Wales captain Gareth Bale was concerned he could have contracted coronavirus after discovering two Republic of Ireland players tested positive following their clash on Sunday.

Bale's Tottenham team-mate Matt Doherty and Stoke winger James McClean returned positive COVID-19 tests after a 1-0 Nations League win for Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

Doherty, who will now miss Spurs’ huge Premier League game at home to Manchester City on Saturday, had an embrace with Bale after the full-time whistle, while the pair reportedly swapped shirts when they talked after leaving the pitch.

No Wales players have tested positive ahead of their match against Finland on Wednesday, but Bale admitted he was worried the virus may have been passed on ahead of a key period of games.

Asked about his contact with Doherty, on-loan Spurs forward Bale said: "It's a slight concern for everyone when you have been playing someone [who has tested positive] and in close contact on the field, but maybe not long enough to catch it.

"Obviously you’re a bit wary, but it is good news that everyone has come back and tested negative and now we can concentrate on the game.

"Me and Ben Davies [Wales and Spurs defender] spoke to him [Doherty] briefly and I think he is doing fine, he’s got mild symptoms.

"Hopefully he recovers fine, doesn't have any problems and will be back playing as soon as possible."

Bale says the Football Association of Wales deserves great credit for the protocols it has put in place.

He said: "There's only three or four to a table, making sure we are socially distanced, going at different times to get food, wearing gloves to serve our food, no sharing rooms anymore.

"They have gone to great measures to make sure we are safe. It is important to take it seriously."

Wales captain Gareth Bale was concerned he could have contracted coronavirus after discovering two Republic of Ireland players tested positive following their clash on Sunday.

Bale's Tottenham team-mate Matt Doherty and Stoke winger James McClean returned positive COVID-19 tests after a 1-0 Nations League win for Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

No Wales players have tested positive ahead of their match against Finland on Wednesday, but Bale admitted he was worried the virus may have been passed on.

"It's a slight concern for everyone when you have been playing someone [who has tested positive] and in close contact on the field, but maybe not long enough to catch it," said the on-loan Spurs forward.

"Obviously you’re a bit wary, but it is good news that everyone has come back and tested negative and now we can concentrate on the game.

"Me and Ben Davies [Wales and Spurs defender] spoke to him [Doherty] briefly and I think he is doing fine, he’s got mild symptoms."

Bale says the Football Association of Wales deserves great credit for the protocols it has put in place.

He said: "There's only three or four to a table, making sure we are socially distanced, going at different times to get food, wearing gloves to serve our food, no sharing rooms anymore.

"They have gone to great measures to make sure we are safe. It is important to take it seriously."

Harry Kane scored his 150th Premier League goal to snatch a 1-0 victory for Tottenham at West Brom on Sunday.

Despite starting with Kane, Son Heung-min and Gareth Bale in attack, Jose Mourinho's side delivered a largely flat attacking performance against the Baggies.

Indeed, they needed a good Hugo Lloris save and the intervention of the left-hand post in the second half to prevent Slaven Bilic's men taking the lead in the second half.

However, Kane secured a fourth win in a row away from home in the top flight when he headed Matt Doherty's delivery beyond Sam Johnstone.

The best of the early chances fell to Son, who had lots of time and space in the penalty area but eventually saw a shot blocked over by Semi Ajayi.

West Brom twice came close to a breakthrough, Karlan Grant nodding a good Darnell Furlong cross wide and Eric Dier heading well off the line with Grant lurking.

It took until the hour mark for Spurs to register a shot on target, Sergio Reguilon stinging the palms of goalkeeper Sam Johnstone with a speculative strike from outside the box.

Giovani Lo Celso, on for the injured Tanguy Ndombele, had a great chance to make a swift impact but hooked his shot wide from barely 10 yards out.

Conor Gallagher clipped the post from the edge of the box and Lloris reacted superbly to tip away a Grant header following a corner, as West Brom's best chances went begging.

Johnstone thought he had secured a share of the spoils, saving well low to his right to keep out a strike from Carlos Vinicius, but his indecision as Doherty swung in a high ball allowed Kane to head in the winner.

Jose Mourinho is concerned Gareth Bale's best interests may not be looked after while he is on international duty with an Arsenal coach on the Wales coaching staff.

Bale was this week recalled for Wales' upcoming clashes with the United States, Republic of Ireland and Finland after missing their October matches due to a knee injury.

