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Spurs boss Mourinho defends Kane against diving claims

Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - October 26, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane reacts Pool via REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/Files

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has defended Harry Kane against suggestions the striker dived to win a penalty in his team’s 2-1 Premier League win over Brighton & Hove Albion over the weekend.

Kane went down under a challenge from Brighton midfielder Adam Lallana, earning a penalty for Spurs that he then converted.

Mourinho was asked at a pre-match news conference on Wednesday, a day before Spurs’ trip to face Bulgarian side Ludogorets in the Europa League, whether the England striker had been “streetwise” in winning the penalty.

“You are confused,” Mourinho said. “Because you could be speaking about some Manchester United players, you could be speaking about some Man City players, you could be speaking about some Liverpool players, you could be speaking about some Chelsea players and you’re speaking about Harry Kane?

“He was in a position to control the ball in a dangerous position and Lallana came in a very reckless action and committed a foul.

“What are you speaking about being clever or being not clever? Being clever is to hold the ball and shoot and score. It was a foul.”

The Portuguese also bridled at the suggestion that he had instructed his players to show a more cynical side to their game in the pursuit of victory.

“What are you speaking about us?” he added. “Speak about Liverpool, speak about Man City speak about Man United. Speak about these penalties that you see the clever guy that comes (near) somebody and blows, they are on the floor.

“Don’t speak about Harry Kane. When I say my team has to be ready to compete, I’m not speaking about that. I’m speaking about winning 2-1 against a very difficult Brighton... and controlling the game.”

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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