Jose Mourinho saw evidence of exactly what Tottenham are missing in the absence of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min as Olivier Giroud scored for Chelsea on Saturday.

Giroud, who has been Chelsea's third-choice striker behind Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi for much of the season, started against Spurs and netted the opener in a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Mourinho's men were again without Kane and Son as they recover from injuries that are expected to keep them out for much of the season.

After the match, Mourinho repeated claims he could not wait for the end of the campaign as he spoke of the difficulty of competing in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League with depleted attacking options.

"It's very difficult," he told a post-match news conference. "The next three months are going to be very difficult.

"In three or four weeks, [Moussa] Sissoko is back, and he's not a striker but he is another solution for us. I hope that by April, Sonny or Harry [Kane] makes a fantastic recovery like Hugo Lloris did.

"Hugo came to play a couple of weeks before the expected time. Nobody expected him to come when he did.

"So with effort of the players, the medical people, the sports science people that work with the injured players, let's hope it's not until the end of the season. Not months but weeks, like Simon [Felstein, head of communications at Tottenham] says [when confirming Son's injury]."

Mourinho added: "Look at Chelsea. They played the striker of the world champions [France international Giroud].

"On the bench was the second striker of England after Harry Kane [Abraham], in the stands the second striker of the Belgium national team [Batshuayi].

"We have zero strikers on the pitch, zero on the bench, zero in the stands. We have two in the hospital. That's the situation, an incredibly negative situation.

"I'm very proud of the boys, I cannot ask more from them. I am happy with them."

Even with Tottenham's issues, Mourinho chose to start with Dele Alli on the bench. But the Tottenham coach stood by his call, even if it did not pay off.

"We started the game thinking, 'Lucas and Bergwijn they are still more or less fresh, so let's try'. We tried, we didn't score," he said. "[Willy] Caballero made a great save.

"We know we cannot create lots of chances. So, in the last part of the game, what's the plan late in the game? We bring on [Erik] Lamela if we can. We bring on Dele.

"We didn't have a presence in the box, the opposition is going to try with the low block, so let's try to have one with Dele. We are trying to do things but it's very difficult for us."

Frank Lampard slammed VAR as "not good enough" after Giovani Lo Celso avoided a red card for an awful challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta in Chelsea's win over Tottenham.

The Blues ran out 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso before Antonio Rudiger put through his own net as Spurs threatened a scarcely deserved fightback.

But prior to Tottenham's goal, the visitors might have been reduced to 10 men as Lo Celso might have been dismissed after planting his studs into Azpilicueta's shin.

VAR assessed the incident and decided against a card, although it was reported the official concerned later backtracked on this opinion.

The failure to make the correct call at the time did little to improve the mood of head coach Lampard, who was furious with the challenge.

"It's not good enough. It's not good enough, I'm sorry," he told BT Sport. "It's two VARs now in two games [after two goals were disallowed in the defeat to Manchester United].

"It's harder to speak about it when you've lost because people are claiming you're just shouting, but maybe you need to shout, because that's not good enough.

"Everybody in the football world saw that that was a red. And it's too late, too late to do that. The game should be over [at 2-0].

"I hate to call for red cards, but when they're endangering... That's a leg-breaker of a tackle.

"You get VAR brought into the game to see it and give the right decision. I'm not saying anything about the referees on the spot - it's not easy  on the spot - VAR's here to clear those up. I'm not surprised they've put it right, but it's not good enough."

Opposite number Jose Mourinho had little to add, although he saw acknowledgement of mistakes from the officials as progress.

"I feel sorry that they don't admit [mistakes] more times, especially when things go against us," he said. "I don't want to speak about it [VAR]."

Lampard was rather more positive about Chelsea's application, suggesting they had set standards to take forward in terms of their intensity.

"The aggression in our game, the pressing off the ball, the work-rate [was aggressive]," he said. "We've been having a tough time at home for different reasons.

"And when you're having tough times, there's only one option, and that's to fight. Sometimes, fighting [when it is] difficult, hanging on in the last few minutes when you shouldn't have been, those are the moments.

"We have to bottle that up now, that feeling, understanding that needs to be our behaviour daily. The way we played today needs to be our daily behaviour in training and the games coming up."

Olivier Giroud was delighted to mark his return to the Chelsea XI with a goal and said he was "so happy to help the team" in the victory against Tottenham.

