Frank Lampard fears he may have a mole among the Chelsea ranks after Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho correctly predicted how the hosts would line up at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Mourinho said the Blues would play with a back three and they did just that, doing so to great effect as Lampard oversaw a 2-1 victory to tighten their grip on fourth spot in the Premier League.

With Mourinho having enjoyed two successful spells at the Bridge, Lampard raised the possibility the Portuguese had been tipped off about Chelsea's formation.

"That's the world we live in," he said, having become the first manager to complete a league double over Mourinho in a single league season.

"I am not being sinister about it, but it is the world we live in. When someone has worked at the club previously, I think that can happen.

"When you have been working on a back three for two or three days, I am not that trusting always in terms of everybody but that's life."

Spurs lined up to match their opponents' shape but Chelsea were much the better side, with efforts from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso ensuring Antonio Rudiger's late own goal counted for little.

Lampard allowed his players to take all of the credit, rather than citing his tactics, insisting he did not outwit his former mentor.

"I wouldn't say tactically outwitted because he matched us up," he said.

"Maybe that's a bit of credit because he [Mourinho] knew we played it well at Tottenham. Then it is up to the players, so we have got some previous of playing the system.

"The system only works if the players play it the way they play. The system only works if Ross [Barkley] and Mason Mount are so mobile around Oli [Giroud] up front and get in behind them.

"The system only works if our back three don't sit off and allow people to turn on the ball because they are playing with two kind of false strikers. So it is the players that enforce it. We work on it but the players make the system."

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."

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. 

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."

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."

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."

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."

Jose Mourinho is hoping to end a six-year wait to win a Champions League last-16 tie when Tottenham take on RB Leipzig.

The Spurs boss has suffered frustration in Europe's elite club competition since taking Chelsea to the last four back in 2014.

Tottenham are at home for the first leg against Leipzig, a team they have never played before, with Atalanta taking on Valencia in the other game to take place on Wednesday.

Here, we highlight the best Opta stats for the two Champions League fixtures.

 

Tottenham v RB Leipzig

6 - Mourinho last made it past the round of 16 of the Champions League six years ago, leading Chelsea to the semi-finals in 2013-14. It is also nearly 10 years since he last reached the final, with Inter in 2010.

9 - Son Heung-min has scored nine goals in his past 10 Champions League starts. In the knockout stages with Spurs, his record is five goals in seven starts.

20 - The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has seen more goals than any other venue in this season's Champions League (20 goals; 11 for Tottenham, 9 against).

11 - Between them, Timo Werner (6) and Emil Forsberg (5) have scored over half of RB Leipzig's all-time goals in the Champions League (55 per cent, 11 out of 20).

1 - Only one of Spurs' 21 Champions League home games has ended in a draw (0-0 v Milan in March 2011).

Atalanta v Valencia

0 - Atalanta have never played Valencia, or indeed any Spanish team, in a competitive fixture before.

1 - The Italian team are the first Champions League debutants to make it to the knockout stages of the Champions League since Leicester City in 2016-17. The English side were eventually knocked out in the quarter-finals by Atletico Madrid.

13 - Valencia are in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2012-13. It has been 13 years since they last made it past the round of 16 (2006-07).

3 - Atalanta are the first team to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League in its current format after losing their opening three group games.

4 - Rodrigo Moreno has been involved in four goals in five Champions League games this season (two goals, two assists). That is more than in his previous 24 matches in the competition, from which he produced two goals and one assist.

Julian Nagelsmann insists it will not be a case of Mourinho v Baby Mourinho when his RB Leipzig side visit Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Nagelsmann, previously dubbed 'Baby Mourinho' in Germany will take charge of his maiden Champions League knockout game in the last-16 first-leg encounter with Jose Mourinho's Spurs.

However, the 32-year-old, who is the youngest coach in the Champions League, was quick to shift the focus away from the battle of wits in the dugout at his pre-match media conference.

He said: "It is only a game between Leipzig and Tottenham. Eight years ago, Tim Wiese [former Hoffenheim goalkeeper] called me Baby Mourinho, but that was only for two weeks. After that he called me Julian again.

"Tomorrow it is Leipzig against Tottenham, not Mourinho v Baby Mourinho.

