Jose Mourinho praises Tottenham after Crystal Palace win: '100 goals - not bad for a negative team!'

Tottenham boosted their top-four hopes with a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace; Jose Mourinho: "If the stats I was given are correct - 100 goals scored in the season, which for a very defensive team, a very negative team, is not bad"

preview image 4:55
Jose Mourinho explains how the Tottenham coaching staff work with Gareth Bale to manage his body and ensure they get the best out of him

Jose Mourinho heralded his Tottenham side after the 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Super Sunday saw them reach 100 goals for the season. 

Gareth Bale and Harry Kane starred with doubles to help Tottenham make it three Premier League wins in a row and boost their top-four hopes.

Kane's second goal of the evening was Tottenham's 100th goal in all competitions this season, becoming the second club in Europe's big-five leagues to reach that tally in 2020-21, after Bayern Munich (106).

After Spurs secured a fifth straight victory in all competitions, Mourinho used the resounding win as evidence his side are not built around negative tactics.

preview image 3:06
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham's win against Crystal Palace

The Tottenham head coach said: "If the stats I was given are correct - 100 goals scored in the season, which for a very defensive team, a very negative team, is not bad.

"It was a good week for us. Three matches, nine points, and for next week when we play a crucial match in the Europa, and against Arsenal, nothing could be better for us than to win nine points this week."

Gareth Bale

Tottenham moved to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea but Mourinho was coy on whether Spurs now had a Champions League berth firmly in their sights.

Also See:

"I don't know, and I'm not really, really thinking about it," he continued. "I cannot control the other teams. I cannot control what is going to happen tomorrow, we just have to try to get the best number of points that we can.

"Try to win as many matches as we can, the most number of points as possible, if possible playing well, if possible not conceding many, if possible scoring goals, and try to see what can happen.

"I refuse to forget the Europa League, I refuse just to say Thursday is not important, because for me it is just as important. We just have to work hard, stick together, and go through the difficult moments like we did."

Bale: I'm not 21 anymore!

Kane was the architect for both goals by the Real Madrid loanee and the Welshman showed no early ill-effects on his third consecutive start.

The 31-year-old has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time he has done so since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row), and first time for Spurs since May 2013.

preview image 2:44
Gareth Bale admits he has had to learn to manage his body in a different way as he's got older

Bale told Sky Sports: "I enjoyed it massively - it's why I came here. The attacking players we have are amazing. Not just the ones who played tonight, but the others on the bench. We're all pushing each other, and it's nice to get the three points again.

"There's a lot of fighting for places, so you have to keep on your toes and keep working hard, but we're in a good moment now. We've got the confidence back and hopefully, we can keep it going.

Gareth Bale

On playing with Kane, Bale said: "It's fantastic, he's an incredible striker as he showed again tonight. He's been so consistent. It was a fantastic performance again from him and we're happy to have him here."

On his own form, he added: "It feels good. It takes a bit of time sometimes but I'm experienced enough to be patient. It is what it is. Time will tell [if I can get back to my best], but I'm not 21 anymore. I'm just going to keep working hard every game.

"Your body changes over time. You've not got the youthfulness where you can recover quickly after sprinting for 90 minutes, but you learn about your body as you get older and that's what I'm having to do."

Souness: Bale must back himself more

Souness questions Bale's attitude 4:56
Graeme Souness questions Gareth Bale's comments following Tottenham's 4-1 win over Crystal Palace

Sky Sports' Graeme Souness on Bale:

"I was disappointed with some of the things he said there. He's 32 in July. I played my best football when I was 31. I was strongest when I was 30. Of course, he's not 21, but he's talking like he's an old man - he's not.

"What an example he played with for years and years in [Cristiano] Ronaldo whose 35 and still at it. He's a worldie, and he should be doing the opposite of that and saying what he's going to do and how fabulous he's going to be.

"These talents don't come along very often. He's got ridiculous ability. He's been on the bench a lot at Spurs this time around. If you're on the bench, you're alright to play some part in games...

Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham's fourth (AP) 1:09
Roy Keane was glowing in his praise for Harry Kane's wonderful long-range stunner for Tottenham in their 4-1 win over Crystal Palace

"I remember having a conversation six weeks ago... if I'm him, I'm knocking on the manager's door saying I'm ready. We saw pictures of him smiling on the bench. He's been here all season, and I expected more from him. I'm an enormous fan of him, and I just want to see more of him.

"Those words he came out and said at the end there... we've all been 31. Your career finishes too quickly when you're a footballer. I'd like him to have a pint of enthusiasm."

Hodgson: We've got to lick our wounds

preview image 4:10
Roy Hodgson says his team need to get back on track as soon as possible following Crystal Palace's 4-1 defeat at Tottenham

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has failed to win all six of his Premier League meetings with Spurs' Jose Mourinho, the joint-most he's faced a particular manager in the competition without yet winning.

The Palace boss told Sky Sports: "We felt we were back in the game at half-time but those two goals early in the second half - goals of great quality - it was always going to be difficult.

"It's good to see Christian Benteke getting in that position. We've tried to encourage him to get in the centre.

"As Harry Kane said to me after the game they took their chances very well.

"Spurs were really good value for their victory. We were heavily punished by the quality of their goals. We lost 4-1. We've got to lick those wounds and any lessons, we've got a week to work on it.

"We've made one or two things clear to the group on what necessary going forward. We've got 20 very important games. This is a very tight league. We need to get ourselves fully back on track.

"I'd rather be in our position than Fulham's. Eight points might not sound very much but it takes a lot of getting. I'm not concerned in that respect but I'm aware if you are not careful and think your work is done you can easily lose game after game."

What's next?

Live Premier League

Live Renault Super Sunday

Tottenham now host Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday at 8pm, followed by a trip to bitter rivals Arsenal on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4.30pm.

Palace host West Brom on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 3pm on March 13.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 in Saturday's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3:00pm.

Around Sky