Mourinho has eased Bale back into action following his loan move from Real Madrid to Tottenham as the forward builds his fitness up after spending so long on the sidelines.

Robert Page has stepped in to take charge of Wales after the arrest of Ryan Giggs, who denies any wrongdoing, following an allegation of assault.

Page will be assisted by Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg, which Spurs boss Mourinho is not comfortable about.

Asked about Bale's fitness, Mourinho said: "I think he's getting better and better. I felt that he could play 90 minutes [in a Europa League win over Ludogorets on Thursday] but it's not about can or cannot, it's about managing the situation and keeping him safe.

"He's player that needs to be safe, he's a player that had enough problems in the past. He is working so much and we all are working so much and so carefully with him that we don't want to destroy the work that everybody has been doing for the past couple of months.

"Of course Wales have two matches where they play in the Nations League and I expect him to play, but if they care as much about him as they say they do, they have to manage the recovery periods, manage how many days between one match and another, manage the minutes he plays and they should not let him get into fatigue levels.

"I don't think, from what I'm reading, it will not be Giggs responsible for these matches and I'm sorry about that because in the previous fixtures, he called me, we spoke about Ben Davies – not Gareth, because Gareth was not there – and we shared opinions on the situation which is probably not going to happen this time.

"The fact that one of their coaches is an Arsenal coach, doesn't make me very comfortable. Honestly, it doesn't make me very comfortable. I think national teams should have coaches that work exclusively for them, not coaches that work for other clubs."

Jose Mourinho took issue with the suggestion Harry Kane was "clever" in winning penalties as the Tottenham boss encouraged the media to look at similar incidents involving rival top clubs.

Spot-kick awards were a popular topic of discussion in the Premier League last weekend as both Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Spurs striker Kane drew criticism for the manner in which they earned penalties.

Kane appeared to step into a challenge with Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Adam Lallana, who was already in the air contesting a header.

Rather than award a foul against the Tottenham man, though, the referee pointed to the spot to the bemusement of Lallana after a VAR check confirmed the incident occurred inside the penalty area.

But Mourinho, speaking ahead of a Europa League trip to Ludogorets where he promised to go "full power", believed it was a genuine foul and defended his player.

"I think you are confused," Mourinho fired back when asked about the decision.

"You could be speaking about some Manchester United players, some Man City players, some Liverpool players, some Chelsea players. You are speaking about Kane?

"He was in position to control the ball and Lallana came in a reckless action and committed the foul. It was a foul. What are the media speaking about? It's a foul.

"Direct free-kick or penalty, that's for the VAR to decide. It's inside [the box].

"It's not being clever. Harry Kane is there to score goals. Lallana was reckless, he made a mistake. What are you speaking about?

"You have to speak about something that happened that could have a direct impact on the result of the game, which was their goal.

"Speak about Liverpool, Man United, these penalties where you see the 'clever' guy on the floor. Don't speak about Harry Kane."

It was not the first time Mourinho has railed against the media in recent days, revealing after Gareth Bale's first goal back at Tottenham - also against Brighton - he would be studying the response in Spain, where the winger was criticised as a Real Madrid player.

"I just talk about the Spanish media, the media that used to not be very nice with Gareth," he said on Wednesday.

"Yes, they were very fair, very honest, praising his connection with [Sergio] Reguilon. I think they were very honest and I'm happy with that."

The Premier League appeared to revert back to the norm this weekend as five of the big six claimed victories and Liverpool climbed to the top of the table for the first time this season.

In doing so, the Reds became the first English top-flight club to top the division having conceded the outright highest number of goals of any side since Norwich City in November 1992.

Erstwhile pacesetters Everton and Aston Villa both lost for the second game running, to Newcastle United and Southampton respectively, while Manchester United's poor start to the domestic campaign continued with defeat to Arsenal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are stuck on seven points after six matches, making this their worst start to the season since David Moyes' brief spell in charge in 2the 13-14 season, when they went on to finish seventh.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at some of the more unusual stats to have emerged over the weekend.


BALE'S LONG WAIT

After a slow start to life back at Tottenham following his loan switch from Real Madrid, Gareth Bale showed what he is capable of with his headed goal against Brighton and Albion.

