Tuesday 20 March 2018

Dele Alli set to win best and most unwanted prizes of the season after horror miss

Tottenham's Dele Alli looks dejected after a missed chance Reuters / Darren Staples
Tottenham's Dele Alli looks dejected after a missed chance Reuters / Darren Staples

Jack de Menezes

It’s not often a player can boast scoring the best goal of the season and the worst miss of the season, but Dele Alli has a pretty good claim to both following Monday night’s victory over Stoke.

The Tottenham midfielder has proven one of the revelations of the season after making his Spurs debut last year, and the 20-year-old is expected to be a key figure in Roy Hodgson’s England squad at Euro 2016 in the summer.

Alli could yet head to France for the tournament as a Premier League winner, with Tottenham’s 4-0 victory over Stoke keeping them in touch with leaders Leicester City, and Alli’s double saw him take his goal tally to double figures in the league.

But it could – and should – have been his first hat-trick for Spurs has he not choked in front of an empty net after rounding goalkeeper Shay Given, with the midfielder’s miss leaving him holding his head in his hands and manager Mauricio Pochettino hitting the ground with his fist in frustration.

Pochettino later admitted he was “embarrassed” by his reaction to the miss, while Alli was able to laugh about it when he discussed his error alongside Harry Kane after the match.

Watch the video below...

“I don’t know how I’ve missed,” Alli said. “I’ve got to go and do some finishing training on the pitch.”

Pochettino added on his reaction: "I felt a little bit ashamed. I went back to the dugout and said 'I think I fell down, no?' My assistant said yes and I feel very bad now.

"During the game sometimes you are very excited and you create the chance and not score and not kill the game. You are very focused on the match and you want to win and this sometimes happens.

"Sorry for all, and I feel a little bit embarrassed.”

Luckily for Alli, Pochettino and Spurs, the away side were already two goals to the good courtesy of a Kane double, and Alli was able to find the back of the net with two second half goals.

The irony of Alli’s miss is that he can expect to win the Goal of the Season for his effort against Crystal Palace earlier in the season, where he controlled a pass from Christian Eriksen, chipped the ball over his own head and volleyed it into the goal from the edge of the area.

Watch the video below...

While Alli’s miss will go down as one of the worst in Premier League history, at least he can boast one of the best goals too.

Independent News Service

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