Jose Mourinho apologised to the Tottenham fans and said his players failed “at the basics of life” after they threw away a 2-0 lead to be knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb.
A second-leg display described as “diabolical” and “a disaster” by their ex-player and manager Glenn Hoddle saw Spurs eliminated in the last 16 in Croatia after extra time.
A hat-trick from Mislav Orsic did the damage, reversing the comfortable lead Mourinho’s side had built in last week’s first leg, prompting Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to call the performance a “disgrace”.
“They [Dinamo] left sweat, energy, blood. In the end they left even tears of happiness,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “They were very humble and committed. I have to praise them.
“On the other side, my team – I repeat, my team – didn’t look like it was playing an important match. If for any one of them it is not important, for me it is.
“I am disappointed for a difference of attitude of one team to another. I feel sorry that my team is the team that didn’t bring to the game not just the basics of football but the basics of life, which is to respect our jobs and to give everything.
“I can only apologise to the Tottenham supporters. I hope they feel the same way I feel. Today is live or die – and in this moment, we die.