LONDON (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris admitted his side got “smashed” in a dreadful first-half display in the 3-1 defeat by north London rivals Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.
Club captain Lloris was beaten three times before halftime as Arsenal ran riot with goals by Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka.
“We lost complete control in the first half. We got smashed and then had a good reaction,” Lloris said.
“It’s frustrating and very disappointing. It’s the moment to stick together and carry on. The players were ready but we lost a bit of control. We lost balance in the middle of the pitch.”
After winning their first three games of the season and sitting on top of the table, Tottenham have suffered three successive defeats in London derbies — 3-0 at Crystal Palace, 3-0 at home to Chelsea and Sunday’s feeble defeat at Arsenal.
“When you concede three goals in each of the last three league games you cannot hide the problems,” Lloris said.
“But we are professional. There is a long way to go. We need to stay calm.”
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo said his side must now recover “mentally and physically for the next one” which is a home clash next weekend against an Aston Villa team buoyant after beating Manchester United. Lose that and the rumblings off discontent will increase in volume considerably.
“We didn’t achieve the standards that our fans deserve every day,” the Portuguese said of his side’s display.
“We will try to fix it. The only message I can say by words, after that it is only by work.
“It is taking us too much time to go back to the things we want to do and the things we want to do as a team. We want to be a team that is fast, stronger, solid, dominant.
“We are not being that team.”
Espirito Santo hauled off the disappointing Dele Alli and Japhet Tanganga at halftime and while there was a slight improvement after the break with Son Heung-min grabbing a consolation goal, the manager said he had to take some blame.
“Not today,” he said when asked whether the players had carried out the tactics. “I decided bad. I didn’t take the right decisions and I refuse to go out more further than that.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)