Tottenham Star Dele Alli Sanctioned Over COVID-19 Joke

File: Dele Alli of Tottenham reacts during the Audi cup 2019 final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Muenchen at Allianz Arena on July 31, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Jose Breton/NurPhoto)

 

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been given a one-match ban by the Football Association after joking about the coronavirus in a social media video and will miss his side’s first Premier League match after the restart.

In the weeks before the virus took hold across the world, Alli posted a Snapchat clip in which he made fun of an Asian man in an airport departure lounge in February.

The England international was shown wearing a face mask and the video had the title: “Corona whattt, please listen with volume”.

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The video cut to an unsuspecting man of Asian appearance before panning to a bottle of antiseptic hand wash, underneath which appeared the caption: “This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me”.

Alli later deleted the post and posted an apology to the Chinese social media network Weibo.

He was charged with misconduct by the FA on February 26 and his case has now been heard.

The one-game suspension means Alli will miss Tottenham’s game at home to Manchester United on June 19, their first of the resumed season.

Alli has also received a £50,000 ($63,000) fine and will have to attend an educational course.

“Dele Alli has been suspended for one match with immediate effect, fined £50,000 and must undertake a face-to-face education course,” an FA statement read.

After the FA issued the ban, Alli again expressed regret for his action.

“In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologise again for any offence caused by my behaviour,” he said.

“It was an extremely poorly judged joke about a virus that has now affected us more than we could ever have imagined.

“I’m grateful that The FA has confirmed that my actions were not racist because I despise racism of any kind. We all need to be mindful of the words and actions we use and how they can be perceived by others.”

Alli’s suspension continues a troubling period for the 24-year-old after knife-carrying burglars broke into his house recently.

Following an altercation with Alli, who was shaken but not seriously hurt, the men made off with jewellery.

AFP

Tottenham Star Alli ‘Okay’ After ‘Horrible’ Knifepoint Burglary

File: Tottenham’s English midfielder Dele Alli listens during a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match between Leipzig and Tottenham, in Leipzig, eastern Germany on March 9, 2020. Ronny Hartmann / AFP

 

Knife-carrying burglars broke into Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli’s home in London early Wednesday, the England playmaker escaping serious injury after being hit in a scuffle with the robbers.

Alli, 24, has been in isolation at his house with his brother, their partners and a close friend, the Daily Mail reported, ahead of Tottenham resuming training.

Two men broke in after midnight and following an altercation with Alli they made off with jewellery.

READ ALSO: Italian Serie A Clubs Plan To Restart Championship On June 13

Alli and the other occupants in the house were said to be shaken by the ordeal, but otherwise unharmed.

“Thank you for all the messages. Horrible experience but we’re all okay now. Appreciate the support,” Alli tweeted.

A police spokesperson told the Mail: “Police were called at approximately 00:35hrs on Wednesday, 13 May to reports of a robbery at a residential address in Barnet.

“Two males gained entry to the property and stole items of jewellery, including watches, before fleeing.

“One male occupant of the property, aged in his 20s, suffered a minor facial injury after being assaulted. He did not require hospital treatment.”

No arrests have yet been made.

Alli is due to start training with Spurs next week ahead of the Premier League’s intended resumption next month.

AFP

Alli Blames Mental Weakness For Tottenham Collapse

Tottenham’s English midfielder Dele Alli listens during a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match between Leipzig and Tottenham, in Leipzig, eastern Germany on March 9, 2020. Ronny Hartmann / AFP

 

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli questioned the mentality of his side after crumbling to a 3-0 Champions League last 16, second leg defeat to Leipzig on Tuesday to bow out of the competition 4-0 on aggregate.

Marcel Sabitzer profited from two errors by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the first 21 minutes to give Leipzig a commanding lead before substitute Emil Forsberg added the third late on.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was repeatedly used the absence of key injured players such as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min for a run of six games without a win in all competitions.