The Wales international scored what proved to be the winner exactly 200 seconds after being brought off the bench by Jose Mourinho, coming seven years and 166 days after his previous goal for the club in May 2013.

That gap of 2,724 days is not the longest between Premier League goals, though, with Matt Jackson holding claim to that particular honour.

Jackson went an incredible 4,935 days between his last goal for Everton in May 1993 and first in the league for Wigan Athletic 13 years later.

Also high up on the list is Leeds United forward Rodrigo, who netted against Manchester City last month, some 3,559 days after scoring for Bolton Wanderers against Wigan.

 

SALAH CONTINUES PENALTY STREAK

Mohamed Salah's penalty may have been a controversial one in Liverpool's win over West Ham, but there was never any doubt about the outcome of where the spot-kick would end up.

That is the 13th penalty in a row the Egypt international has buried for Liverpool during a run of 18 successful spot-kicks on the spin in all competitions for the Reds.

Sixteen of those have come in the Premier League, though the reigning champions still have some way to go to match the all-time record of 29 scored in a row by Southampton - a run spanning some 17 years.

As for the worst such streak, Leicester City failed to score from six in a row between August 1994 and September 1996.

 

UNITED SLOW OFF THE MARK... AGAIN

Sunday's 1-0 loss to Arsenal leaves United with only two wins from their opening six matches and languishing in the lower reaches of the division.

Solskjaer pointed out after the game it took his side 10 games to reach three wins last season when going on to finish a respectable third, behind Liverpool and Manchester City.

That was also the case in 2014-15 when recovering to finish in a Champions League spot.

At the other end of the spectrum, United have won eight of their first 10 matches on three occasions - in 1993-94, 2006-07 and 2012-13, finishing as champions each time.

 

ZIYECH UP AND RUNNING

Hakim Ziyech scored on his full debut for Chelsea in the Champions League win over Krasnodar and did likewise on his first Premier League start in Saturday's routine 3-0 win over Burnley.

The Morocco international also set up Timo Werner to become the first player to both score and assist on his full debut in the competition since Ruben Neves in August 2018.

He is the third African player to ever do so, along with Salah and Dame N'Doye, who it is fair to say have had contrasting careers in England's top flight.

Salah has since scored 82 goals and assisted 29 in 128 Premier League appearances, compared to six and one respectively for N'Doye during spells with Hull City and Sunderland.

Ziyech has a long way to go to match Salah's return but he has certainly made a bright start to his career with the London club.

 

INGS-CREDIBLE FROM RANGE

Danny Ings continued his fine form in front of goal with another sublime long-range strike to put Southampton four goals up in their 4-3 win against Aston Villa - the Villans falling just short of producing a remarkable comeback.

The England international, who later hobbled off with a knee injury that does not appear to be too serious, has now bagged 27 goals since the start of last season in the Premier League.

Only Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy (29) has scored more during that time, while no player has scored more from outside the box - Ings' five goals putting him level with James Maddison and Kevin De Bruyne.

Jose Mourinho hailed Gareth Bale's "personality" after his winning goal against Brighton and Hove Albion and said he is looking forward to hearing Real Madrid's take on his match-winning display for Tottenham.

Bale's first Tottenham goal since re-joining Spurs on loan from LaLiga champions Madrid in September sealed a 2-1 victory over Brighton on Sunday to move them up to second in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Liverpool. 

Harry Kane had earlier scored his 149th top-flight goal from the penalty spot to move level with Les Ferdinand in 10th position on the all-time Premier League goals list, before Tariq Lamptey drew Graham Potter's side level shortly before the hour mark. 

Bale sealed maximum points in the 73rd minute, though, heading home from eight yards just three minutes after replacing Erik Lamela in London.

Spurs head coach Mourinho was delighted with the Wales international's all-round contribution and could not resist a dig at his parent club, whose boss Zinedine Zidane had a public falling out with Bale. 

"For a week or so now, he's been improving," Mourinho told a media conference. "It's not just from watching him, the data supports that as well. We knew, Gareth knew. We share ideas and feelings.

"He deserves that [the goal]. When I have five minutes I'm going to look at the Real Madrid website to see what they say about him.

"He showed great personality and had a great impact, scoring a very important goal for us. He also joined Harry in a very experienced way to play the last 15 minutes for us.

"They were very clever, very intelligent, especially at holding the ball up and bringing it into zones where they couldn't hurt us. 

