Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho refused to blame Serge Aurier for conceding an “out of context” penalty during their 2-0 home defeat to Leicester City on Sunday.
Spurs are now six points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool after following up a late loss at Anfield with a lacklustre display and a damaging defeat.
Aurier was at fault in first-half stoppage time as his shove on Wesley Fofana was rightly punished with a penalty that Jamie Vardy converted.
After James Maddison had a second-half effort ruled out by VAR for offside, Vardy saw a header inadvertently deflected in by Toby Alderweireld to double Leicester’s lead.
Tottenham were unable to find a way back into the game and there will be scrutiny on the transgression of Aurier, who has developed a reputation as a mistake-prone defender.
Aurier has given away four penalties since the start of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign. Only David Luiz (5) has conceded more in that time.
Yet Mourinho said in a media conference: “Is it a problem? Let’s focus on today.
“It was a mistake but it was a mistake in minute 45 or 46. Then we had players making mistakes in other areas. I can’t blame players for making a mistake.
“The penalty is not a penalty created. It is a penalty that we commit. It’s not something that was created, that comes in a sequence of something great, and for me comes out of context as at the time was our best period of the half.
“We started bad. The first 20 minutes was a poor performance. Some empty spots in space, pressing, attitude and I didn’t like at all.
“Then we change and adapted and had a period of domination and chances. Then the penalty, which was out of context.”
3 – Jamie Vardy has become the first player in the Premier League history to score away to a specific side at three different stadiums, having now scored against Spurs at White Hart Lane, Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Collection.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 20, 2020
The win for Leicester was Brendan Rodgers’ first against one of Mourinho’s sides at the eighth attempt.
Leicester are now second, four points behind Liverpool, having won six of their seven away games in the league.
Of their away form, Vardy told Sky Sports: “It obviously shows we’re doing something wrong in our home games – we need to get these performances going in week, week out, get the consistency going and hopefully pick up some more wins.
“We’ve come here with a gameplan and we’ve absolutely nailed what we wanted to do. It’s set us on the way to get the three points that we think we deserved.
“We wanted to get about them, we didn’t want to give them much time but we knew we could let them bring it in their first third.
“As soon as they got towards the halfway line, we knew we could put the press on, get the ball back, keep it, find the spaces and create some chances.”