Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou suffered his first Premier League defeat against Chelsea on Monday night – but a Sky Sports pundit was impressed by the manager.
Jamie Carragher admitted he was perplexed by Tottenham Hotspur’s defensive tactics in their 4-1 defeat against Chelsea – but stressed Ange Postecoglou almost pulled off a genius move.
The Spurs manager has enjoyed a successful introduction into life in the Premier League and made his way into Monday night’s London derby looking to preserve an unbeaten record in the league and deliver another boost to his side’s unexpected title challenge.
After making the perfect start with an early opener from Dejan Kulusevski, Spurs were reduced to ten men by Cristian Romero’s first-half red card and conceded an equaliser when Cole Palmer converted the resulting penalty.
Postecoglou’s men suffered further blows when James Maddison and Micky van de Ven hobbled off injured before the half-time whistle had been blown and then were reduced to nine men as Destiny Udogie was shown a second yellow card ten minutes into the second-half.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Postecoglou stayed true to the high defensive line that has provided his side with so much success this season and it looked to be paying off as Spurs remained in the game until the final 15 minutes.
However, Chelsea finally found their way through as former Villarreal striker Nicolas Jackson struck a clinical hat-trick in the final quarter of an hour to give his side all three points.
Carragher described the Spurs defensive setup as ‘bizarre’ – but admitted he was ‘almost willing’ Postecoglou’s side to hold on to claim a point.
“I think we are all watching this thinking this is mad,” he told Sky Sports.
“But it almost was (genius), it really almost was. It’s ok looking at the scoreline now, and yes the goals came from that, but Tottenham kept themselves in the game for so long.
“I must say the goalkeeper was absolutely sensational. You talk about a sweeper keeper, I’ve never seen anything like that and he’s been an absolute revelation.
“You couldn’t help it, you were almost willing Tottenham on with nine men to try and hang on and maybe nick something at the end because it would have been bizarre. I was looking at it thinking I hope Arrigo Sacchi and Franco Baresi see this because I’ve never seen anything like this.
“I’ve never seen AC Milan push up that high with eleven men, never mind with nine men. It’s something I’ve never seen but it was a brilliant watch.”
Spurs will return to action on Saturday lunchtime when they visit Wolverhampton Wanderers.