Football

Mourinho says clash between Son Heung Min and Hugo Lloris is beautiful

The sight of Tottenham Hotspur teammates Hugo Lloris and Son Heung Min clashing at half-time during their 1-0 victory over Everton yesterday morning (Singapore time) was "beautiful" and a sign that the team are growing up, manager Jose Mourinho has said.

Goalkeeper Lloris and forward Son had to be held apart by teammates shortly after Everton's Richarlison had gone close to an equaliser, with Lloris clearly angry at Son for not tracking back in the build-up to the chance.

Mourinho said his players were fired up by his criticism of their limp performance in last Thursday's 3-1 defeat by Sheffield United and added the incident showed they were demanding more of one another.

"It's beautiful," said the 57-year-old Portuguese.

"If you want to blame somebody for that, it's me, because I was critical of my boys, because they are not critical enough with themselves, with each other.

"It's very important for the team to grow and for that you need to demand from each other and be strong personalities.

"A team of nice boys, the only thing they can win is the Fair Play Cup, which is something that I never won and I am not interested in."

It was somehow fitting that the always combative Mourinho's 200th English Premier League victory featured the flare-up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Lloris, however, insisted he had made peace with Son, hugging him at the final whistle after Tottenham secured their second win in their last 10 games in all competitions.

"To concede a chance a few seconds before half-time because we didn't make a press annoyed me," Lloris said.

TEAM STILL TOGETHER

"It just belongs to the changing room... What happened is just part of football sometimes.

"We are in a situation we are not happy with so we have to fight, to make sure we all go in the same direction.

"Most important is to stay focused on the team. We can do it only as a team.

"When you play a season like this one, it's very easy to fall apart but we showed we are still together. There is no problem at all. You could see after the game we were fine."

Tottenham sealed the points thanks to a first half own-goal from Everton defender Michael Keane, who deflected in Giovani Lo Celso's shot.

Spurs' win lifted them into eighth place, one point and spot behind north London rivals Arsenal, whom they face on Sunday after their visit to Bournemouth on Friday morning (Singapore time). - REUTERS, AFP

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