But Alli insisted that is not a good enough excuse for the manner in which last season’s Champions League finalists exited the competition with a whimper.

“We were missing some good players, but that’s football, that happens. This is Tottenham, the players that come in have to step up and we haven’t done that today,” Alli told BT Sport.

“I think we have to apologise to the fans. They travelled all this way and to go out and lose like that, they deserve better.”

Alli refused to point the finger at Lloris, but claimed Spurs were not mentally strong enough to produce the same sort of fightback as they did from 3-0 down on aggregate against Ajax in last season’s semi-finals.

“We were second to a lot of balls, to concede them goals shows our mentality wasn’t strong enough,” added Alli.

“We have to stay together and not talk about anyone in particular.

“It’s not down to one player to score goals, to stop goals, the whole team performance and the mentality wasn’t strong enough.”

Tottenham now have just nine games left this season in the Premier League to try and avoid missing out on the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.

Mourinho’s men lie eighth in the table, seven points off the top four, and badly need to end their barren run at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

“I think probably it is (a) good (thing),” said Mourinho of his side’s exit from Europe. “Sometimes difficult moments are moments that can prepare the future in a better way.”

On top of losing Kane and Son, Mourinho pointed to the absence of Steven Bergwijn, Moussa Sissoko and Davinson Sanchez for his side’s capitulation in Germany.

“People can say excuses but I’m pretty sure it is bad for anyone.

“I don’t think anyone would resist to such a situation. In this moment we have matches to play in the Premier League with these players, there are not others, and we go until our limits. Let’s see how we end the season.”

AFP

Dele Alli Rescues Mourinho’s Tottenham At Burnley

Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 7, 2020. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 7, 2020. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Dele Alli rescued a point for faltering Tottenham at Burnley on Saturday, scoring a penalty to earn a 1-1 draw and keep Jose Mourinho’s team in the hunt for a top-four finish.

The home side were dominant in the first half at Turf Moor, taking the lead through Chris Wood, but a much-improved Spurs battled back after the break to avoid a damaging third straight defeat.

Sean Dyche’s men, who were in relegation trouble as recently as January, are now unbeaten in seven league games but will rue missing the chance to clamber above Spurs after taking the lead.

The draw leaves Tottenham in eighth place, just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and two behind fifth-placed Wolves. Burnley are a further two points adrift.

Fifth spot could be enough to secure Champions League football next season depending on the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban.

“There was a lot of aggression at half-time, we knew we were not good enough,” said Alli, whose goal was his 50th in the Premier League.

“If you switch off for a second they can punish you. Going in at half time 1-0 down, it was a sticky changing room to be. But we did better and created enough opportunities to win.”

Spurs, again without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, started brightly but Burnley were quickly into their stride and deservedly took the lead in the 13th minute.

Jay Rodriguez shot straight at Hugo Lloris from the edge of the box but the Tottenham goalkeeper spilled the shot and Wood pounced to tap home the rebound.

Burnley continued to carry more of a threat, regularly unsettling the Spurs defence and Dwight McNeil forced a flying save from Lloris from a free-kick.

Ashley Westwood fired wide eight minutes before the break while Wood was narrowly off target from Westwood’s free-kick.

Spurs changes

Mourinho made two substitutions at half-time to lift his flat team, bringing on Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso for Oliver Skipp and Tanguy Ndombele.

Burnley were quickly out of the blocks, putting Spurs’ creaking defence under pressure but the visitors were given a lifeline when Ben Mee clumsily tripped Erik Lamela in the 48th minute.

Alli stepped up and sent Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope the wrong way, burying the ball in the bottom right corner.

The goal lifted the visitors, who were suddenly playing with more confidence but Burnley’s players believed they had a case for a penalty minutes later when Davinson Sanchez made a robust challenge on Wood.

There were chances for both sides as the second half wore on.

Wood shot straight at Lloris while Lo Celso curled just wide at the other end. Minutes later Burnley substitute Matej Vydra saw his close-range shot saved by the sprawling Spurs goalkeeper as they pushed for the winner.

