Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 October 2020

Tottenham earn first Premier League win of 2020 but Jose Mourinho remains concerned by lack of 'attacking players'

A 2-1 victory over Norwich City closes the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea but it was an unconvincing display at the Tottenham Stadium

Son Heung-min scored the winning goal for Tottenham against Norwich City. Reuters
Son Heung-min scored the winning goal for Tottenham against Norwich City. Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur ended their wait for a first Premier League goal and victory of 2020 on Wednesday night with a 2-1 win over Norwich City, although manager Jose Mourinho admitted he is concerned about the lack of attacking players at his disposal.

Dele Alli broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time, only for Teemu Pukki to level from the penalty spot in the 70th minute. Son Heung-min's header 11 minutes from time sealed the win and moved Spurs up to sixth and within six points of Chelsea in the battle for a top-four finish.

However, another uninspired performance did little to suggest they are capable of chasing down Mourinho's old club unless more firepower is added before the end of the transfer window this month.

Spurs' struggle for goals of late has coincided with the loss of Harry Kane for the majority of what remains of the season after surgery on a hamstring injury.

Real Sociedad's Willian Jose is the latest striker linked with a move to Tottenham and Mourinho's desire for a new forward was not eased by what he saw against the weakest defence in the division.

"We are in a situation when I have to think, think, think. I look to the bench and we don't have attacking players," he said.

"When Chelsea want to win they bring on Michy Batshuayi. When Manchester City want to change Gabriel Jesus they bring in Sergio Aguero. We are so, so unlucky with injuries."

Tottenham did at least score for the first time in the league in 2020 when Serge Aurier's cross picked out Alli to slide in and convert at the near post.

Thereafter, Norwich had the better chances and can count themselves unlucky not to pick up at least a point in their battle for survival as they remain six points from safety.

"We are all disappointed in the dressing room. It was a fantastic away performance," Norwich manager Daniel Farke said.

"It's difficult when you don't win games because it's not good for the mood or confidence. We deserved at least one point."

The visitors did survive a scare when Todd Cantwell escaped with just a yellow card early in the second half after a lengthy VAR review for a studs-up challenge on Giovani lo Celso.

Pukki then fired inches wide from the edge of the area and both Cantwell and the Finnish striker failed to turn in Sam Byram's dangerous cross from point-blank range.

Mourinho turned to Christian Eriksen off the bench in the search for control of the game despite the Dane seemingly being in the final stages of securing a move to Inter Milan.

However, Eriksen's presence made little difference as Norwich finally got their reward 20 minutes from time when Ryan Sessegnon tripped Max Aarons inside the penalty area.

Mourinho was able to start Hugo Lloris in goal for the first time since taking charge as the Frenchman returned from a three-and-a-half month absence due to a dislocated elbow.

But Lloris will have been disappointed as he got a hand to Pukki's poor penalty but could not keep it out.

The home crowd were growing restless as Norwich continued to pour forward as Ondrej Duda failed to pick out an unmarked Pukki in the penalty area.

However, a kind break of the ball bailed Tottenham out as Alli's shot looped high into the air off Christoph Zimmermann over Krul and into the path of Son to nudge the ball over the line with his head.

Updated: January 23, 2020 08:58 AM

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