Tottenham suffer 1-0 Europa League defeat as fuming Mourinho makes FOUR half-time subs and Bale lasts less than an hour

JOSE MOURINHO and his so-called Spurs gems left the diamond capital of the world with doubts over their true value after being made to look like 24-carat plonkers.

Lior Refaelov’s first half-strike earned the Belgians a famous victory.

But never mind Lior, Lior pants on fire…Mourinho and his stars had theirs pulled down as they suffered a surprise but fully deserved defeat.

The Premier League were simply awful as they lost their first match since the opening day defeat at home to Everton.

Mourinho was so miffed he made FOUR substitutions at half-time – hauling off Giovani Lo Celso, Steven Bergwijn, Carlos Vinicius and, most noticeably Dele Alli.

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New superstar loan signing Gareth Bale followed them soon after as his anonymous showing ended with him being replaced by Harry Kane before the hour mark.

What would have angered the Spurs boss even more was that he could have quite easily dragged another three players.

Antwerp might be top of the Belgian top flight and unbeaten at home in 14 months and Tottenham may never have won a match in Hercule Poiroit’s backyard in what is now six attempts.

But Spurs really should have put up a better fight than this as they went down with a whimper.

Just when we were all thinking this might finally be the season they end their 13-year trophy drought, they go and perform like this.

Mourinho, after seeing them throw away a 3-0 lead at home to West Ham, inistsed his squad were no longer ‘Spursy’.

That is something he may now have to reconsider.

That will not bother Antwerp, whose fans celebrated outside the stadium with an impromptu firework display.

The hosts are Belgium’s oldest club having originally been founded in 1880 as Antwerp Cricket Club by a group of English students staying in the town.

Antwerp qualified for this tournament by pulling off a shock win over League champions Club Brugge in last season’s Belgian Cup Final to claim their first trophy for 30 years.

They have started this season in the same fashion they finished the last one and currently sit top of the Belgian with six wins and two draws from their opening 10 matches.

Mourinho made NINE changes to his side that started Monday’s 1-0 win at Burnley, with only keeper Hugo Lloris and defender Ben Davies keeping their places.

While all eyes were inevitably again on Bale, his Wales team-mate Davies was making his 200th Spurs appearance – although it is one he will want to forget after blundering for the winner.

Antwerp coach Ivan Leko named an unchanged line-up from their derby win over Beerschot on Sunday  – but could only name SIX subs in a move that highlighted the difference in squad size and spending power between these clubs.

Tottenham were certainly lucky not to concede here when Peter Gerkens went close with a glancing header from Simen Juklerod’s 13th minute corner.

Spurs responded immediately with Lo Celso having a curling 25-yarder saved by Antwerp’s French keeper Jean Butez.

The visitors then breathed another sigh of relief when Refaelov snatched at a volley, sending it flying over the bar.

But the Israeli made no mistake when he was handed the chance to put Antwerp ahead in the 29th minute after Davies ruined his milestone night by being outmuscled by Dieumerci Mbokani in his own half.

As the usually dependable Dragon appealed for a foul, his Congolese conqueror raced away towards goal before squaring to Refaelov, who was able to take a touch before he rifled home his fourth goal in his last five games.

Mourinho might have expected more after his quadruple half-time substitutions which saw Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min enter the fray.

But the Portuguese could only watch in dismay as his team almost shot themselves in the foot again within moments of the restart.

Harry Winks’ wayward back pass let in Refaelov who was denied a second by Sanchez’s saving sliding tackle.

Mbokani then blazed over the bar from just three yards in the 53rd minute after Koji Moyoshi had turned Sanchez inside out – before Hugo Lloris had to backpedal to tip over Juklerod’s curling shot two minutes later.

Mourinho had seen enough and having hoped to give Kane the night off, he was forced to bring on his overworked England captain for the ineffective Bale in the 58th minute.

Lamela and Moura combined to set up Son, whose shot was blocked by Abdoulaye Seck.

The Argentinian was then just a whisker away from getting his head to Serge Aurier’s brilliant cross as Spurs improved.

But in searching for the equaliser, the Prem side left gaps at the back and Juklerod blazed over after being put through with only Lloris to beat.

It was the first time this Tottenham had failed to win away this season.

Nobody could argue Antwerp did not warrant one of the greatest victories of their modern era.



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