Liverpool are just three wins away from guaranteeing their first top-flight title since 1990 and Manchester City look secure in second place, seven points clear of Leicester.

But just six points separate Chelsea from Crystal Palace in 11th spot.

 

AFP

Mourinho Defends Alli Over Coronavirus Video

Dele Alli of Tottenham reacts during the Audi cup 2019 final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Muenchen at Allianz Arena on July 31, 2019 in Munich, Germany. AFP

 

Dele Alli is not racist and regrets posting a social media video which appeared to joke about the new coronavirus, said Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho on Friday.

Mourinho put the 23-year-old Spurs and England midfielder’s Snapchat video down to “a young generation” error, although the player has been asked by the English Football Association (FA) to explain the post.

Alli’s video — which was subsequently deleted after several complaints were made — showed him wearing a face mask in an airport departure lounge with the message ‘Corona whattt, please listen with volume’.

He moved the camera towards an Asian man before showing a bottle of antiseptic hand wash, with a caption saying ‘This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me’.

The death toll from China’s virus epidemic neared 1,400 on Friday with six medical workers among the victims, underscoring the country’s struggle to contain a deepening health crisis.

Nearly 64,000 people are now recorded as having fallen ill from the virus in China.

The COVID-19 epidemic — as the World Health Organization formally named it — has also reached Britain where nine cases have been identified.

“I spoke with him (Alli) about that but it was quite an easy conversation because he was very sorry about — let’s say, the mistake — but it was never his intention to hurt or offend,” said Mourinho at his Friday press conference.

“He immediately regretted and recognised it was a young generation mistake and he apologised.

“I have a son at the same age as Dele and many of the players.

“I know social media is for his generation but when you are a public person like footballers are, they have to know and they have to be very, very careful.

“Dele is a great guy. The last thing he is, is anything connected with racism.”

The FA’s guidelines around media comments and social media posts remind participants that it will consider charges under Rule E3 if it is felt that someone has acted in an improper manner or brings the game into disrepute.

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva was banned for one game and fined £50,000 ($65,000) earlier this season after what was deemed an inappropriate tweet to team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

AFP

Alli To Miss Start Of Premier League Season With Injury

Dele Alli of Tottenham reacts during the Audi cup 2019 final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Muenchen at Allianz Arena on July 31, 2019 in Munich, Germany.  Jose Breton/NurPhoto)

 

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been ruled out of the start of the new Premier League season with a hamstring injury.

The England international picked up the problem in training and manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will miss their opening game of the campaign against Aston Villa next Saturday.

It will come as a big blow to the playmaker, who was beset by hamstring problems last season and Pochettino admits it is a concern.

The Argentinian, who saw his side conclude their pre-season preparations with a 1-1 draw against Inter Milan on Sunday, said: “I don’t believe he’s going to be ready for the start of the season.

“It’s the same area. Yes, of course we are worried. He’s still so young. Just 23 and many, many hamstring problems in the last few years.

“It’s to pay attention to what is going on in his body, but we are here to try to help him. I think (it is a) minor injury. It’s only a few weeks before he can be available again and be with the group.”

READ ALSO: Man City Beat Liverpool On Penalties

With less than a week until the transfer window shuts, Tanguy Ndombele remains the only signing that will impact the first team this summer and Pochettino expressed his frustration last week when he appeared to distance himself from the club’s dealings.

He offered no new updates on potential incomings, with Giovani Lo Celso and Bruno Fernandes reported targets, and has not spoken to chairman Daniel Levy in recent days.

“No, he’s in Miami and I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to him,” Pochettino said of Levy.

“I am happy with my squad. You can see today a lot of younger players. In every season we are always open to improve the squad and to try to find the right players to be stronger and better and there are still four days.

“We’ll see what happens in the next few days.”

Spurs fans got their first look at new record signing Ndombele, though the France midfielder did not have a huge impact, beyond an exciting dart into the penalty area in the first half.

