It was unexpected. It was shocking. It was spectacular. And, it was annoying for the fans of Tottenham Hotspur. Jose Mourinho was left fuming. Dinamo Zagreb celebrated in front of the Spurs players on a night where the North London side collapsed and crashed out of the UEFA Europa League.
— Goal (@goal) March 18, 2021
Dinamo Zagreb had given their all whereas the visitors cut a sorry figure.
They turned around a two-goal deficit to dump Tottenham Hotspur out of the tournament.
A hat-trick from Mislav Orsic was enough to give Dinamo the victory on the night, sending them into the quarter-finals.
Dinamo were excellent throughout the match.
They fought hard and exhibited the ideal determination, restricted the chances of the visitors, and when they opened the scoring, it felt inevitable that they’d level the tie soon after.
Quite how the Croatian side managed it given the events of this week – including the jailing of manager Zoran Mamic – is anyone’s guess.
Still, they pulled the rabbit out of the hat.
Jose Mourinho and Spurs are OUT of the Europa League 🙃
Dumped out by Dinamo Zagreb, who had their manager resign on Monday after being sent to prison! pic.twitter.com/ZLJ6RiseHU
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 18, 2021
And naturally, most of the praise must go to Orsic. His hat-trick was absolutely fantastic, particularly the first and third goals, even though, the backline of the Spurs should come under scrutiny.
Mourinho surfaced a strong side, but quite astonishingly, they malfunctioned.
Zagreb built the pressure and whenever they pressed the Spurs, they continue to melt and ultimately lost in a tie where they should have won.
On the only previous occasion that Mourinho, who is more accustomed to the Champions League, had taken part in this tournament, he lifted the trophy with Manchester United. He had high hopes of doing the same with Spurs, who hired him for his prize-winning pedigree. But his team has been ousted by a club going to the quarter-finals of a European competition for the first time.
In the 35th minute, Dinamo worked their way, aided by a slip by Davinson Sanchez, but Lovro Majer drilled wide from the edge of the box. One minute later Sanchez slid into Spurs’ rescue, hooking the ball away from Arijan Ademi in front of goal after a cute pass by Majer.
■ Dinamo Zagreb’s entire squad is valued at £93m
■ Their manager was sent to prison this week
■ They’ve just come from 2-0 down to dump Tottenham out of Europe
You couldn’t make it up 🤯 pic.twitter.com/gAseNHIKnw
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) March 18, 2021
Zagrev grew stronger by each passing minute and after the break, they looked even sharper – Ademi was left free from a corner in the 52nd minute but sent a downward header bouncing into the arms of Hugo Lloris.
After an hour, Majer burst through Spurs’ pedestrian midfield and passed to Orsic on the left. The winger duped Serge Aurier by cutting back onto his right foot and curling a shot from the corner of the box into the far corner of the net.
With eight minutes remaining, Dinamo substitute, Iyayi Atiemwen, made a bigger impact. He joined in an intricate move to feed Orsic, who darted into the box as Moussa Sissoko dawdled and then swept the equalizer into the net from 10 yards.
|UEL| 🔥 GOD ORSIC 🔥 Hat-trick do croata @gnkdinamo | @SpursOfficial #sporttvportugal #uefaeuropaleague #europaleague #uel #ligaeuropa #tottenhamhotspurfc #tottenham #spurs #GNKDinamo #dinamozagreb #dinamo pic.twitter.com/FnEZB1kD7m
— SPORT TV (@SPORTTVPortugal) March 18, 2021
Spurs had to rally to save their campaign. They nearly did so in the 89th minute but Kévin Théophile‑Catherine cleared a Kane header off the line to force extra-time.
In the first minute of extra-time, after receiving the ball more than 30 yards out, Orsic zigzagged between Aurier, Sissoko, and Ndombele and then crowned the run with an explosive finish, thrashing the ball past Lloris from 20 yards.
And that was it.
Look at how much it means to Dinamo Zagreb 🙌🙌🙌🙌
— Goal (@goal) March 18, 2021
Mourinho brutally criticized the attitude of his players and apologized to fans after the disgraceful defeat.
“I’m disappointed with the difference of attitude between one team and the other,” Mourinho said after the 3-2 aggregate defeat.
“I feel sorry that my team – I belong to that team – is the team that didn’t bring to the game not just the basics of football but, I believe, the basics of life, which is to respect our jobs and to give everything.”
“I don’t need external critics because I feel deeply hurt with what happened with my team. I don’t want to say much more than that. On behalf of my team, in spite of some of them maybe not sharing my feelings and emotions, I can only apologize to the Tottenham supporters.”
“[Dinamo] played with a lot of desire. I can also call it professionalism because for me professionalism starts with the attitude,” he said, adding he felt “more than sad” that his players “did not look like they were playing in an important match.”
This has been a terrible season for the Spurs. They were right at the top a couple of months back, but at the moment, the future of some players and the manager seems bleak.