"The respect I have for him is enormous. He has won countless titles, not just with major clubs, and helped shape European football.

"The victories with Porto in the UEFA Cup and Champions League in a short time were very impressive. 

"I read today that it will be his 59th knockout game in the Champions League. It will be the first for me!

"He has an aura that can captivate you. I'm really looking forward to getting to know him."

Nagelsmann has gained many admirers for his work at Hoffenheim and Leipzig and was strongly linked with the Tottenham job prior to Mauricio Pochettino's sacking in November.

Asked if he nearly became Tottenham boss when Pochettino departed, Nagelsmann replied: "Me? No."

Leipzig topped a group containing Lyon, Benfica and Zenit Saint Petersburg to reach the last 16 for the first time, but Nagelsmann downplayed the magnitude of the first leg in north London.

"I have a certain nervousness before every game," he said. "But it is not the most important game in the club's history. Of course, we want to reach the next round. But it is only the first leg."

Jose Mourinho does not anticipate following Barcelona's lead and trying to sign an emergency striker for Tottenham as he joked former Spurs forward Peter Crouch would be his first port of call.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Son Heung-min had joined fellow Tottenham attacker Harry Kane on the sidelines after he fractured his arm in Sunday's 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

Mourinho revealed he does not expect Son to play again this season, while Kane also faces a battle to return from a torn hamstring injury sustained in January.

LaLiga giants Barcelona are thought to be pursuing signing an emergency striker outside the transfer window due to Ousmane Dembele's long-term injury, though Mourinho does not think Spurs could attempt to do likewise as he quipped Crouch could fill the void.

"I didn't [explore that possibility]," Mourinho said of signing an emergency striker.

"I was not aware of that possibility. I don't think it's possible, honestly, I don't think it's possible.

"[Maybe] Peter Crouch!"

Crouch spent two seasons with Spurs between 2009 and 2011 and he scored seven times in 10 games during their 2010-11 Champions League campaign.

Without Son and Kane, Mourinho may have to resort to playing one of Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn or Dele Alli in an unfamiliar central-attacking berth.

Tottenham do have one striker in their senior squad in 18-year-old Troy Parrott.

Yet, with a Champions League last-16 clash against RB Leipzig preceding a Premier League showdown against fellow top-four hopefuls Chelsea this week, Mourinho is not prepared to roll the dice on a teenager who has played only 71 minutes across all competitions this term.

"My thoughts are that Parrott is not ready and [Ryan] Sessegnon is not a striker," Mourinho added in a news conference with reporters ahead of the home leg against Leipzig.

Son Heung-min has suffered a likely season-ending arm injury, leaving Jose Mourinho to admit "the situation couldn't be worse" in terms of Tottenham's attacking options.

Spurs confirmed Son fractured his arm in the 3-2 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday and said the South Korea international, who scored twice in that game, including a stoppage-time winner, would be out "for a number of weeks".

Mourinho later expanded on that timeframe, revealing he did not expect the 27-year-old to be available again this term.

"I don't [count on him playing again this season]," the Portuguese told reporters prior to the first leg of Spurs' Champions League last-16 clash with RB Leipzig.

"If he plays one game or two games, it's because [Tottenham's press officer] is very optimistic and because I hope he's right. I hope he's right.

"But in my mind, no. In my mind I'm not thinking about that."

Son's absence further depletes Mourinho's attacking options ahead of crucial fixtures against Leipzig and Chelsea, one of their rivals for a top-four spot in the Premier League.

Harry Kane underwent surgery on a torn hamstring injury suffered at Southampton on New Year's Day and faces a battle to return before the end of the campaign himself.

"The situation couldn't be worse in terms of options," added Mourinho, who may be forced to utilise Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn or Dele Alli as an unorthodox spearhead for his attack.

"It's a very, very obvious situation. There is nothing that you can do.

"We are going to play with the players that we have available. The players are going to give absolutely everything, which is what they are doing.

"In some periods I was worried about not having attacking options on the bench, now I don't have attacking options on the pitch."

Spurs do have 18-year-old striker Troy Parrott in their ranks, but Mourinho stressed the teenager "is not ready", while adding he does not consider Ryan Sessegnon as a possible candidate for that role either.

The situation led Mourinho, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November, to use a bizarre analogy to explain the club's predicament.