"He knows that we care about him and he cares about the club. I think he's a perfect fit. He's very calm, very intelligent. I'm very pleased for him to score the winning goal."

Bale has started just one game and made three substitute appearances since his return to north London as he slowly works his way back to full fitness. 

Mourinho revealed he would start Thursday's Europa League game against Ludogorets, although he said the club will not rush him.

"He doesn't have 90 minutes in his legs yet," he added. "We are using the Europa League to get him minutes and when we can in the Premier League. 

"He is, of course, getting better and better and better. He will start again on Thursday but he will not play 90 minutes. I will use him in the right way."

Lamptey's goal was given after referee Graham Scott undertook a lengthy pitch-side video review to assess if there had been a foul on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the build-up.

Mourinho would not be drawn on whether he thought it was a foul, but believes referees should have to explain their decisions after a match.

"There are decisions that I think they should explain and not leave us in front of you [journalists] explaining things we don't have any explanations to," he said. 

"I prefer not to talk about it. I see Scott as a good referee. He went to the screen and he saw what we saw on the bench. He should explain it but I know that is not going to happen."

Arsenal have endured a frustrating run at Old Trafford in recent times, but they ended a 13-game winless streak in Premier League visits to the stadium on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a penalty to secure a 1-0 win over Manchester United.

Gareth Bale got off the mark in his second spell at Tottenham to earn the points against Brighton and Hove Albion, and there were also wins for Southampton and Newcastle United.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the key facts from Sunday's four Premier League fixtures.

 

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal: Aubameyang ends Gunners' Old Trafford hoodoo

Aubameyang's second-half penalty was enough to clinch the points for Arsenal against United, as the Gunners clinched their first Premier League victory at Old Trafford since September 2006.

It was also the first time Arsenal have won away at a 'big six' Premier League side since January 2015, when they beat Manchester City 2-0 – a run of 29 games.

Only Chelsea (18) have won more Premier League games against United than Arsenal, with Sunday's win being their 16th victory in meetings with their old rivals.

Though United thrashed RB Leipzig 5-0 at Old Trafford in midweek, there has not been much in the way of home comfort for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side in the Premier League as of late, and they have failed to win any of their opening four top-flight games at the Theatre of Dreams for the first time since 1972-73.

They finished 18th in a 22-team First Division in that campaign, while their haul of seven points from six Premier League games so far this term is their lowest tally at this stage since 2013-14, when David Moyes was in charge.

Arsenal's spot-kick – conceded by Paul Pogba – was the fifth United have given away in their last seven home league matches; the previous five penalties they had conceded at Old Trafford in the competition came over a period of 101 games.

Pogba has now conceded three penalties in the Premier League under Solskjaer – no other United player has committed more than one foul leading to a spot-kick.

Tottenham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Bale is back

Seven years and 166 days after scoring on his farewell appearance for Tottenham against Sunderland, Bale struck his first Spurs goal since embarking on his second spell at the club.

The 31-year-old scored with his second touch, just 200 seconds after coming on against Brighton, to secure a 2-1 win which sent Jose Mourinho's side into second place.

Bale's winner came after a contentious equaliser from Tariq Lamptey, whose goal was allowed to stand after a long VAR check for a possible foul from Solly March.

Pascal Gross played a neat pass into young full-back Lamptey, and the German has now assisted 16 Premier League goals for Brighton, double that of any other player at the club.

Spurs, who have now won four of their six Premier League games since their opening-day defeat to Everton – their joint-longest unbeaten run under Mourinho – hit the front through Harry Kane's early penalty.

Their second-place finish to the day is the highest spot they have achieved since February 2019, under Mauricio Pochettino.

At the other end of the table, only the current bottom three sides have lost more games in the Premier League this season than Brighton, while only league leaders Liverpool (15) have conceded more goals than Graham Potter's side.

Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton: Ward-Prowse into Saints' record books

Southampton were 4-0 up heading into the final half-hour at Villa Park, though Dean Smith's side rallied to give the visitors a late scare.

Jannik Vestergaard put Southampton in front after 20 minutes, heading his second goal in as many league away games as he connected with James Ward-Prowse's cross.

Ward-Prowse had Southampton three goals to the good by half-time, scoring two superb free-kicks. The midfielder, who also netted in the win over Everton last time out, is the ninth player in Premier League history to score directly from two free-kicks in a game, and the first since Christian Eriksen for Tottenham in 2015.

