Harry Kane’s double capped Tottenham’s Champions League comeback from two goals down to beat Olympiakos 4-2 on Jose Mourinho’s home debut this morning, sealing a place in the round of 16 with a game to spare.
Dele Alli and Serge Aurier also netted to ensure Tottenham made it two wins out of two in all competitions since Mauricio Pochettinho was fired last week.
But the way Tottenham finished the game at West Ham last weekend — conceding twice in a 3-2 victory — was mirrored at home.
The Greek visitors raced into a two-goal lead through Youssef El-Arabi and Borges Semedo inside 19 minutes. Mourinho acted decisively by replacing defensive midfielder Eric Dier with the creative force of the unsettled Christian Eriksen in the 29th minute.
Having been run ragged, Tottenham profited by an Olympiakos blunder in first-half stoppage time when Yassine Meriah’s completely missed the ball on an attempted clearance, allowing Serge Aurier's cross to reach Dele Alli for a tap-in
Quick action from a ball boy retrieving the ball five minutes into the second half led to Kane leveling the Group B match. Serge Aurier sent a quick throw-in to Lucas Moura, who crossed for Kane to side-foot home.
After the goal, Mourinho went over to embrace the ball boy.
Alli set up the decisive third goal, crossing for Aurier to strike into the net in the 73rd. Kane’s deft header four minutes later completed the fightback, and it came from Eriksen’s free kick — a reminder of the early change from Mourinho.
Tottenham is doing its best to make a seamless transition from Mauricio Pochettino.
There was no on-field photo-call to introduce Mourinho last week nor an introduction at his first home game.
Only the Argentine flag with Mauricio Pochettino’s photo attached to a stand provided a reminder of the fired manager who took Tottenham to last season’s Champions League final.
Tottenham is ensured of second place in Group B behind Bayern Munich ahead of the final game at the German club, which beat Red Star Belgrade 6-0 this morning.
That means Tottenham can largely focus on the Premier League campaign until the knockout phase begins in February.
Winning the competition for the first time — after losing the June final to Liverpool — might be the only way back in next season.
After four consecutive top-four Premier League finishes under Pochettino, the slide down the standings cost him the manager’s job last week.
The victory at West Ham in Mourinho’s first game on Saturday lifted Tottenham to 10th place, nine points from fourth-place Chelsea.