World Cup winner Giroud was linked with a move away from Chelsea in January but stayed when no replacement was signed, while he had not scored a club goal since August.

But the veteran striker was handed a rare start on Saturday - just his third in the league this season - and opened the scoring en route to a 2-1 win.

Marcos Alonso added to Chelsea's advantage before a late Antonio Rudiger own goal, with the Blues holding on to leave Giroud to reflect on a hugely positive day.

"Wow, yeah, it was a good feeling for me, a good moment," Giroud told BT Sport of his goal. "I'm so happy for the team, to help the team to win this game today.

"It had been three months I didn't start, so it's a special day for me and for all of us."

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta added: "We have a squad and we need to be ready for every game. It's true that, when you don't play, it difficult.

"Everybody wants to help the team. But everybody keeps training hard, fighting to be in the team.

"The competition is what gives the team that extra per cent where everybody can push to the limit. Today it worked perfectly."

Azpilicueta was involved in one of the game's flashpoints as Giovani Lo Celso appeared to stamp on the defender's legs in an awful late challenge.

He avoided a red card following a VAR review, although the official in charge of the system reportedly later acknowledged Lo Celso should have been sent off.

"I'm not a player that likes to be on the floor, because I'm a defender, I'm tough, and I make fouls," Azpilicueta said.

"But it was not a normal foul. It was a clear stamp on my shin. I felt it straight away and I was surprised that it was not a red card and not even a yellow card.

"Obviously everybody can make mistakes, but when you have a lot of replays, I think it could be easier."

Frank Lampard guided Chelsea to an unprecedented achievement in Saturday's 2-1 win over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham.

The Blues became the first side to beat a team managed by Mourinho both home and away in a single league season.

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso were on target at Stamford Bridge, with Antonio Rudiger's late own goal providing scant consolation for Mourinho as Spurs slipped four points behind their London rivals in the Premier League.

Chelsea boss Lampard also got one over Mourinho when his Derby County team won at Manchester United in the EFL Cup last season. 

Chelsea reinforced their grip on fourth place in the Premier League with a much-needed 2-1 win over rivals Tottenham as Olivier Giroud scored his first club goal since August.

Frank Lampard's men were four without a win in the top flight coming into this clash at Stamford Bridge and had seen their advantage over Spurs cut to just a point in the battle for the Champions League places.

But former manager Jose Mourinho could not inflict a further setback on the Blues, as Giroud, who had a goal disallowed against Manchester United on Monday, made the most of his first league start of 2020.

Marcos Alonso - another of four Chelsea changes - brilliantly doubled his side's lead shortly after half-time, and Lampard's side held on despite a luckless late own goal from Antonio Rudiger.

In a rare Tottenham opening, Lucas Moura's low drive drew a sharp stop from Willy Caballero after 10 minutes, and the game sparked into life as Hugo Lloris saved at his near post from Mason Mount.

The visiting goalkeeper's best efforts could not prevent a 15th-minute opener, although he did block Giroud's initial strike with his foot after a glorious Jorginho pass from deep.

Ross Barkley hammered the rebound against the post, only for the ball to land again at Giroud's feet, and the second finish from the France forward was arrowed into the bottom-right corner.

Alonso sent a 20-yard volley fizzing just over, but Spurs threatened again late in a lively first half, with Caballero turning away a Davinson Sanchez header and then seeing Japhet Tanganga overrun the ball as he rounded the keeper.

Chelsea were back on top from the restart, and the second goal came less than three minutes later as Alonso thundered low past Lloris after an incisive team move.

Lloris parried a swirling Barkley strike over the crossbar, before Tottenham were fortunate to avoid another blow when Giovani Lo Celso planted his studs into Cesar Azpilicueta's shin in a late challenge that did not prompt a card.

The fit-again Tammy Abraham appeared from the bench and would have scored but for a close-range Lloris stop, while Alonso hit the bar with a wonderful free-kick.

Rudiger inadvertently deflected a cross from Erik Lamela beyond Caballero with a minute remaining to give Spurs late hope, but Chelsea saw out a deserved win.


What does it mean? Chelsea back in charge

Chelsea's season was just threatening to fall apart after Monday's defeat to United, with a host of sides now hot on their heels in pursuit of Champions League football. But the Blues are not the only club dealing with some difficulties this term, and Tottenham - missing Harry Kane and Son Heung-min - were largely blunt at the Bridge, allowing their rivals to restore a healthy gap.

Changes pay off

Perhaps with one eye on Champions League business in midweek, Lampard started with Willian and the returning Abraham on the bench while making four changes. But the quartet to come in took their opportunities with both hands, Giroud scoring the first before he, Mount, Barkley and Alonso all combined for Chelsea's second.

Lo Celso lucky

In the VAR era, it is quite remarkable that officials spent several minutes assessing Lo Celso's challenge on Azpilicueta and decided not to show the Tottenham midfielder a red card. Lo Celso miscontrolled with his first touch and then made contact with his opponent long after the ball was gone. Lampard was understandably furious.

What's next?

Tottenham were in Champions League action on Wednesday, and it is Chelsea's turn this coming Tuesday, hosting Bayern Munich in a last-16 first leg. The Blues then visit Bournemouth next Saturday, before Spurs welcome Wolves the following day.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho said Chelsea are favourites to finish in the Premier League's top four as he heaped pressure on Frank Lampard's side ahead of the London derby.

Chelsea occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot after 26 matches, one point ahead of Tottenham – who visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Spurs, Manchester United and Arsenal are among the teams vying for a spot in the top four and Mourinho insisted Chelsea remain in the box seat despite a run of four league matches without a win.

"At this moment, Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton, Everton - we are the underdogs," Mourinho told reporters.

"We have ambitions to be there but we are one, two, three points behind Chelsea, so they have an advantage to all of us. That's obvious. It's not a big advantage but it is an advantage.

"Chelsea in this moment is favourite for the fourth position, considering Leicester have nine points more at this stage of the season."

Former Chelsea manager Mourinho has ramped up the mind games for Tottenham's trip to face the Blues after claiming to know Lampard's tactics for the derby.

"I was told they were back to a back-five which is what they normally do when their results are not the best," Mourinho said.

When asked how he knew, Mourinho added: "The same way journalists have a lot of news and you don't tell the sources."

Frank Lampard insists inexperience is not the main reason for a downturn in form which has seen Chelsea's lead for the fourth Champions League qualification spot reduced to a single point.

Chelsea host Tottenham – and their former boss Jose Mourinho – on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, heading into the encounter on the back of one win in their past six league matches.

Should Spurs win, they will move above Chelsea into fourth, while Sheffield United and Manchester United are also within touching distance.

However, Lampard does not believe Chelsea's struggles are down to a lack of experience, adding that young players have to come through the tough patches to prove their top-flight credentials.

"I don't think it's inexperience," Lampard told a news conference. "You can look at the youth in the squad and perhaps that's an easy conclusion.

"Perhaps that's part of it but it's not easy to pinpoint. The clinical nature of not scoring, the sloppy nature of having a lapse which gives a team with one or two shots a goal, which has happened a couple of times at home. Is it experience, quality? There's a lot of things to it.

"This period is what all Premier League clubs suffer. As young players you have to be even more aware that it can affect their confidence, because they're new to the team and the eyes of the world are on them.

"It's a big deal and a test for the younger players and I think with the physical nature of the league over the course of the season then there were always going to be little dips.

"The players will certainly come out of it better. It's how they train, how they play. I believe in all of them and think they're all going to be top players for this club, but they have to keep pushing and get out of moments like this."

Should Manchester City's two-year ban from the Champions League be upheld, fifth place would be enough to secure qualification for Europe's elite competition next season.

However, Lampard was not concerned by the suggestion a failure to qualify for the Champions League would result in Chelsea losing their best players, such as N'Golo Kante, who will miss Saturday's match through injury.

"We obviously want to keep our best players. Kante is an incredible player, everyone knows that," Lampard added.

"At the end of the day, no matter what the quality of the player, you want players who want to be here at Chelsea and push to close the gap upwards.

"It's a question for the end of the season. The player you mention [Kante] – we want to be adding to players like that."

Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham's upward trajectory since he took charge is not just down to his coaching.

Spurs, who were beaten 1-0 by RB Leipzig in the Champions League last time out, sit fifth in the Premier League, one point behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who they face at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Since Mourinho took charge, Spurs have managed eight league victories, including three successive wins heading into Saturday's clash at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues having won the reverse fixture against their former boss in December.

Should Manchester City's ban from the Champions League be upheld, fifth place will mean automatic qualification for UEFA's elite competition but, despite Spurs being third in the form table since Mourinho took over, the Portuguese claims he cannot take full responsibility.