Birthday boy Ward-Prowse, who turned 26 on Sunday, has also now overtaken Matt Le Tissier as the player with the most free-kick goals for Southampton in the Premier League, with eight.

Danny Ings made it 4-0 in the 58th minute, and the former Liverpool striker has now netted 27 Premier League goals since the start of 2019-20, with only Jamie Vardy (29) having scored more, while no player has netted more from outside the box in the same period.

Tyrone Mings pulled one back from Jack Grealish's cross, with Ollie Watkins netting his fourth Premier League goal with a penalty before Grealish, Villa's captain, made it 4-3 in the final minute.

Southampton have picked up 13 points from their opening seven Premier League games – that is the Saints' most at this stage of a campaign since 2014-15 - while Villa have lost consecutive Premier League games for the first time since July.

Newcastle United 2-1 Everton: Wilson double inflicts Ancelotti's second straight defeat

Without key men James Rodriguez, Richarlison and Lucas Digne, Carlo Ancelotti named a makeshift team against Newcastle, and his Everton side were not up to the task.

Having gone eight games unbeaten in all competitions at the start of the season, the Toffees have now lost their last two after Callum Wilson's double secured the points for the hosts at St James' Park.

Wilson scored from the penalty spot before tucking in his second from close range – the ex-Bournemouth forward has now scored six goals in his first seven Premier League appearances for Newcastle, with only Les Ferdinand having reached that tally in fewer games (six) for the Magpies in the competition.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back for Everton late on and, though it could not inspire a comeback, the 23-year-old has scored more top-flight goals against Newcastle (five) than he has against any other opponent.

Newcastle have won two of their last three league matches at home, as many as Steve Bruce's side had managed in their previous 11 such matches (D4, L5).

Ancelotti, meanwhile, has lost successive league games for the first time since September 2014, when his Real Madrid side went down 4-2 and 2-1 to Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid respectively.

Jordan Pickford was also dropped to Everton's bench for the first time in the Premier League, after the England goalkeeper had started 120 successive games.

Gareth Bale insists Tottenham are not thinking about a Premier League title challenge after his late goal handed them a 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday. 

The Wales international headed home his first goal since re-joining the club on loan from Real Madrid in September, seven years after swapping north London for the Spanish capital. 

Spurs had earlier gone ahead thanks to Harry Kane's 13th-minute penalty before Tariq Lamptey equalised for the Seagulls. 

The result moved Jose Mourinho's side up to second, two points behind leaders Liverpool, but Bale says no-one at the club is getting carried away. 

"It's very competitive, we know not to get too carried away," he told Sky Sports. "There are some great teams and we are just going to keep working as hard as we can."

Bale's goal was his first for Tottenham since May 2013 and came in his fourth appearance since his return.

While primarily brought back to help form a potent attack alongside Kane and Son Heung-min, Bale insists he would be just as happy doing the dirty work if that was demanded by Mourinho.

"You just want to come on and do a job for the team," he added. "I worked for the team and was lucky enough to get the goal.

"Everyone always talks about individuals but I've always said I'm a team player. I'd be happy coming on doing a job even if it's defending. The most important thing is the collective.

"We are growing every game. Even if we make mistakes we are learning from them and we can only use that as a positive.

"I haven't played a lot of football. I had a little problem with my knee so it's taking a bit of time. I am working hard in training and when I get chances."

Gareth Bale scored his first goal since returning to Tottenham as Jose Mourinho's side bounced back from their Europa League disappointment with a 2-1 Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Spurs suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Royal Antwerp on Thursday and Mourinho demonstrated his dissatisfaction with that result by making nine changes for the visit of Graham Potter's side, with Bale demoted to the substitutes' bench and Dele Alli dropped from the squad altogether.

Mourinho's new-look starting XI went ahead with a 13th-minute penalty from Harry Kane before Tariq Lamptey's first professional goal pulled Brighton level shortly before the hour mark.

Bale came off the bench to head home in the 73rd minute, though, to help Tottenham move up to second place, two points behind leaders Liverpool. The Seagulls, meanwhile, remain in 16th having won just once so far this season.

Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham must accept Gareth Bale is "a different player" to the wing wizard that Real Madrid prised away from north London seven years ago.

