What went wrong for Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur after his shock dismissal just before the club’s Carabao Cup final?
The decision comes after a run of one win in their last six games, leaving them seventh in the Premier League, five points off the Champions League spots, and out of the Europa League.
Spurs crashed out of the latter to Dinamo Zagreb, dramatically losing 3-0 in Croatia after winning the first leg 2-0.
The Portuguese’s sacking comes just under a week before their Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, with academy coach and former player Ryan Mason to take caretaker charge for the remainder of the season.
Mourinho has been under pressure to deliver Champions League football for next season and recent results have left them chasing the pack.
Here are five defining moments in Mourinho’s tenure that led to his dismissal:
5. Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur, 16 December 2020.
Spurs went into the game at Anfield top of the Premier League table, knowing that a win would send them three points clear.
Mohamed Salah had put Liverpool ahead, before Heung Min-Son fired the North London side level. But Roberto Firmino’s 90th minute winner consigned Spurs to defeat.
This is what happens when u park the bus against a team that attacks
— thfcbenji (@thfcbenji1) December 16, 2020
Mourinho’s side then went on to lose 2-0 against Leicester City and drew 1-1 with Wolves to end 2020 down in fifth.
4. Defeats to Manchester City, Chelsea and West Ham in February
Spurs started a big month of February down in seventh, seven points off the top four with a game in hand. Games against Chelsea, Man City and West Ham were crucial to turning Spurs’ season around.
Mourinho faced his former side first with Chelsea taking all three points thanks to a Jorginho penalty, a result that consigned Spurs to three successive defeats.
Spurs then travelled up to league leaders Man City and were outclassed by Pep Guardiola’s side, losing 3-0 thanks to goals from Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan’s brace.
It soon got worse for Mourinho, in a third game in the month against one of their top-four rivals West Ham.
David Moyes’ side played Spurs at their own counter-attacking game and won 2-1, leaving Mourinho under pressure to deliver in the Europa League.
3. Europa League exit to Dinamo Zagreb
A double from Harry Kane gave Spurs a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg in Zagreb.
Spurs knew that if they avoided a three-goal defeat, they would advance to the quarter-finals and edge closer to Champions League qualification.
But it went wrong again for Mourinho and Spurs. Zagreb winger Mislav Orsic fired in two second half goals to send the game into extra time.
The Croatian proved to be a nightmare for the Spurs defence and helped his side to complete the turnaround, firing his hat-trick in the second half of extra time.
"On behalf of my team, I can only apologise to the Tottenham supporters."
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 19, 2021
2. North London Derby defeat
Spurs went into game against Arsenal on the back of five wins in a row, during which they had conceded just once.
Mourinho’s side had found a new sense of optimism and looked on course to achieve a top-four spot, but performances began to falter again.
Erik Lamela had put Spurs ahead with a mesmerising Rabona strike, but goals from Martin Odegaard and Alex Lacazette kickstarted yet another downward spiral for Mourinho.
1. Three without a win
Heading into April, Spurs found themselves eighth in the table, three points off Chelsea who occupied fourth.
It started with a 2-2 draw against relegation-threatened Newcastle United, Joe Willock equalised late on for Steve Bruce’s side.
— Telegraph Sport (@TelegraphSport) April 5, 2021
Manchester United were next to visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a side that Spurs beat 6-1 earlier in the season.
Son put Mourinho’s side ahead, but a second-half collapse saw the Red Devils score three to leave Spurs in seventh and six points off the Champions League places.
Mourinho’s last game in charge was another 2-2 draw against an out-of-form Everton – another game without a win ultimately left Spurs with the option to get rid of the Portuguese after 17 months in charge.