"I am but that's not about me. Not about me," he told a news conference when asked if he was proud of Spurs' position in the form table.

"If it was about me, I would even choose to move quickly to July 1 and start the pre-season with my players, without injuries, going to Premier League day one with the same points as everybody else.

"That's not about me, it's about us, that's the club. The boys did fantastic to put themselves back in the positions where we belong, these positions fighting for the top four. The situation is difficult.

"Don't think of any targets, we just want to go match after match and see where this can take us. After three months we went from closer to the relegation positions, which obviously was never a problem.

"But we went from there to be one point behind the top four. Amazing effort by everyone. So now that we're in this position, we earned the right to fight for it."

Despite the potentially pivotal nature of the fixture with Chelsea, Mourinho says Saturday's visit to his former stomping ground is no different to any other occasion he faces one of his previous teams.

"No, not special, one more game. Because I'm a professional, as I've said every time I played my previous clubs, I belong 200 per cent to my club," he said.

"The only different thing will be at the end of the game I can walk from the stadium to my house but I won't take advantage of because I'll go back from the stadium with my players."

N'Golo Kante is set to miss up to five games during a vital spell in Chelsea's season as Frank Lampard's side prepare to host Jose Mourinho's Tottenham on Saturday.

Midfielder Kante has suffered several injury setbacks this season, the latest of which came when he was forced off after just 12 minutes of the defeat to Manchester United on Monday.

Blues boss Lampard confirmed a "muscle injury" for the Frenchman, putting his recovery at around three weeks, which would rule Kante out of the home Champions League tie against Bayern Munich, as well as the visit of Liverpool in the FA Cup and three Premier League fixtures.

"N'Golo is not fit. It's a muscle injury, similar to the one he came off against Arsenal [on January 21] with," said Lampard.

"It should hopefully be three weeks."

The news will come as a bitter blow for Chelsea, whose loss to United left them looking increasingly vulnerable in fourth spot.

Indeed, this weekend's visitors would overtake them with a win as former Stamford Bridge favourite Mourinho seeks a victory on his latest return to west London.

Lampard won two Premier League titles under Mourinho at Chelsea but does not see their personal duel as being pivotal in the outcome of a match that could have a big say in who qualifies for the Champions League.

"Our relationship changes," said Lampard. "I wished him well when he got the job and he wished me well. We are amicable but we want to win.

"I have got respect for him but I am not considering the personal battle between me and him. I am just trying to win the game."

The ex-England midfielder described the 2019-20 season as a "transitional" one for Chelsea and insisted injuries had made progress tougher.

Asked if missing out on the Champions League would represent a failure, Lampard said: "That is for everyone else to judge. The injuries have been a big issue. What we do know is we are in fourth and we have it in our hands. It is going to be tough. Teams around us are strong.

"This season is a transitional year, and fans appreciate that. Not many teams have had our injuries. Kante has played 50 per cent of the games.

"The fans respect that and they see what we try to do. They will be there to support us. It is tight at the moment and we need the fans behind us. The players will give everything."

Lucas Moura has warned Tottenham must not feel sorry for themselves over a lack of striking options and vowed Jose Mourinho's can still make a success of their campaign.

Spurs lost Harry Kane to a likely season-ending hamstring injury on New Year's Day and Son Heung-min is also in danger of missing the rest of 2019-20 after needing surgery on a fractured arm.

Head coach Mourinho said after the 1-0 loss to RB Leipzig in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 tie that Tottenham are "really in trouble" due to a lack of bite up front.

Lucas was tasked with leading the line alongside Dele Alli in Wednesday's match and insists he will continue giving his all to fill the void left by Kane and Son.

"We lose two big strikers but we cannot cry," he said, quoted by several British newspapers. "That's the game. Every team has problems such as this.

"I will give my best to score goals. I will give 100 per cent and we will go into the second leg with Leipzig with a strong mentality. We have the quality to go there and qualify."

Timo Werner's penalty gave Leipzig a deserved 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, leaving Mourinho's men with a mountain to climb in the return leg on March 10.

However, Tottenham defied the odds in reaching the final last season and Lucas - who played a key role in that magical run - is not giving up hope of another memorable comeback victory.

"We can turn it around, the game is not over," he said. "It is a result we did not want. We did well with the system we chose to play.

