Saturday 18 November 2017

Harry Kane expects positive response from Dele Alli to costly red card

Dele Alli was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Gent's Brecht Dejaegere
Dele Alli was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Gent's Brecht Dejaegere

Harry Kane insists Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has learned a harsh lesson after being sent off for his reckless tackle in the Europa League.

Spurs crashed out to Gent in the last 32 on Thursday after a 2-2 draw at Wembley ensured the Belgian side went through 3-2 on aggregate.

Alli was the villain of the piece as his red card for a horror challenge on Gent's Brecht Dejaegere at 1-1 left Tottenham needing to score twice with 10 men.

"Dele will learn from this," Kane said.

"Obviously in European football when tackles like that go in you are more likely to get a red card.

"He is obviously gutted and feels like he has let us down a bit but Dele has been great for us this season. We fought hard for him to turn it around.

"It is something he will learn from and get experience from for the future."

Alli's tackle was high and dangerous, spearing his studs just below Dejaegere's knee, but the Belgian felt no bitterness after the match.

"Dele Alli just said sorry to me and that's nice from him, he's a professional," Dejaegere said.

"We're okay, it's football. I saw the images and it could have been much worse. I don't think he meant it because he came to apologise himself."

Dejaegere was able to continue initially but had to be substituted in the 56th minute when the pain in his knee became more acute.

"The red card made a big difference," Dejaegere said. "Even with 10 they found a free man but with 11 they would have had even one more.

"I think it also made a difference in the heads of the players."

Christian Eriksen's opener and an own-goal from Kane meant the game hung in the balance when Alli was given his marching orders by referee Manuel De Sousa.

Victor Wanyama's superb second-half strike gave Tottenham hope but Jeremy Perbet's late goal on the break sealed Gent a 2-2 draw and 3-2 win on aggregate.

Alli had cut a frustrated figure in the first half and his challenge appeared an expression of anger, after he had been denied a free-kick moments before.

Toby Alderweireld said the 20-year-old had apologised to his Tottenham team-mates.

"Of course he said sorry. He didn't mean to get sent off," Alderweireld said.

"Two seconds before someone made a foul on him and he reacted to that but he did not want to get a red card. He is young and I know for 100 per cent he didn't mean (to do it)."

Tottenham are now realistically relying solely on the FA Cup for silverware this season but to lift the trophy they will have to beat Millwall and then win two matches at Wembley.

Spurs have now won only once there in eight games and the suspicion remains that any home advantage is outweighed by the inspiration opponents feel from playing at the national stadium.

"Six years ago I came to Wembley on a guided tour," Dejaegere said.

"I was not allowed on the pitch, there was a sign, 'don't enter the grass on the pitch'.

"It's fantastic, like the Mecca of all stadiums, so it gives you something extra. And if you see how many people were here from Gent it gave us something extra.

"But also maybe they always lose their games here so it can get in the heads of the players. Maybe they just need one big victory here which could change everything."

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport