Jose Mourinho has explained why he thought the altercation between Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min at half-time of Tottenham’s game against Everton was ‘beautiful’.
The Spurs duo were involved in a heated argument on the field as the teams walked off the pitch at the break.
Lloris reacted angrily after Son gave the ball away, which subsequently led to Richarlison having a shot on goal which narrowly missed.
He then chased after the forward as he headed towards the tunnel, and the duo had to be separated by teammates.
Although the incident was a surprise to many, Mourinho says he was glad to see it happen. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “That’s beautiful.
“It’s probably a consequence of our meetings. If you want to blame somebody for that, it’s me.
“I was critical of my boys because, in my opinion, they are not critical enough of themselves and with each other.
“I asked them to be more demanding, to demand more from others. I’ve asked them to put their colleagues under that pressure of that team spirit that you have to give everything for everybody.
“There was a situation at the end of the first half where an amazing kid that everybody loves like Sonny [Son Heung-min], a team boy.
“But in that situation the captain thought in the last minute of the first half ‘you have to do more for the team, you have to give us a different effort than you gave’.
“[There were] a couple of bad words, I don’t even know if there was any pushing or not.
“I think it’s something very important for the team to grow up, because as a team, to grow up you need to demand from each other, you need to be strong personalities.
“I was really pleased, so at half time I told them ‘you have this reaction, I have no doubts in the second half you are going to stick together until the end.
CRUCIAL THREE POINTS
Despite the argument, Spurs managed to grind out a 1-0 win over the Toffees. Michael Keane’s first half own goal proved to the decisive moment.
The win sees Mourinho’s men climb back up to eighth place and keep up their challenge for a European spot.
With five games remaining, they sit nine points behind fourth placed Chelsea, meaning a Champions League place looks highly unlikely.
However, they are within a point of rivals Arsenal and four points off Wolves, meaning Europa League qualification is a possibility.
Spurs travel to struggling Bournemouth for their next fixture on Thursday.