Ndombele was given a starting spot after scoring Tottenham’s Europa League winner on Thursday night.
And he confirmed his selection with amazing skill in preparation for Spurs’ equalizer against Southampton on Sunday. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, it was his last act as he was replaced at the break by Lo Celso.
And after the game, Mourinho revealed his thoughts on replacing Ndombele, while also suggesting he was extremely happy with Lo Celso’s performance.
“He hasn’t been injured, but we all know his condition is not yet top-notch and that’s why we’re basically playing him from the bench,” he said, as reported by Football London.
“Gio Lo Celso was very, very tired and he clearly couldn’t play 90 minutes. We decided to play Tanguy but we had expected Gio to enter the game in the second half.
“The yellow card left Tanguy in a difficult position in the same way that Romeu was in a difficult position and could possibly get a second yellow card in the second half. I didn’t want that to happen to Tanguy in a game against Southampton, which is still fair and honest but an aggressive game in many ways. I was just scared and Gio is still a bit sharper than Tanguy right now and the second half was fantastic for us.
TBR View: Mourinho justified by Tottenham’s display in the second half
Maybe it was hard for Ndombele to kidnap it. But Mourinho’s explanation may lessen any disappointment Spurs fans might be feeling.
Tottenham will face a series of grueling games over the next few days. And keeping Ndombele and Lo Celso as fresh as possible will be extremely beneficial.
Of course, the change couldn’t have worked out better at St Mary’s. The Spurs were remarkable in the second half. And the Lo Celso display received a ton of praise from fans on social media.
Ndombele meanwhile, continues to show glimpses of his quality. Premier League rivals Spurs will be extremely worried about what might happen when both players are in top form.
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