Lamela's incredible opening goal.

“No post-match interviews for referees? It’s a pity.”

And with that, Jose Mourinho set the stage for a vintage “Mou” interview following a North London derby defeat.

An angry Mourinho ripped into a couple of his players and the referees after Tottenham Hotspur fell 2-1 to Arsenal on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium.

Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette scored as Arsenal dominated Spurs save for a gorgeous rabona goal from Erik Lamela and a late sequence that saw Spurs take four of their six shots from the 90th minute forward.

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Mourinho said some of his big players were “hiding” in the first half. Heung-min Son left injured after 19 minutes, so that would leave it to players like Harry Kane and Gareth Bale.

Given the Portuguese manager yanked the latter after 58 minutes...

“I think we played really bad in the first half,” Mourinho said on NBCSN after the game. “We were poor. Defending bad. No intensity, no pressing, even in terms of creating attacking football, some important players hiding. First half really bad.”

Hugo Lloris seemed to agree in his interview, singling out only a single teammate for praise.

“The only one who can have some credit today is Lucas because he gave all and created a lot of danger,” Lloris said.

The goalkeeper said earlier in the interview that he was angry with the way Tottenham came out of the gates.
“The feeling is that in the first half they were much better than us, more aggressive than us,” Lloris said. “We should’ve managed the game better and not conceded the goal before halftime. The second half we were better. We had to wait to get the red card to increase the intensity and willingness to come forward. At the end it’s a loss and a big disappointment.”

Back to Mourinho: The manager’s real furor was saved for the referees after a decisive penalty call saw Alexandre Lacazette sent to the spot after swinging and missing a side volley.

Spurs center back Davinson Sanchez came flying through the air to block the shot, but Lacazette’s flub meant the Colombian clattered into the Frenchman. Lacazette did not miss the spot kick.

“It’s a question but an impossible question because they don’t speak,” Mourinho said. “A big question for Michael [Oliver] to answer and probably Paul Tierney, too, in VAR, but according to [fourth officla] Kevin Friend the referee had as clear vision and the VAR did not rule against.”

When asked whether the flub should’ve negated the foul, Mourinho took it to classic Mourinho lengths.

“If somebody has a different opinion, it has to be one of the big Arsenal fans with the season tickets in one of these chairs,” he said. “That is the only one I would accept a different view because it’s the passion speaking. It’s too obvious.”

Follow @NicholasMendola