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Tottenham Hotspur lack mental strength: Dele Alli

Mourinho blames injuries as last season's Champions League finalists get knocked out by Leipzig

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli questioned his side's mental strength after RB Leipzig cruised to a 3-0 win yesterday morning (Singapore time) to progress 4-0 on aggregate to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time.

Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer struck twice in the first 21 minutes before substitute Emil Forsberg added the third late on with his first touch.

"We were second to a lot of balls. To concede them goals shows our mentality wasn't strong enough," added Alli.

"We had to show maturity and fight and we didn't do that and we were punished."

Spurs have now failed to win their last six games in all competitions - the longest winless streak of Jose Mourinho's managerial career.

The Portuguese again blamed that run on an injury list that includes Harry Kane, Son Heung Min, Steven Bergwijn, Moussa Sissoko, Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies.

"People can say excuses but I'm pretty sure it is bad for anyone," said Mourinho.

"I don't think anyone would resist to such a situation."

Spurs produced a remarkable fightback from 3-0 down on aggregate away at Ajax in last season's semi-finals to make the final for the first time in the club's history, thanks to Lucas Moura's hat-trick.

But, in keeping with their collapse since that night in Amsterdam last May, Mourinho's men lacked the quality and belief needed to reproduce that thrilling fightback.

Unlike many fixtures across Europe this week, there were no restrictions on supporters attending due to the spread of coronavirus and the Leipzig fans were able to enjoy a nerve-free outing.

The same could not be said of the Spurs defence, which buckled inside the opening quarter of the game as two errors from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris turned a tough task into an impossible one.

Leipzig took just 10 minutes to open the scoring when Lloris could not stop Sabitzer's strike from outside the box finding the bottom corner.

Timo Werner then fired home from close range only to be denied by the offside flag as Leipzig opened up the Spurs backline at will.

The visitors did not learn their lesson as Sabitzer met Angelino's cross with a powerful header, but Lloris should still have done better to keep the ball out at his near post.

Forsberg took just 32 seconds after replacing Sabitzer to fire the third goal into the far corner three minutes from time.

"It's a great moment for the history of the club, for me as a manager, and for my young team," said Leipzig's 32-year-old coach Julian Nagelsmann.

"It's totally deserved we go to the next round. We were the better team, scored four goals, conceded none, so we are very happy."

Mourinho admitted that Spurs would even find it tough to qualify for next season's Champions League. They are eighth in the English Premier League, seven points adrift of the top four.

"With the squad we have at the moment, it's going to be very difficult. These problems are not going to disappear tomorrow," said Mourinho, ahead of Monday morning's home match against his former side Manchester United.

"But we have matches to play, matches to fight in. You can see in our matches in the Premier League that we fight until the end ... the players have to be very strong with the limitations we have." - AFP