Jose Mourinho defends Hugo Lloris after error gifts Crystal Palace point against Spurs

Tottenham extended their unbeaten run to 11 Premier League games but were made to work hard for a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace

Hugo Lloris was at fault for Crystal Palace's equaliser against Tottenham
Image: Hugo Lloris was at fault for Crystal Palace's equaliser against Tottenham

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho rushed to the defence of the "best goalkeeper in the Premier League" Hugo Lloris after the Frenchman's error gifted Crystal Palace a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.

Harry Kane's 15th goal of the season put Spurs in front midway through the first half but from then on they retreated and allowed Palace to dominate the game.

Roy Hodgson's men laid siege to the Tottenham goal and eventually forced a way through when Jeffrey Schlupp converted in the 81st minute.

It was the first time Mourinho's side had conceded in 475 minutes, and while it was no surprise considering the pressure they came under, Lloris was at fault after spilling Ebere Eze's set-piece.

Jose Mourinho leaped to the defence of Hugo Lloris after the 1-1 draw
Image: Jose Mourinho leapt to the defence of Hugo Lloris after the 1-1 draw

But the Spurs boss said: "My goalkeeper is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League so I would never be critical of the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, period.

"If I have to blame anybody I have to blame ourselves, the team. The ones that win, the ones that draw and the ones that lose. Some guys they have the philosophy of 'they lost', 'we drew' and 'I won' but that's not us.

"At half-time, I told the players exactly the opposite that we did in the second half, but if they didn't it was because they couldn't do it.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace's draw with Tottenham in the Premier League

"It was because they were not able to do it. I give credit to Palace for that. I always say that even if you want to press high, if the ball is in the air you cannot press. There is nothing to press.

"So they put the ball in the air, they started putting the ball in the box and creating lateral free-kicks and corners and rebounds, so the goal could arrive like it did.

"So we have to blame ourselves for not being able to do what we did in the first half. In the last period of the game [there was] a reaction, of course, a reaction - a very good reaction and then the goalkeeper made a couple of amazing saves."

Harry Kane celebrates his first-half goal for Spurs
Image: Harry Kane celebrates his first-half goal for Spurs

Mourinho revealed that Gareth Bale was absent from the matchday squad due to illness but expects the Welshman to be fit for the trip to Liverpool on Wednesday.

Despite surrendering their lead in the second half, Spurs are unbeaten in their last nine away games in the Premier League - winning five - their longest such run since April 2018.

That will be of little consolation to Mourinho, who reflected on two dropped points despite Palace's strong rally in front of 2,000 returning supporters.

He added: "If I look to the game I would say the first half where the feeling is we have to win it, so we lost the points, but then comes the 30 minutes in the second half where they deserve to equalise so you accept, because a point is fair, but then in the last 10 minutes you should win it so you get the feeling you have dropped two.

Gary Cahill jostles for a position inside the Tottenham penalty area
Image: Gary Cahill jostles for a position inside the Tottenham penalty area

"There are opponents when you can have a low block and be there for three hours, and they don't hurt you. There are other opponents like Crystal Palace when you have a low block, they put the giants in the box, they look for pressure, they look for second balls, they look for rebounds, they look for corners, they look for lateral free-kicks.

"And you cannot accept that. We prepared a team not to do that and in the first half we did that very well. In the second half we didn't, but I don't want to blame the players. Because they want to do it.

"If they didn't do it, it's because they couldn't do it. And if they couldn't do it, it was because Crystal Palace in that period was very strong. And 20 or 15 years ago you had a big distance between the quality of players of the big clubs and smaller clubs.

"In this moment, there is a difference between the dimension of the clubs, but not the quality of the players. The quality of players is very similar. They have very good players, very experienced players. And they created problems."

Hodgson delighted to welcome fans back

Palace welcomed home fans back to Selhurst Park for the first time since March
Image: Palace welcomed home fans back to Selhurst Park for the first time since March

Following 1-1 draws in both of their meetings in 2020, Palace have avoided defeat in consecutive Premier League games against Spurs for the first time since the 2014/15 season, and the point was enough to move them up to 11th in the table.

"It was a bit unfortunate the way we went behind," Roy Hodgson said. "Our goalkeeper [Vicente Guaita] had an excellent game and I didn't expect [Harry Kane's shot] to go in, knowing how good our keeper is.

"We were threatening to get the equaliser, it came quite late but it gave us an awful lot of pleasure and I thought we deserved it as well.

Schlupp prods home from close range to earn a point for the home side
Image: Schlupp prods home from close range to earn a point for the home side

"The supporters were great. I told the players it's not what they can give us it's what we can give them and I thought we produced an excellent spectacle today. They got behind us and appreciated it and luckily we welcomed them back on a good day.

"[Schlupp] got a lot of chances today. We didn't force as many saves as they did but I felt we had as many chances to score."

On Guaita's performance in goal, the Palace boss added: "He made two great saves at the end, one from close range and of course Eric Dier's free-kick. He had a very good game. Had he not made the mistake I'm not sure he would have felt as good after making the late saves."

What's next?

Crystal Palace travel to face West Ham on Wednesday; kick-off is at 8pm. Tottenham travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on the same evening in a crucial clash at the top of the Premier League; kick-off 8pm.

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