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Fulham silence Mourinho with late leveller to deny Spurs

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Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (L) and Fulham’s English defender Tosin Adarabioyo (R) jumps up for a header during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on January 13, 2021. AFP

London, United Kingdom (AFP)​– Jose Mourinho slammed Tottenham’s “avoidable” mistakes and lack of killer instinct after Fulham’s Ivan Cavaleiro rescued a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

Harry Kane had put the hosts ahead in the first half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Cavaleiro struck in the closing stages to leave Mourinho frustrated.

Tottenham have won just two of their last eight league matches and sit in sixth place.

A win against third bottom Fulham would have taken them into third place above Manchester City, who made it four successive league victories when Phil Foden earned a 1-0 win over Brighton earlier on Wednesday.

Whether Spurs — six points behind leaders Manchester United — will be regarded as title contenders for much longer must be in doubt after this sloppy display.

“Once more we concede a goal that is completely avoidable. You have to keep a clean-sheet, not make mistakes. The markers are there. There wasn’t even an advantage in terms of numbers,” Mourinho said.

“We have lots of opportunities to kill off matches. In other cases especially away we are winning but then don’t have that ambition to get the goal and kill the game.

“There are things that are individual mistakes. We have bad results and we should avoid these results.”

Cavaleiro’s leveller was a suitably dramatic end to the feud between Mourinho and Fulham manager Scott Parker, triggered when Aston Villa’s coronavirus outbreak meant Spurs’ scheduled trip to Villa Park on Wednesday was postponed.

Instead, Tottenham’s game against Fulham — originally called off in December because of Covid cases in the Cottagers squad — was moved on Monday to help ease a potential fixture pile-up for Mourinho’s team.

Parker said it was “scandalous” for his team to be forced to play at such short notice.

Mourinho hit back, saying he would only feel sorry for Fulham if they played a weakened team.

So he would have noted with interested that Fulham named a strong team with nine of the 11 that played their last Premier League game on Boxing Day.

But it was Parker who had the last laugh and he said: “I’m very proud of this team for what we’ve been through. There’s a lot of talk around, everyone assumes about what happened. I know what we’ve been through the last two weeks.”

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