Pochettino has warned the midfielder will need time to get used to English football.

“For him it’s difficult,” he said. “We cannot expect too much. We need to accept he needs time to adapt to first a new culture, a new country, new habits.”

AFP

Arsenal Identify Fan Who Threw Bottle At Tottenham’s Dele Alli

England’s midfielder Dele Alli/AFP

 

Arsenal said Thursday they have identified a man they suspect of throwing a plastic bottle at Tottenham’s Dele Alli during Spurs’ 2-0 League Cup quarter-final victory over their bitter Nnorth London rivals.

The England midfielder — who scored a delightful goal to put Spurs 2-0 up at the Emirates — was hit on the head as he took a throw-in in the second half.

Arsenal said in a statement that the club had been “embarrassed” by the incident, promising the individual concerned would face a lengthy ban.

The club statement said that the suspect left the stadium immediately after throwing the bottle at Alli in the 73rd minute of the match but an image of him has been found by analysing CCTV footage of the crowd.

“We are liaising with the Metropolitan Police and investigations continue in order to apprehend the culprit,” the club added.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino praised 22-year-old Alli for the control he showed during the incident.

“It was an amazing reaction,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“In another country, the player was going to be down on the pitch. Dele behaved really well. Arsenal should be grateful to him because the player could have gone down and created a massive problem.”

And the Spurs boss said he did not think Arsenal should be punished.

Earlier this week a Tottenham fan was handed a four-year football banning order after throwing a banana skin towards Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when the teams met in an acrimonious clash at the Emirates on December 2.

AFP

Injured Alli Out Of England’s Friendly With Switzerland

England’s midfielder Dele Alli (L) and England’s defender Luke Shaw take part in an open training session at St George’s Park in Burton-on-Trent, central England on September 7, 2018 on the eve of their UEFA Nations League match against Spain. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

England midfielder Dele Alli will miss Tuesday’s friendly in Leicester with Switzerland because of a minor muscle strain, the Football Association announced Monday.

The 22-year-old Tottenham Hotspur star suffered the injury in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Spain in the Nations League.

Alli may not have played for the World Cup semi-finalists in any case as England manager Gareth Southgate is believed to be set on making radical changes to the starting line-up against a side that reached the last 16 of the World Cup.

Southgate — who would become the first England manager to suffer four successive defeats if the Swiss prevail — is not calling up a replacement for Alli having already bolstered his squad with uncapped young Leicester City duo, defender Ben Chilwell and winger Demerai Gray.

AFP

No Signings Problem For Tottenham As Alli Sinks Newcastle

Newcastle United’s English defender Jamaal Lascelles (L) vies with Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on August 11, 2018. PHOTO: Lindsey PARNABY / AFP

 

Dele Alli silenced the complaints about Tottenham’s lack of signings as the England midfielder sealed a 2-1 win at Newcastle in their Premier League opener on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side are the first club in the Premier League era not to make a single signing since the introduction of the pre-season transfer window.

That low-key approach has frustrated Tottenham fans, but Alli lifted the gloom with a clinical header to seal at the points at St James’ Park.

Jan Vertonghen opened the scoring with an early header and Joselu’s equaliser was quickly erased by Alli as all three goals came in the first 18 minutes.

Despite Tottenham’s hard-fought victory, there was another August blank for Harry Kane, who started even though the England striker had only returned to training on Monday following his notable World Cup exploits.

The World Cup Golden Boot winner has now gone 14 games spanning 988 minutes without scoring in the opening month of the campaign, though on this occasion, it mattered little.

The season kicked-off to the backdrop of a protest staged by hundreds of Newcastle fans outside the nearby branch of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

Ashley, the club’s notoriously parsimonious billionaire owner, saw fit to spend £90 million (10.6 million euros, $11.5 million) on the ailing department store group House of Fraser. Meanwhile, his Magpies posted a net transfer profit of £20 million, despite the arrival of seven new signings, the most expensive of which, Japanese international forward Yoshinori Muto, cost £9.5m from German side Mainz.

