The Croatian team went into the second leg of the round with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham in the first leg which gave Spurs the advantage going into the second leg.
Unfortunately for Jose Mourinho and his team, they met a different kind of Dinamo Zagreb who were more determined to overturn the result from the first leg.
Against all the odds, Dinamo Zagreb’s Mislav Orsic became the magician the Croatian team needed to scale through to the quarter-final stage of the competition. The 28-year-old Croatian winger scored two goals in the second half and scored the third in extra time to give his team they deserved victory.
At the end of the game, Dinamo Zagreb knocked out Tottenham Hotspur from the Europa League 3-2 on aggregate and a disappointed Jose Mourinho could not help but praised the Croatian side.
“In the 90 minutes and in the first half of extra-time, there was one team that decided to leave everything on the pitch. They left everything there – they left sweat, energy, blood and at the end of the game, they had even tears of happiness. Very humble, very committed and I have to praise them”, Jose Mourinho told BT Sport.
“On the other side, my team didn’t look they were playing an important match. But for me, it is for the respect I have for my own career and my own job. Every match is an important match for me and I believe that for every Tottenham fan at home, every match matters, and another attitude is needed.
“To say that I feel sad is not enough because what I feel goes much further than sadness.
“I just left Dinamo’s dressing room where I went there to praise the guys and I feel sorry that one team that is not my team won the game based on attitude, so I feel more than sad. Football is not just about players who think they have more quality than others. The basics of football go beyond that, the basics of football are the attitude and they beat us on that.
“Many times I fear my thoughts, my feelings but I don’t blame myself in the sense that I always share them. Before the game, I told the players the risks of a bad attitude. I told them at half-time, even with 0-0, the risk of playing the way we were playing and it happened because I believe that the players only realized the game was at risk when they scored the second goal and it went to extra-time.
“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 the basics of life, which is to respect our jobs and to give everything.
“On behalf of my team, despite maybe some of them who don’t share my feelings and my emotions, I can only apologize to the Tottenham supporters and I hope that the players feel the same as I feel.”
As it stands Tottenham Hotspur have only one title left to fight for this season which is the EFL Cup. They are already in the final of the competition. They will go against Manchester City on April 25, 2021.
If Jose Mourinho fails to lead Tottenham Hotspur to victory against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, it might be almost impossible for him to retain his job at the north London club.