The fact that Tottenham Hotspur did well on Sunday with a victory over Arsenal in the battle for a ticket for the Europa League does not cause much enthusiasm for José Mourinho. The manager of the 'Spurs' sees a ticket for the second European tournament only as a small consolation prize.
"The Europa League is not a league that I love or would like to play in. But if you can't make it to the Champions League, you have to go for the Europa League," Mourinho said in the video press conference after the 2 -1 win over Arsenal.
Tottenham passed the arch rival in the rankings and climbed to eighth place. Seventh place provides a starting ticket for the Europa League. The 'Spurs' will have to make up for two points over Sheffield United in the remaining three games.
"In my career, I've only played twice in the Europa League and I won him twice. It wouldn't be wrong to win him a third time," Mourinho said with a shrug.
Mourinho won the Europa League in 2003 with FC Porto and fourteen years later with Manchester United, which was 2-0 too strong for Ajax in the final. As a coach of Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter, he spent ten years in the Champions League and won the biggest European club prize with Porto in 2004 and Inter in 2010.
Tottenham won the derby by this late head goal from Toby Alderweireld. (Photo: Pro Shots)
'If I had been here all season, we would have been fourth now'
Mourinho was appointed in November to succeed the fired Mauricio Pochettino. At the time, Tottenham was only fourteenth, just months after the team lost the Champions League final to Liverpool.
"If I had been here all season, we would have been fourth or fifth now," said the trainer. "But I don't want to talk about myself."
The victory in the derby brought joy to the Tottenham fans, who hope to finish above rival Arsenal in the rankings for the fourth consecutive season.
"For me, finishing above Arsenal is not enough," said Mourinho. "I would like to get to the Europa League. We will fight for that until the end."
In the last three games of the season, Tottenham still plays against Newcastle United (away, Wednesday), Leicester City (home, Sunday) and Crystal Palace (away, next Sunday).
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