'I love intelligent ball boys': Mourinho hails quick-thinking youngster for 'assisting' Spurs' Champions League comeback (VIDEO)
A shell-shocked Spurs found themselves 2-0 down after just 19 minutes against the Greeks, as Mourinho’s first home game in charge appeared in danger of going disastrously wrong.
But a Dele Alli goal on the stroke of half-time gave them hope before they completed the comeback in the second half thanks to a double from Harry Kane and a strike from defender Serge Aurier.Also on rt.com Special comeback: Jose Mourinho's Tottenham stage brilliant Champions League recovery to defeat Olympiakos
It was Kane’s equalizer in particular which delighted Mourinho – who credited a quick-thinking ball boy with making it possible.
As the ball went out of play, the youngster quickly tossed it back to Aurier, who set Lucas Moura free down the flank.
The Brazilian then crossed for Kane to turn home, as a delighted Mourinho sought out the ball boy, giving him a handshake and a hug for his role in setting up the goal.
This is brilliant. The young ball boy gave the ball quickly to Aurier who played it in quickly and Tottenham scored. Jose Mourinho made sure the ball boy gets the respect he deserves for the assist 👏 pic.twitter.com/zNziX35LB5— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) November 26, 2019
Jose Mourinho makes sure the ball boy gets the respect he deserves for the assist 👏👏👏Class. pic.twitter.com/4zWt0Jxwco— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 26, 2019
Afterwards, Mourinho told BT Sport: “I love intelligent ball boys. I was a brilliant ball boy as a kid and this kid was brilliant. He understands the game and he got an assist.”
He followed that praise up at the press conference, saying: “To do that, you have to be a very good ball boy.”
👏 Threw the ball quickly to Serge Aurier.⚽️ Helped set up the @HKane equaliser.👊 Celebrated the goal with Jose Mourinho. ⚪️ The @SpursOfficial was full of praise for the ball boy who played his part in their 2nd goal. pic.twitter.com/iK6Nh3PXnC— SPORF (@Sporf) November 27, 2019
It was a rollercoaster night in North London for Spurs and Mourinho, who was forced to draw on all his tactical acumen to help his team get back into the game.
He withdrew midfielder Eric Dier with the team 2-0 down, bringing on Christian Eriksen as Spurs threw men forward. It paid off as last season's finalists Spurs qualified for the knockout stages with a game to spare, in a competition Mourninho has won twice.
Last season, Mourinho was similarly effusive in his praise for a Liverpool ball boy whose quick-thinking helped them complete their epic Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona.Also on rt.com ‘I was a top ball boy as well’: Mourinho praises unlikely young hero in Liverpool win vs Barca