Tim Sherwood: Benfica boss lacks class
Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood said Benfica boss Jorge Jesus 'lacks class' after the pair were involved in a heated touchline clash during the Europa League last-16 tie at White Hart Lane.
Jesus' had the last laugh as his Benfica side ran out deserving 3-1 winners against Spurs, yet the visiting boss riled Sherwood with persistent goading gestures as his impressive team secured a commanding first-leg lead.
The Benfica boss held up three fingers to Sherwood as his side scored what could be a decisive third goal in London, with Sherwood confronting his rival on the touchline and refusing to shake his hand at the final whistle.
"I thought his team were very good and showed a lot of class -- it's just a shame he didn't," stated Sherwood at his postmatch press conference.
"In the first two minutes he was going over to the fourth official saying I was stepping in his box. Then he holds three fingers up when they score the third goal. It lacks class. Why would anyone do that? He's got a good side, of course he has, but not for me, thank you. I have no intention of speaking to him.
"He showed a lack of dignity. Waving three fingers up when they scored a third, waving goodbye, you have to put up with that unfortunately. You shouldn't have to."
Jesus responded by insisting there was 'no problem' between him and Sherwood, as he blamed the tight nature of the White Hart Lane dug-out for the touchline tensions.
"Maybe here in England the benches are too close compared to in Portugal," he stated. "In Portugal, we have more space and can express ourselves in our own way.
"When at some stage I invaded Tim Sherwood's personal space, he told me to go to mine. He did the same to me, but it's okay, it all ended quite friendly."
While Sherwood was clearly not impressed with Jesus' antics, he was magnanimous in his praise of Benfica, as he accepted his side had been beaten by a better team and urged them to respond against Arsenal in Sunday's north London derby.
"I think you have to say we were beaten by a better side," said the Spurs coach who proclaimed himself happy with his side's efforts after his public criticism of their display in their 4-0 defeat against Chelsea last Saturday.
"In the first half there was nothing in it. They had one shot on goal and it ends up in our net, which was a body blow, but you have to say they had more penetration and more guile.
"One disappointment must be that they didn't have to work too hard to get their goals. To get done on two set-pieces is a real disappointment.
"I have no problem with anyone's desire in this game. Everyone tried, everyone is tired, there was a lot of effort and a lot of huff and puff, but not enough quality.
"You lose confidence when you lose games, but you have to dig deep and find confidence from somewhere. There's no way better to do that than in a north London derby against Arsenal."