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Jose Mourinho believes Liverpool loss had “mental” toll on Tottenham

Jose Mourinho has blamed Tottenham‘s recent run of poor form on the 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield, but believes “all the other clubs” will suffer difficulty this season.

Spurs were clearly affected by the manner of their defeat on December 16, with Mourinho claiming after the game that the “best team lost” despite Liverpool dominating for possession and shots on goal.

Heung-min Son had cancelled out Mohamed Salah‘s opener, and the game looked to be limping out to a draw only for Roberto Firmino to head home in the 90th minute.

Tottenham subsequently lost 2-0 to Leicester and were held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves in the Premier League, seeing them leapfrogged by the Reds into top spot, with Man United, Leicester and Everton ahead of them in the top four ahead of the weekend.

Speaking ahead of Spurs’ clash with Leeds on Saturday, Mourinho attributed his side’s drop in form to the “mental” toll of the loss at Anfield, though also arguing that it is “very rare” for any club to win consistently.

“It’s very, very difficult [to do] what happened, for example, to Liverpool last season, or Sheffield United last season, where it looks like you consistently go up, up, up, up, up, winning matches,” he said.

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Peter Powell/PA Wire/PA Images)

“I think it will happen with every team during the season, you start bad or you end bad, or you have a difficult period in the Christmas period, or you have a difficult moment with injuries, it’s very, very difficult to be stable in terms of results.

“The only thing that I want to say is that the defeat that we had and was, let’s say, the start of a period of not good results was against Liverpool.

“So the game where we were very, very close to winning, and never losing, was the game where after that the results and the level of performance went down.

“Football is also mental, and you are not in control of every item of the game.

“I believe that we are going to have, again, good periods, we are going to have periods where you win matches, you score goals.

“And you go to all the other clubs – apart from probably Aston Villa, who always kept that stability – and one was knocked out of the Champions League (Man United), another one drew two matches in a row (Liverpool), another one lost three matches in a row away from home (Chelsea).”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 16, 2020: Tottenham Hotspur's manager José Mourinho makes notes during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Spurs are not the first side to feel the impact of a well-timed win for Liverpool, with Barcelona at the forefront of this group, with their demise frequently associated with the Champions League semi-final in 2019.

But Mourinho added that the quality of the Premier League has made this season a more even contest, reinforcing his belief that every side will suffer at points.

“Another factor that I keep saying, but probably not everybody agrees with me, is in every club there are very good players,” the Portuguese added.

“In every club there are players that could play for the top clubs. I could go to every club in the Premier League and I could choose one, two or three players to play in my team.

“And I’m not speaking about Liverpool, Chelsea, I’m considering about the teams considered to have less potential – that is getting faker and faker and faker.

“Every game is very difficult. In every game, we go there, you can win but you also can lose.

“For me that’s very clear, I don’t look any more to the dimension of the club, I don’t look any more to the table, I know that in every game the opponent has potential.”

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