Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli questioned his team’s mentality after losing 3-0 to the Champions League in the last 16 games, losing in the second leg to Leipzig on Tuesday and giving up the competition 4 to 0 in total.
Marcel Sabitzer benefited from two mistakes by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the first 21 minutes to give Leipzig an advantage in charge before substitute Emil Forsberg added the third in the end.
Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho has repeatedly used the absence of injured players such as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min during a series of six games without winning in all competitions.
Alli, however, insisted that this is not a sufficient excuse for the way last season’s Champions League finalists left the competition with a groan.
“We were losing some good players, but this is football, this happens. This is Tottenham, the players who come in have to accelerate and we haven’t done it today,” Alli told BT Sport.
“I think we need to apologize to the fans. They traveled all this way and, to lose and lose, they deserve better. ”
Alli refused to point a finger at Lloris, but said the Spurs were not mentally strong enough to produce the same kind of reaction they did 3-0 in total against Ajax in last season’s semi-finals.
“We were second in many balls; giving them goals shows that our mentality was not strong enough,” added Alli.
“We have to be together and not talk about anyone in particular.
“It is not for a player to score goals, stop goals, the whole performance of the team and the mentality were not strong enough.”
Tottenham now have just nine games left in the Premier League this season to try to avoid losing Champions League for the first time in five seasons.
Mourinho’s men are eighth in the table, seven points out of the top four, and they very much need to end the arid home game against Manchester United on Sunday.
“I think it’s probably a (good) thing,” said Mourinho of his team’s departure from Europe. “Sometimes difficult times are times that can prepare the future in a better way.”
In addition to losing Kane and Son, Mourinho noted the absence of Steven Bergwijn, Moussa Sissoko and Davinson Sanchez due to the capitulation of his team in Germany.
“People can give excuses, but I’m sure this is bad for anyone.
“I don’t think anyone would resist this situation. Right now, we have games to play in the Premier League with these players, there are no others, and we are going to our limits. Let’s see how we ended the season.”