• Europa League

Sherwood claims Jesus lacks class

ESPN staff
March 14, 2014
Tim Sherwood has blasted Benfica head coach Jorge Jesus following a touchline altercation during Tottenham's 3-1 defeat

Tim Sherwood has accused Benfica boss Jorge Jesus of lacking class after the pair were involved in a touchline clash during their Europa League last-16 tie at White Hart Lane.

Benfica ran out deserving 3-1 winners against Tottenham, yet Jesus riled Sherwood with persistent goading gestures as his impressive team secured a commanding first-leg lead.

Jesus held up three fingers as defender Luisao scored what could be a decisive third goal for Benfica in London, with Tottenham head coach 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," Sherwood said.

"In the first two minutes he was going over to the fourth official saying I was stepping in his box. He doesn't mind himself, does he, to be fair.

"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."

Regarding his three-finger gesture towards Sherwood, Jesus insisted: "I was saying 'number three, Luisao. Number three.' That's his [Sherwood's] own problem if he felt like that [annoyed]."

Sherwood is hoping he can have the last laugh after next week's return leg, though. He said: "I wish I could do that [wave five fingers] to him in the end."

"Maybe here in England the benches are too close compared to in Portugal," Jesus said, trying to explain the hostility. "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."

Sherwood accepted his side had been beaten by a superior 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," he said, adding that he was content 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."

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