"We had opportunities to score. We lost the game, but it's not over. We will prepare well and I am sure we are capable to go there and qualify.

"We know that in football everything can happen and we will not give up. We need to believe and that’s what I do every time.

"I believe in God. I believe in myself. I believe in my team-mates. We work hard and see what will happen."

Toby Alderweireld called on Tottenham to draw inspiration from their Ajax heroics in a bid to turn around their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig.

A depleted Spurs succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat in Wednesday's first leg, with Timo Werner's second-half penalty earning Leipzig a deserved lead to protect.

It leaves Tottenham facing an uphill task to make the quarter-finals, but they have recent history of turning around Champions League ties having knocked out Ajax in the last four of the 2018-19 competition when trailing 3-0 on aggregate before mounting a late revival.

Spurs also beat Borussia Dortmund and scored three times at Manchester City in the knockout stages of their run to the final and centre-back Alderweireld insists all is not lost.

"We are still in it. Of course we wanted a better result, but we know we have the quality to win everywhere we want," he said.

"Something we proved last season is that we can score everywhere. Of course we will need a little bit of luck, but it is the first half. The second half is yet to come.

"I think it was a difficult game. You can see they have a lot of quality. We stayed in the game and I think the second half was much better than the first.

"We were unfortunate that we could not score a goal. It is all to play for."

Jose Mourinho's side were hindered by the loss of Son Heung-min, who has joined Harry Kane on Spurs' injury list.

Lucas Moura and Dele Alli led the line in their absence, but Alderweireld says the team must take collective responsibility to deal with the loss of their two key attackers.

"People have to take responsibility about that. I think we have to solve this as a team," he added.

"I think people have to step up - not one [person]. One game it will be one guy and in the other game it will be someone else.

"We don't have to stare blind at this result. I think we created a couple of chances against a very good opponent."

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann explained the mix-up that led to his players wearing different shirts during their win over Tottenham.

Timo Werner's 58th-minute penalty saw Leipzig overcome Spurs 1-0 in London in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

However, there was confusion as fans spotted the front-of-shirt sponsor was different from one Leipzig player to the next, with some white and others red and yellow.

"On the way from the hotel the kit wasn't complete in the different boxes," Nagelsmann told a news conference.

"It wasn't on the bus, and that's why there was a bit of a mix-up. It'll certainly be sorted out for the second leg. We'll have the right kit."

Werner's spot-kick gave Leipzig a deserved victory heading into the second leg of the last-16 tie against last season's runners-up.

Nagelsmann was pleased with his side's performance and felt they could have an even bigger advantage ahead of the home leg on March 10.

"I think it was tricky in the end because we didn't score the second goal," he said.

"In the game, over the 90 minutes, in the first half we controlled the game bar one chance from [Steven] Bergwijn. We had a lot of good possession and we played in a very mature way in the first half.

"We really should have taken the lead in the first five minutes. Young teams become impatient and think you have to score a goal away in the first leg of the Champions League tie but they weren't like that. They were more patient and defended well against Tottenham's counter-attacking game.

"I think [Lukas] Klostermann had a very good game and I think the players performed well.

"In the second half, we controlled the game up until the 75th minute. We should have scored again, with two or three really good attacks. Then it's normal.

"Tottenham have [Erik] Lamela and we are a bit tired and we ended up with one goal. It was exciting, we gave our all, Peter [Gulacsi] made a couple of good saves but they were from efforts 25 metres out. In the end we defended well at a corner.

"Over the 90 minutes we deserved the win – and we could have won by more."

Hugo Lloris said Tottenham must dare to dream of another Champions League comeback after a 1-0 home defeat to RB Leipzig.

The first-leg loss in the last-16 tie puts Spurs in trouble, needing to find a big performance when the teams meet again in Germany on March 10.

Timo Werner's penalty settled the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium clash, with Lloris named man of the match by England boss Gareth Southgate after a string of saves that kept Leipzig at bay until the 56th minute.

Injury-hit Tottenham began slowly and three times in the opening 90 seconds Leipzig threatened to open the scoring.

But Spurs improved in the closing quarter of the game and Lucas Moura might have done better with a late header that he sent over the crossbar.

Given their heroics against Ajax in the Champions League semi-finals last year, when Spurs came from 3-0 behind on aggregate to go through on away goals, Lloris knows not to give up hope.

