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Mourinho: The best team lost match

FA Cup 4th rd replay: Tottenham 3 Southampton 2

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Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters

Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters

REUTERS

Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho admitted "the best team lost" as his side came from behind to beat Southampton 3-2 in a compelling FA Cup fourth-round replay.

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long was among the goals for Southampton as they moved into a 2-1 lead heading into the closing stages at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before a 78th-minute equaliser from Lucas Moura was backed up by a winning penalty from Son Heung-Min three minutes from time.

Following a theme of recent weeks, Spurs looked jaded for long periods of the game and needed Dele Alli to make an impact from the bench for the final half an hour, with Mourinho honest in his assessment at the final whistle.

"I have to be honest and say I think the best team lost on the pitch but my team were the ones with more heart and went to their limit," stated Mourinho.

"We suffered. We played against a very good team, we played against a team that was the best team on the pitch but we deserved to win because we were in our limits. They had their best players, they had one more day rest, they were fresh.

"So many difficulties to even build a team, the options were not options to change the game. From the intensity level and freshness, they were much stronger than us. We tried to organise the team with the players available, but it was difficult.

"The players showed their souls and heart and gave absolutely everything. Four matches over two rounds, really hard for the boys. They deserve this happiness.

"After such a game against Manchester City (2-0 win last Sunday), it was very hard. Dele could suffer pain and could cope with that tonight. We gave everything we could so that's why I'm so proud of my team."

Alli believes that this Tottenham team deserve to win a trophy after coming so close on so many occasions over the last six years, as he gave his verdict.

"It says a lot about the character we have," he stated. "To go from such a big game at the weekend, easy to lose a game like this.

"It has been a long time coming, we are one of the best teams in the world in the years we have been together, we deserve a trophy. But no-one is going to give it to us, we have to keep pushing."