Bale is back at Spurs for a second spell and Mourinho says it cannot be assumed the loanee will make the same impact second time around.

He related the Welshman's situation to those of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have made subtle changes to their styles of play over the years to remain formidable forces.

Mourinho hopes Bale can add plenty to Tottenham too, but at the age of 31 it may not be as the explosive wide man of years gone by.

Changes could be plentiful for Tottenham in Sunday's clash with Brighton and Hove Albion, given how unimpressed Mourinho was by the performance in Thursday's Europa League defeat at Antwerp.

Asked after that game how his team for Brighton would look, Mourinho said: "Do you want me to start with the same team as tonight? You are an intelligent guy, you know my answer."

When addressing the matter of Bale, who had two shots – neither of which were on target – before being substituted after 58 minutes in Antwerp, Mourinho said: "I repeat, seven years is a long gap. Which player in the world is the same as he was seven years ago? Sometimes they are just different players.

"You look for example at Ronaldo and Messi and compare them to seven years ago. I think it happens with the majority of players. For sure, he is a different player."

Whether Bale faces Brighton remains to be seen.

"He is working very hard. He is improving," Mourinho said. "He didn't miss one single minute of any training session. To play 90 minutes it's still hard, but he is improving. Hopefully he'll be back to a better level soon."

Tottenham have home advantage for the Brighton game and sit fifth in the Premier League heading into the weekend.

Mourinho is a tough taskmaster and will want an improvement on recent home form, Spurs having achieved all three of their Premier League wins away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this season.

At home they have drawn twice and lost once, against Everton in their season opener. The last time they failed to win in four consecutive top-flight home games was in the 2013-14 season.

Their record against Brighton bodes well for that sequence to end, having won all three of their previous Premier League home clashes with the Seagulls.

And there was good news from Mourinho as he forecast Eric Dier and Tanguy Ndombele should be fit for the game after physical ailments.

Having Ndombele back provides cheer for Mourinho, who said: "We missed him because he gives speed to the team, thinking quick, moving the ball fast. We miss him."

Jose Mourinho's big-name substitutes failed to save Tottenham from a 1-0 Europa League defeat at Royal Antwerp on Thursday.

Dele Alli and Gareth Bale both came into the Spurs side but neither lasted an hour, the former withdrawn among four half-time changes as Mourinho's men trailed to Lior Refaelov's 29th-minute strike.

The visiting coach turned first to Son Heung-min and then to Harry Kane - replacing Bale 13 minutes later - yet the in-form pair could not come up with a leveller despite a slightly improved second-half showing.

Again the pre-match optimism prompted by beating Burnley on Monday dissipated, with Tottenham too often this season following big victories with inexplicable setbacks.

While Spurs toiled from the outset, the Belgian Pro League leaders seized the biggest opportunity of the first half as Dieumerci Mbokani ripped the ball away from Ben Davies, raced towards goal and squared for Refaelov to control and lash into the net.

Despite the raft of Mourinho changes, Antwerp twice could have increased their advantage early in the second half.

More slack play - this time from Harry Winks - let Refaelov in, prompting a sublime recovery tackle from Davinson Sanchez, before Mbokani somehow missed the target when found by Koji Miyoshi with the goal at his mercy.

Pressure increased on the Antwerp goal, but they were soon in again on the counter, only for Simen Juklerod to fire high into the stands with only Hugo Lloris to beat.

Although that miss kept Tottenham in the match, they could not create a presentable opportunity for Son or Kane as Mourinho lost for the first time in 16 Europa League matches - including qualifiers.

Dele Alli was recalled to the Tottenham starting line-up for the first time in more than a month as they visited Royal Antwerp on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho named the England midfielder alongside Gareth Bale in his XI for the Europa League group-stage clash in Belgium.

Alli was substituted at half-time on the opening day of the Premier League season – a 1-0 defeat to Everton – and has not started a domestic match since, appearing only off the bench in a 6-1 win at Manchester United and otherwise failing to make the matchday squad.

The 24-year-old's only other start in 2020-21 lasted just an hour against Shkendija in Europa League qualifying on September 24, with Alli making way for Harry Kane, who later scored, with Spurs drawing 1-1. He netted against Maccabi Haifa in one of two European substitute appearances to date.

