Monday 11 December 2017

Dele Alli back to his best against Stoke

Dele Alli celebrates scoring his goal with Harry Kane
Dele Alli celebrates scoring his goal with Harry Kane

Dele Alli came in for criticism this week after his reckless lunge on Gent's Brecht Dejaegere saw him sent off as Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League at Wembley.

The England international was back in the Spurs line-up for their Premier League encounter with Stoke at White Hart Lane on Sunday which they won 4-0.

Here, Press Association Sport runs the rule over the 20-year-old's performance.

Discipline

Alli is in danger of gaining an unwanted reputation for bad behaviour after his red mist at Wembley. Here he had Charlie Adam, revelling in his role as Spurs' pantomime villain, to try to get under his skin. Adam was booked for piling through the back of Alli in the most predictable challenge of the afternoon, while Ryan Shawcross put the boot in after the interval, but Alli did not react. A test of temperament passed with flying colours.

Impact

Lively from the first whistle, Alli had a hand in Harry Kane's opener. His ball into the area was mis-controlled by Shawcross and Kane whipped it home from an angle. Alli was fouled by Adam, unsurprisingly, for the free-kick which Kane tucked away to complete his hat-trick. And Alli got on the scoresheet himself before half-time.

Goal threat

Fluffed a great chance after 20 minutes when he failed to control a fine ball from Ben Davies in front of goal. But Alli got on the end of Kane's unselfish cross to the far post in first-half stoppage time to join his pal on the scoresheet. It was his 14th goal of the campaign and capped a stunning first-half display from the hosts. Alli was unlucky not to grab a second at the death when he fired across goal.

Overall

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino knows that aggressive streak is part of Alli's make-up and if it was removed you would be taking away part of his strength. Thursday's sending-off was a rare negative in an outstanding season. He may have played second fiddle to Kane against Stoke but he was a valuable part of the supporting cast.

Press Association

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