Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho praised Giovani Lo Celso’s performance in their 5-2 victory over Southampton, and he explained why he decided to substitute Tanguy Ndombele.
The 23-year-old was given a starting spot by the manager after he smashed the winning goal against Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Europa League.
And he justified the decision with an amazing piece of skill in the buildup for the first goal of the Londoners at St. Mary’s Stadium. Unfortunately for the midfielder, he couldn’t show more of his heroics as Mourinho replaced him at the interval by Lo Celso.
And following the match, Jose revealed his thinking behind the substitution while also indicating that he was delighted with the Argentine’s display.
He said (as per Football London):
“He was not injured, but we all know that his condition is not yet top condition and that is why we are playing him basically coming from the bench.”
“Gio Lo Celso was very, very tired and he clearly wouldn’t be able to play 90 minutes. We decided to play Tanguy but we had planned that Gio would come into the game in the second half.
“The yellow card left Tanguy in a difficult position in the same way Romeu was in a difficult position and could possibly get a second yellow card during the second half. I didn’t want that to happen to Tanguy in a game against Southampton, which is always fair and honest but an aggressive game in lots of ways. I was just afraid and Gio is in this moment still has a little bit more sharpness than Tanguy and second half was fantastic for us.”
It looked a little harsh on the Frenchman to replace him. However, the Portuguese manager’s explanation may lessen any disappointment the Londoners’ supporters may feel.
Spurs have a difficult run of fixtures over the coming days, and keeping both players fresh is going to be very important for the English side.
And making the change actually worked great at St Mary’s as the Lilywhites gave an excellent display in the second half.
Both players are extremely talented and both showed their abilities in the Sunday encounter.