With Alli's Tottenham future seemingly in doubt prior to the Shkendija game, Mourinho said the player would stay at the club but had to own "99 per cent of the responsibility" to improve.

Alli had two shots – one on target, one blocked – and created a single chance in North Macedonia but completed just 71 per cent of his passes, won only 16.7 per cent of his duels and failed to register a tackle, clearance or interception.

In 45 minutes against Everton, Alli had seen his only shot saved and again created one chance. His passing accuracy was 76.5 per cent and he won 50 per cent of his duels, losing his only attempt at a tackle.

Jose Mourinho claimed Son Heung-min's decision to join the same management agency as him has no link to discussions over a new Tottenham contract for the South Korea star.

Son is in talks with Spurs over a new deal and recently joined CAA Base, who will represent his interests in addition to Mourinho's.

The forward has made a fine start to the campaign, scoring 10 goals in all competitions, and is contracted to the club until the end of the 2022-23 season.

Mourinho said at a media conference ahead of their Europa League clash with Antwerp that Son's decision to join CAA Base will not affect discussions, and he remains confident the 28-year-old will agree a new deal in the not-too-distant future.

"The agency represents me on my image rights and commercial outside my football job and that's it," Mourinho said.

"I don't care about who represents players. I just care about what players give me on the pitch. I had nothing to do with that.

"The majority of my players don't know who the agents are. An impact on Son's future? I can probably say on the commercial level it will be a big impact because it is a worldwide and important agency.

"In relation to his contract, I am not worried about it. He has three years left on his contract. There is a good relationship between Daniel Levy and the people who represent him. We believe that sooner or later that will be resolved.

"I do not see any problem with that because he is a player with three years of contract. In other clubs there are problems with other players because they have contracts in a few months, but three years is a long time."

Son has formed a brilliant partnership with Harry Kane so far this season, with the duo combining for nine Premier League goals – one shy of a club record.

Mourinho also believes Gareth Bale is starting to show the kind of form he wants from the on-loan Real Madrid forward.

The 31-year-old Wales international, who did not feature against Burnley on Monday, will start the Group J encounter against Antwerp as he continues to build up his match fitness.

"Bale is playing and we all have not just a feeling but the data to show that Bale is arriving," explained Mourinho.

"He is working very hard, he is being a great example for everybody. A big guy like him travelled to Burnley, stayed on the bench for 90 minutes, didn't play for one minute.

"His behaviour as a team guy is incredible, his behaviour as a Tottenham guy is remarkable and he is coming. I can see just with my eyes but then scientific data is also coming and he is working very, very well.

"He is improving, improving a lot and I think already we can see Gareth at a good level and hopefully he can fly because he is working very hard."

Tottenham are set to be without Eric Dier and Tanguy Ndombele for the match against the Belgium side with the midfield pair nursing slight injuries.

Mourinho added: "We left Dier behind because he comes with muscular injury from Monday night. Tanguy is not also coming because he felt little bit. We are not going to risk when have other options."

Gareth Bale's fitness is "improving a lot" as the Welshman prepares to make his second start of the season for Tottenham in the Europa League. 

Bale started for the first time since returning to the Premier League club in the 3-0 win over LASK last week. 

The 31-year-old had previously been used off the bench against West Ham, coming on midway through the second half before Jose Mourinho's side conceded a three-goal lead to draw 3-3. 

However, Bale remained an unused substitute during Spurs' 1-0 victory over Burnley on Monday. 

His fitness is being steadily managed by Spurs, but Mourinho's assistant head coach Joao Sacramento has confirmed the Real Madrid loanee will start the clash with Antwerp on Thursday. 

"I can tell you that we will make some changes but like in every previous match, the changes don't mean that the team is weak," Sacramento told Spurs' official website ahead of the Group J clash.

"We believe that with the squad that we have, even with rotation, the team will keep the level and the quality of play. 

"Tomorrow, Gareth Bale will start. Gareth is improving a lot – in terms of fitness level, his condition is much, much better, he's feeling better every day and with the interaction that we have with him, he's feeling very positive and we believe that soon he will be at his top level again." 

In his 66 minutes on the pitch against LASK, Bale had 44 touches and attempted 25 passes, finishing with a 72 per cent accuracy. 

However, he failed to have a single effort on goal and did not create any chances. His replacement, Son Heung-min, scored Spurs' third and final goal, which came from one of his two on-target attempts.

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