Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris accused his team-mates of lacking pride after their Champions League hopes suffered a major setback in a 6-1 defeat at Newcastle United.
Spurs shipped five in a wretched opening 21 minutes that saw Alexander Isak and Jacob Murphy score twice and Joelinton hit another. Harry Kane pulled one back for the visitors just after half-time but Callum Wilson restored the hosts’ five-goal lead.
The result lifted Newcastle into third place in the Premier League, six points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham, whose prospects of Champions League qualification are dwindling.
“It’s very embarrassing. The first thing is we should probably apologise to the fans who travelled to watch the game,” said Lloris.
“We could not fight. Newcastle were very aggressive and offensive every time they got the ball. It is difficult to analyse the performance, but the first thing was a lack of pride.
“We can try to find excuses, but we missed the fight. If you go on the pitch without the desire to win the battle, it makes things very hard. It was a bit of a mess.
We cannot hide behind the club’s problems. We are professionals and every time we go on the pitch we try to deliver our best, but today it was too much slack in all the aspects.”
Stellini at a loss to explain Tottenham woes
Tottenham caretaker manager Cristian Stellini said he had been wrong to try different tactics but was at a loss to explain their collapse.
“It was my responsibility to decide the system and we decided to do it differently because we had many injured. It was wrong,” said Stellini.
“It is very difficult to understand why the first 25 minutes were so bad. We were not prepared to play this type of tough game, to suffer, control the space, fight, win duels.”
Tottenham’s 11th league defeat of the season followed their 3-2 home loss to Bournemouth last week. Another reverse at fourth-placed Manchester United on Thursday could be the final nail in their hopes of a Champions League spot next season.
West Ham boost survival hopes at Bournemouth
West Ham United, meanwhile, eased their relegation concerns – and rounded off a superb week – with a precious 4-0 win at Bournemouth.
Michail Antonio, Lucas Paqueta and Declan Rice put them firmly in control at half-time and Pablo Fornals rounded off the scoring with a scorpion kick.
It lifted them to 13th in the Premier League, one point above Bournemouth and six clear of the relegation zone, having played one game fewer than their rivals.
West Ham are now unbeaten in five games, having come from two down to draw with Arsenal and thrash Gent to reach a European semi-final in the last week.