"When we arrived, we were in the minus 12 floor, we got the stairs and we started climbing," he said.

"But immediately in the beginning the stairs broke so we were in trouble. We were trying to find a way. We found a way, we start climbing, lots of work, lots of effort and we start going and going.

"Then 11th floor and when we are arriving on the fourth floor, which is where we wanted to arrive, someone came and took the stairs away so we are now in trouble. Now we are with our arms on the balcony on the fourth floor.

“Now we have two options. One, is to give up and fall and normally die because it's the fourth floor. Another way is to fight with what we have. No stairs but arms. So we are going to be on that balcony fighting with everything that we have."

Jose Mourinho jokingly questioned whether Manchester City's two-season European ban for breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations could end up giving him another Premier League title.

UEFA announced the sanction for City, as well as a €30million fine, on Friday for "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016".

The reigning Premier League champions criticised the process and announced their intention to appeal the suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

It has since been reported that City could be stripped of their 2014 Premier League title but Mourinho opted against making an extensive evaluation of UEFA's decision after Tottenham's 3-2 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

However, he quipped he would be more interested if a chance arose for the Manchester United side he led to second in 2017-18 to be retrospectively awarded the crown claimed that season by City.

Pep Guardiola's team finished that campaign with a record 100 points, 19 more than United amassed in second.

Mourinho said: "My view is that I didn't lose one single minute analysing what UEFA and FIFA have to analyse.

"If I go into that analysis I have to ask if the team that finished second in 2018 is going to be champion, yes or no? That would be interesting. But jokes apart, I just wait calmly."

Should the sanction on City remain in place it would mean the team that finishes fifth in the Premier League this season would earn Champions League qualification.

Spurs assumed that position thanks to Son's 94th-minute winner at Villa Park, but Mourinho acknowledged there is plenty of competition.

"I don't think about fourth or fifth, I just think about doing the best we can, getting the most points we can, the best position we can and at the end of the season we will see where we are," he said.

"Because maybe we are sixth or seventh and then it doesn't matter if the fifth goes to the Champions League, so we have a big fight.

"You could see [on Saturday] Liverpool first against the last [Norwich City], you could see today Villa fighting to stay in the division and us fighting for the top positions, how difficult it was.

"This is the Premier League. So when we speak about the fifth, I think Wolves, Sheffield United, Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton, everybody looks to the table and they say 'we can do it' and they can, so it's going to be very hard."

Jose Mourinho joked Toby Alderweireld "scored three goals" as Tottenham left it late to earn a 3-2 win in a cracker at Aston Villa.

Alderweireld put past his own goalkeeper before lashing home an equaliser at Villa Park, and he was also outjumped when Bjorn Engels later restored parity for the hosts.

But Engels himself made an injury-time error that Son Heung-min, who earlier had made it 2-1 when scoring the rebound from his saved spot-kick - awarded for an Engels foul on Steven Bergwijn, capitalised on to win it for Spurs.

"In a funny way I would say Toby scored three goals," a smiling Mourinho said of the Belgium defender, whose wife gave birth to their son Jace this week. 

"First in our goal, the second a fantastic goal he scored, and the third he loses the duel with Engels. 

"But he scored with a shot of his life which was to be a dad again two days ago. It's something to remember."

Pepe Reina was busy in the home goal but Villa will count themselves unlucky to lose after putting in a valiant effort, a fact Mourinho himself acknowledged.

"I think we deserved to win but I don't think they deserved to lose. I think they were good, they gave us a real football match, a real fight," added Mourinho. 

"They played to win, I don't think they played to get a point - probably in the last 10-15 minutes yes -but during the game their attitude was to win the game. It's fantastic, that's why the game was so good."

Spurs' late winner means they are just a point adrift of fourth-place Chelsea, who face Manchester United on Monday.

The table may look favourable from a Spurs point of view but Mourinho believes a few sides will be fancying their chances.

"Not just for us. A window opens for many teams, probably teams that saw fourth as too far. What seemed far, now the fifth place is not far," he said, referring to the fact fifth would be enough for a Champions League place given Manchester City's two-season European ban administered by UEFA, which the club said they intend to appeal against.

"Arsenal, Everton, Sheffield United, Wolves...everyone will feel they have the chance."

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