Manager Jose Mourinho questioned Tottenham Hotspur’s “attitude” after defeat by Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League, while captain Hugo Lloris said the team’s performance was a “disgrace.”
Dinamo overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to win 3-2 after extra-time on Thursday thanks to Mislav Orsic’s hat-trick.
It means the Croatian champion progresses to the Europa League quarterfinals, while Tottenham, currently eighth in the Premier League, is left to question where the team’s season goes from here. Winning the Europa League would have allowed Spurs to play in the Champions League next season.
“My team didn’t look like it was playing an important match,” Mourinho told BT Sport after the game.
“If for any one of them it is not an important match, for me it is. For the respect that I have for my own career and for my own job, every match is an important match for me.
“And I believe that for every Tottenham fan at home, every match matters. Another attitude is needed. To say that I feel sad is not enough because what I feel goes much further than sadness.”
Orsic scored his side’s first goal shortly after the hour mark – a sensational, curling shot from outside the box – and added a second 20 minutes later when he turned in a cross from replacement Iyayi Atiemwen.
With the game going to extra-time, Orsic completed his hat-trick with a mazy run past a number of Tottenham players before striking past a diving Lloris.
Even more remarkable about the result is that Dinamo was left in disarray ahead of Thursday’s game after manager Zoran Mamic had resigned just days before.
The Croatian Supreme Court confirmed that Mamic is to serve a prison sentence of four years and eight months for fraud, according to Reuters. In a statement on the Dinamo website, Mamic said he “do(es) not feel guilty,” but accepts the court’s decision. The club also announced that Damir Krznar would take over as manager.
For Tottenham, it capped off a miserable five days that included defeat by Arsenal in the North London Derby on Sunday.
“We are all more than disappointed. It’s just a disgrace,” Lloris told BT Sport after Tottenham’s Europa League exit.
“I just hope everyone in the changing room feels responsible of the situation because it’s a disgrace. Now what more can I say about it … The taste of the defeat tonight is just more than painful.”
While Dominik Livakovic produced a number of sharp saves for the home side and Spurs striker Harry Kane had a header cleared off the line late on, Tottenham was outplayed for much of the match.
“I’m disappointed of a difference of attitude between one team and another,” Mourinho added.
“My team … didn’t bring to the game not just the basics of football, but I believe the basics of life, which is to respect our jobs and to give everything.”
Tottenham next faces Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, an important game for Mourinho if his side is to stay in contention for a top-four spot.
Spurs’ English rivals were more successful in the Europa League on Thursday. Manchester United defeated AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory and progress to the quarterfinals, while Arsenal lost 1-0 to Olympiacos but also reached the final eight with a 3-2 victory on aggregate.