Jose Mourinho announced his Tottenham side after the 4-1 win over Crystal Palace on Super Sunday which saw them reach 100 goals for the season.
Gareth Bale and Harry Kane played with doubles to help Tottenham claim three consecutive Premier League wins and bolster their top four prospects.
Kane’s second goal of the night was Tottenham’s 100th goal in all competitions this season, becoming the second club from Europe’s Big Five to reach that total in 2020-2021, after Bayern Munich (106).
After Spurs claimed a fifth straight win in all competitions, Mourinho used the resounding victory as proof that his team are not built around negative tactics.
The Tottenham head coach said: “If the statistics given to me are correct – 100 goals scored this season, which for a very defensive team, a very negative team, is not bad.
“It’s been a good week for us. Three games, nine points, and for next week, when we play a crucial game in Europe and against Arsenal, nothing better for us than to gain nine points this week.”
Tottenham fell within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea, but Mourinho was hesitant about whether Spurs now had a Champions League spot in sight.
“I don’t know, and I don’t really, really think about it,” he continued. “I can’t control the other teams. I can’t control what’s going to happen tomorrow, we just have to try to get the best possible number of points.
“Try to win as many matches as possible, as many points as possible, if possible to play well, if possible not to concede a lot, if possible to score goals, and try to see what can happen.
“I refuse to forget the Europa League, I just refuse to say that Thursday is not important, because for me it is just as important. We just have to work hard, stay together and go through the difficult times as we do. ‘Have done.”
Bale: I’m not 21 anymore!
Kane was the architect of both Real Madrid lender’s goals and the Welshman showed no ill effects at the start of his third straight start.
The 31-year-old has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row) and the first time for Spurs since May 2013.
Bale said Sky Sports: “I enjoyed it immensely – that’s why I came here. The offensive players we have are amazing. Not just the ones who played tonight, but the others on the bench. We are all pushing each other, and that is. is good to have the three dots again.
“There is a lot of fighting for places so you have to stay on your toes and keep working hard, but we’re having a good time now. We have regained the confidence and we hope we can continue.
Playing with Kane, Bale said: “He’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 are glad to have him here. “
On his own form, he added: “It feels good. It takes a little while sometimes but I have enough experience to be patient. That’s 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 don’t have the youth that allows you to recover quickly after sprinting for 90 minutes, but you learn more about your body as you age and that’s what I need to do.”
Souness: Bale needs more support
Graeme Souness of Sky Sports on Bale:
“I was disappointed with some of the things he said there. He is 32 in July. I played my best football when I was 31. I was the strongest when I was. 30. Of course, he’s not 21, but he talks like he’s old man – he’s not.
“With what example he played for years and years [Cristiano] Ronaldo including 35 and still hers. He’s a socialite, and he should do the opposite and say what he’s going to do and how fabulous he will be.
“Those talents don’t come very often. He has ridiculous abilities. He’s been on the Spurs bench a lot this time around. If you’re on the bench, you have the right to play a part in games …
“I remember having a conversation six weeks ago … if I’m him I knock on the manager’s door saying I’m ready. We saw pictures of him smiling on the bench. He’s here. all season, and I expected more from him, I’m a big fan of him and just want to see him more.
“Those words he said at the end there … we all turned 31. Your career ends too quickly when you’re a footballer. I wish he had a pint of enthusiasm.”
Hodgson: We have to lick our wounds
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has failed to win his six Premier League encounters with Spurs’ Jose Mourinho, most often facing a particular manager in the competition without winning yet.
The Palace boss told Sky Sports: “We thought we were back in the game at half-time, but those two goals early in the second half – great quality goals – were always going to be difficult .
“It’s good to see Christian Benteke come into this position. We tried to encourage him to enter the center.
“As Harry Kane told me after the game, they took their chances very well.
“The Spurs really valued their victory. We were heavily punished by the quality of their goals. We lost 4-1. We have to heal those injuries and all the lessons we have a week to work on.
“We have clarified a thing or two to the squad about what is needed to move forward. We have 20 very important games. It’s a very close league. We have to get back on track completely.
“I’d rather be in our position than Fulham’s. Eight points may not seem like a lot but it takes a long time. I am not concerned in this regard but I am aware that if you are not careful and think your job is is done, you can easily lose game after game. “
Tottenham now host Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League’s final first leg on Thursday at 8 p.m., followed by a trip to fierce rivals Arsenal on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4.30 p.m.
The palace hosts West Brom on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 3 p.m. on March 13.