He says Tottenham can "try to create another story".

"I want to stay positive, especially after what we have seen in the last 20 minutes," Lloris said. "Obviously if we had started in the same way we finished, probably the score would have been different, but there's a second leg so we still have options.

"It wasn't the best result, but we have to deal with that. We are still there.

"It's true we have to give a lot of credit for Leipzig. They pressed very high and they're a very, very good team with a lot of energy. They run a lot.

"It's not easy, but we had some situations we could have maybe managed better. But it's football and now we have another big game on Saturday [against Chelsea in the Premier League]."

Tottenham have been hit hard by the loss of star strikers Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, with both players facing a battle to get back onto the field before the end of the season.

It has left head coach Jose Mourinho with a major challenge as he bids to guide the team into next season's Champions League, while also fighting in this term's competition and in the FA Cup.

"With all the circumstances against us in the last few weeks, the last few months, we need to stay positive," Lloris told BT Sport.

"It's not the time to give up or to find excuses. We have to fight until the end. There's plenty of games in front of us. We're not really happy with the result, but we have to deal with that.

"We did it last season so let's hope. With our fans, let's try to create another story."

RB Leipzig star Timo Werner said he was "very proud" to be linked with a move to Liverpool, labelling the Premier League side the world's best.

Werner, 23, has been linked with the European champions after scoring 26 goals in 32 games for Leipzig this season.

The Germany international's second-half penalty helped Leipzig to a 1-0 win over Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Speaking afterwards, Werner discussed the reports linking him with a move to Liverpool and the forward did little to play down a possible switch.

"Liverpool is the best team in the world at the moment and when you're linked with that team it makes me very proud but in case of that it's a pleasure," he told Viasport.

"But I know that in Liverpool play a lot of good players and I have to improve myself to learn much more things to get on this level to play there."

Werner's 58th-minute spot-kick against Spurs in London has Leipzig on track to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

But the 29-time Germany international warned his side there was work to do against Tottenham, who produced a thrilling comeback away to Ajax in last season's semi-finals.

"Tottenham is a good team, they showed last year that they have the mentality that they can come back in these games," Werner said.

"We have to do the same like today and we have a good start for the first half [of the tie] and we will go on."

Jose Mourinho mounted a passionate defence of his Tottenham stars but admitted they are "really in trouble" on the fitness front after a 1-0 home defeat against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

Tottenham's first-leg loss in the last-16 tie on Wednesday leaves last season's Champions League runners-up with a major challenge for the second match, which takes place in Germany on March 10.

Timo Werner's penalty for Leipzig settled the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium clash midweek, with the home side struggling to make an impression against the visiting defence until the closing stages.

Losing Harry Kane and Son Heung-min to injuries this year has left Tottenham with a lack of bite in attack, and that showed against Leipzig.

Mourinho even revealed Erik Lamela was thrust into action off the bench despite having been unable to train with the first team after an injury lay-off.

When it was suggested to him that the "real Spurs" showed up in the closing stages of the match, Mourinho was triggered and said: "What do you mean, the real Spurs?

"Come on, let's be loyal to the boys and tell that they did everything they could do."

He outlined the injury strife that has weakened his hand for such big matches, and despite believing Spurs might still turn around the Leipzig tie, Mourinho is worried his remaining fit players will soon tire.

"I thank the fans for their support to the boys and what I'm worried with is not with the 1-0. The 1-0 is an open result. There is the possibility we can go there and win the tie," he told BT Sport.

"What worries me is these are our players for the next I don't know how many matches.

"We have to play in two days again [on Saturday at Chelsea]. You could see Lucas [Moura], absolutely dead; [Steven] Bergwijn, absolutely dead; [Giovani] Lo Celso, dead.

"So we can look at it in two perspectives. One perspective is I'm so proud of them and they did absolutely fantastic. Another perspective is that that's our situation. We are really in trouble.

"What worries me is we have Premier League and FA Cup to play as well and that is our situation."

Mourinho is clearly staggered his players have a 12:30 GMT kick-off against his former club Chelsea on Saturday.

He made that point, speaking to the same broadcaster which will show the Premier League match.

After offering added praise to his players, saying he "couldn't be happier to have guys like them", Mourinho added: "But here we go, and Chelsea [will have been] drinking sparkling water with lemon and watching the game on TV.

"And Saturday morning, thank you very much for the choice."

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