Jose Mourinho’s home debut turns in night of thrills and spills as Special One hauls off Eric Dier after 29 minutes and thanks ball boy for role in equaliser
- Youssef El Arabi and Ruben Semedo scored inside 19 minutes for Olympiacos
- Dele Alli and Harry Kane scored either side of half-time to bring Spurs level
- Serge Aurier and Harry Kane then helped Tottenham Hotspur into a 4-2 lead
- Mourinho’s first game at the Sours’ new home erupted into a night of thrills
When Jose Mourinho’s around, things are rarely routine. This was supposed to be a pain-free start to life at his new home for the Special One.
Instead, Mourinho’s first game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium erupted into a night of thrills and spills, twists and turns. Pure drama. Pure Mourinho.
Sportsmail assess the new Spurs manager’s home debut.
Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur walks out to take his seat prior to the game
Mauricio Pochettino will always hold a special place in Tottenham fans hearts. But there were signs on Saturday that the Spurs faithful were warming to their new boss. ‘Jose Mourinho’ they chanted as the closed in on victory against West Ham.
Yet tonight, there appeared a reluctance to give the Special One the sort of homecoming that usually accompanies the arrival of a newly appointed boss on his first home game.
Mourinho was greeted by the blinding glare of flashing camera bulbs as he emerged from the tunnel before kick off – but there was no stage-managed fan-fare as he turned right to take his seat in the dugout.
The humble one? More like the grumpy one. Understandably so, of course. His side were two-down to a side they were expected to turn over with relative ease.
Mourinho waved his right hand in the air urging his players to regroup after Youssef Al Arabi’s early opener. He made the same gesture – just more frantically – after Ruben Semedo’s second.
Jose Mourinho thanked a ball boy for the part that he played in Harry Kane’s goal for Tottenham
Then, at the end of the first half, he missed Dele Alli half the deficit because he was too busy arguing with fourth official Nikola Popov for only adding on two minutes of extra time.
And to top off a night of theatrics, Mourinho gratefully hugged one of the stadium boys, whose quick thinking led to Harry Kane’s equaliser. Ladies and gentlemen, Jose is back.
Mourinho took the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach when picking his team. His only change from Saturday’s 3-2 win at the London Stadium was enforced – Danny Rose replacing the injured Ben Davies at left-back.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho took the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach when picking his team
Why change a winning formula, right? Twenty minutes in, however, it was clear Mourinho had made the wrong decision.
You felt for Eric Dier. Getting hooked before half-time is never a good look – let alone in the 28th minute.
Dier was replaced by Christian Eriksen with Tottenham losing 2-0 at home to Olympiacos
But once again Mourinho showed he isn’t backward in coming forwards when it comes to making team alterations as he replaced Dier with Eriksen in the aftermath of his team going 2-0 down.
Some things never change. But Tottenham’s sterling comeback was justification for Mourinho’s early decision.