Glenn Hoddle picks out one key reason behind Tottenham ‘disaster’ after Dinamo Zagreb loss
Tottenham: Jose Mourinho reacts to Zagreb defeat
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BT Sport pundit Glenn Hoddle has pinpointed the key reason why Tottenham Hotspur fell to a disastrous 3-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb to crash out of the Europa League. Jose Mourinho’s men threw away a two-goal advantage from the first leg as they were humiliated in Croatia.
Mourinho made seven changes for the trip to Croatian champions Zagreb, but they put in a desperately poor performance to fall at the last 16 stage.
A hat-trick from Mislav Orsic ultimately did the damage for Zagreb, with the pressure on Mourinho’s future ramping up.
Orsic deservedly curled the hosts ahead just after the hour mark before converting Iyayi Atiemwen’s cross eight minutes from time to send the tie into extra-time.
And at the start of the second period of extra-time, he drove at the Spurs defence and fired past Hugo Lloris to send the Croatians into the quarter-finals.
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One of those seven changes was the absence of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who was suspended for the clash.
Hojbjerg has been a key part of Tottenham’s midfield this season, making 42 appearances in all competitions for Mourinho’s men.
And Hoddle believed his absence was the critical factor for his former side’s exit from the competition.
“You need leadership,” Hoddle told BT Sport. “Hojbjerg not playing tonight shows you what they do need. He’s had a great season. Suspended. Massive miss.
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“I think the key goal he’d have been in there in a defensive position. He’s the one who actually leads them. He’s always talking to players and demanding. They missed him big time today.”
Though Spurs twice came close to snatching what would have been a winning goal, Hoddle was left unimpressed by their performance.
“To be fair to Zagreb, they showed more heart and determination. In the end, with Orsic’s hat-trick they showed better skills, technique and ability,” he said.
“They deserved the win. But Spurs were diabolical tonight, they really were. ‘I think mentally they’ve got it wrong right through the game.
“I said at half-time if Zagreb score then I’m expecting a reaction from Tottenham, the game would open up and they’d have a nibble.
“I didn’t expect Zagreb to actually take control of the game. That was Spurs’s opportunity to respond, to make that response as a team, individually.
“They went backwards, went downhill instead of fighting. They were just playing at the pace they wanted to play.
“They should have upped the gears, there was not enough ability in the team or anyone on the night to say I’m going to take responsibility and change this game for us.
“Everyone was looking at each other. That can happen and when it happens, it’s a disaster for a team.”
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