Jose Mourinho has lifted the lid on a bizarre request he and goalkeeper Joe Hart made ahead of Tottenham’s Europa League win over Shkendija – after Hart noticed the goals were too small.
Despite suffering a scare, Spurs eventually saw off Shkendija 3-1 to set up a final qualifying game against Maccabi Haifa next week.
Erik Lamela opened the scoring after just four minutes, but a second-half thunderbolt from Valmir Nafiu brought the home side level.
Heung-min Son and Harry Kane managed to find the net to seal the win, however, and Spurs are now just one win away from the group stages.
Mourinho showed how small the goals were in a picture on his Instagram
Speaking after the game, Mourinho revealed the unusual event which took place as his side were warming up.
“Before the game was a funny situation because my goalkeeper told me the goal was small,” Mourinho said.
“I went to see and it was small. The goalkeepers spend all their time in them so we know. I felt immediately something was wrong and we got the UEFA delegate to come in and it was 5cm too small.
“We demand for the goals to be replaced and asked for goals of the right dimensions.”
Fortunately the mix-up was sorted, and after Spurs got the job done in Macedonia Mourinho declared himself satisfied with the performance.
“We didn’t play magnificently but we did the job,” he added. “We started very strongly and the thought was that we would kill the game but we didn’t.
“They gave us a difficult match and the fear we felt after the equaliser was fundamental to the team’s reaction and then it was difficult for them to contain our attacking waves.
“In the first half we were 41 minutes without scoring and then we gave them space to play. In the second half, after our changes, and I like to see players come in and make an impact and the players who came on made a difference.”