Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli questioned his side's mental strength
after RB Leipzig cruised to a 3-0 win on Tuesday to progress 4-0 on
aggregate to the quarter-finals for the first time.
Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer struck twice in the first 21 minutes
before substitute Emil Forsberg added the third late on with his first
"We were second to a lot of balls. To concede them goals shows our mentality wasn't strong enough," added Alli.
"We had to show maturity and fight and we didn't do that and we were punished."
Unlike many fixtures across Europe this week, there were no
restrictions on supporters attending due to the spread of coronavirus
and the Leipzig fans were able to enjoy a nerve-free evening.
Spurs travelled to eastern Germany shorn of striking options without the injured Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn.
However, it was at the other end that they buckled inside the opening
quarter of the game as two errors from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris turned a
tough task into an impossible one.
Leipzig took just 10 minutes to open the scoring when Lloris did not
get a strong enough right hand to stop Sabitzer's strike from outside
the box finding the bottom corner.
Timo Werner then fired home from close range only to be denied by the
offside flag as Leipzig opened up the Tottenham defence at will.
And the visitors did not learn their lesson as Sabitzer met
Angelino's cross with a powerful header, but Lloris should still have
done better to keep the ball out at his near post.
Tottenham have now failed to win their last six games in all
competitions - the longest winless streak of Jose Mourinho's managerial
And the Portuguese again blamed that run on his lack of options due
to an injury list that also includes Moussa Sissoko, Davinson Sanchez
and Ben Davies.
"People can say excuses but I'm pretty sure it is bad for anyone,"
said Mourinho. "I don't think anyone would resist to such a situation."
Spurs produced a remarkable fightback from 3-0 down on aggregate away
at Ajax in last season's semi-finals to make the final for the first
time in the club's history thanks to Lucas Moura's hat-trick.
But in keeping with their collapse since that night in Amsterdam last
May, Mourinho's men lacked the quality and belief needed to reproduce
that thrilling fightback.
Forsberg took just 32 seconds after replacing Sabitzer to fire the third goal into the far corner three minutes from time.
"It's a great moment for the history of the club, for me as a
manager, and for my young team," said Leipzig's 32-year-old coach Julian
"It's totally deserved we go to the next round. We were the better
team, scored four goals, conceded none, so we are very happy."
Tottenham's season now hinges on rekindling their domestic form if
they are not to miss out on the Champions League next season for the
first time in five years.
Spurs are eighth in the Premier League, seven points adrift of the
top four, and in desperate need for Mourinho to exact revenge on
Manchester United for his sacking last season when the Red Devils visit
north London on Sunday.
"We know this hasn't been a good season but we can't hide," added
Alli. "Confidence is gone at the minute but we have a big game at the
weekend and we have to pick ourselves up and go again."