Wednesday 23 October 2019

We're ready for Barca, we have to punish them - Alli

Alli: "We don’t want to lose focus on what our aim is, which is to get as many points as we can." Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Steve Madeley

Barcelona might have looked superhuman on Saturday evening but ahead of Tottenham's make-or-break visit to the Nou Camp tomorrow, Dele Alli is having none of it.

Barca swept aside Espanyol 4-0 with Lionel Messi, scorer of two of the goals, in scintillating form.

Simultaneously, Alli's 50th Tottenham goal helped his side to beat Leicester City 2-0 and give them a clear run at their Champions League assignment.

While the Catalan giants appeared irresistible at the weekend, Alli believes they are far from invincible.

"We are definitely going there with confidence, we know it's going to be a difficult game but they are human and everyone makes mistakes," said Alli. "We've just got to make sure that we punish them and be as on it as we can.

"They are one of the best teams in the world, they've got some great players and as a kid you dream about playing at the Nou Camp, and we're going to go there and give it our best shot.


"We're ready. It's going to be another difficult game but they're the games you want to be a part of, playing one of the best teams in the world and some of the world's greatest players.

"You want to be challenging yourself and we're going there with the mentality that we can win and we have to believe."

Whether Alli gets to face one of his idols tomorrow remains to be seen. With Barcelona secure in top spot in Group B, Messi and some of coach Ernesto Valverde's other big names might be rested.

"He (Messi) is a player that everyone idolised because of what he's achieved in his career," Alli said.

"For me, he is the best player in the world and he's a joy to watch. To be honest, though, I'm not really concerned about what they do with their players."

Once Barcelona is negotiated, Tottenham will return to domestic action with hope of a serious challenge for the title.

Despite Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen being left on the bench with tomorrow in mind, they recorded a comfortable 2-0 win against Leicester City which, combined with Manchester City's defeat at Chelsea, took Mauricio Pochettino's men to within six points of new leaders Liverpool.

"We're not really focusing on that," said Alli (above). "We don't want to lose focus on what our aim is, which is to get as many points as we can.

"We don't want to get dragged into the title race and thinking about that, because then we can focus too much on performances and get carried away with it.

"I'm delighted to get 50 goals, but I want to get many more and I don't want to be recognised just for scoring, I want to help the team in many other ways as well."

For Alli, the goal that killed off a flat Leicester side came with more than a hint of deja vu.

The diving header at the far post from Son Heung-min's cross was a virtual carbon copy of his first goal for the club in August 2015, scored at the same stadium past the same goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel.

On Saturday, Son had already given Tottenham the lead at the end of a forgettable first half, the South Korean forward curling a fine, left-foot shot from 20 yards into the top corner of the net. (© Independent News Service)

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