Deft header

Tottenham fans appear rather less dissatisfied, despite their club failing to make a single addition to Pochettino’s squad since the end of last season.

Such inactivity proved no impediment as the visitors rode their luck to seal a repeat of their opening day victory at St James’ Park 12 months ago.

The visitors took an eighth-minute lead when Christian Eriksen’s corner was headed towards goal by Davinson Sanchez, allowing fellow defender Vertonghen to find the net off the underside of the bar with a deft glancing header which crossed the line before Martin Dubravka was able to claw the ball back.

Newcastle were level within three minutes when Sanchez and Vertonghen were caught ball-watching as Matt Ritchie sent over an inviting centre from the right which Joselu headed into the bottom corner of the net past an exposed Hugo Lloris.

With momentum on their side and a full-house roaring them on, Benitez’s side looked set to build from a position of strength.

But thanks to more questionable defending, their parity lasted just seven minutes.

Tottenham’s second goal was simple in its construction and should have been comfortably dealt with.

Newcastle allowed Alli a free run at the far post to send a precise header back across Dubravka into the far corner from Serge Aurier’s inviting cross, which was whipped in from the right.

An increasingly open second period surprisingly failed to produce a further addition to the score, as both goalkeepers excelled.

Dubravka saved well to deny Alli when the midfielder deflected Kane’s mis-hit shot towards goal.

Newcastle’s Slovakian keeper provided an even better stop to keep out a well-struck effort from Moussa Sissoko.

Not to be outdone at the other end, Lloris stood up well to block Ayoze Perez’s shot.

The Frenchman was fortunate, however, as Kenedy’s control let the Brazilian down at a crucial point, when a more assured first touch would have put the on-loan Chelsea midfielder in on goal.

Mo Diame and substitute Salomon Rondon both struck the woodwork as Newcastle pressed for what would have been a fully deserved equaliser, but Tottenham held firm.

AFP

Fiery Dele Alli Vows To Keep Cool At World Cup

England’s midfielder Dele Alli attends a media event at St George’s Park in Burton-on-Trent on May 28, 2018, ahead of their international friendly football matches against Nigeria and Costa Rica.
PHOTO: Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Fiery England star Dele Alli has promised to keep his cool at the World Cup.

Alli has been targeted by opponents keen to provoke the volatile Tottenham midfielder.

Alli has been involved in a series of incidents when his temper has got the better of him.

Some pundits fear Alli could suffer the same fate as David Beckham, who was infamously sent off in the 1998 World Cup after being provoked by Argentina’s Diego Simeone.

But the 22-year-old, who claims he has never seen footage of Beckham’s red card, expects to keep a lid on his tantrums in Russia, where England face Tunisia, Panama and Belgium in the group stage.

“I am a big believer that you have to make mistakes to learn from them,” Alli said.

“And, yeah, I feel I learned from the things I’ve done before, but it’s not something I worry about at all.

“I haven’t seen the incident with Beckham but, you know, I feel I’ve got everything under control. That is not going to be a problem.

“Obviously, I’ve done some things before and people seem to think that will be a problem but it’s not.”

Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate is keeping his cards close to his chest as speculation continues over the identity of his World Cup goalkeeper.

Southgate gave Everton’s Jordan Pickford his third cap in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly win over Nigeria at Wembley.

But Stoke’s Jack Butland and Burnley’s Nick Pope are also in contention.

With England’s last World Cup warm-up set for Thursday against Costa Rica, Southgate is keeping his stoppers guessing.

“We’ll give consideration to who plays in goal against Costa Rica over the next 24 or 36 hours,” he said.

“But I was really pleased with what Jordan did. Normally, when you play for England, there’s not an awful lot of opportunity to produce a lot of saves.

“His decision making on crosses, the punch he made, his distribution and calmness to slide passes into midfield.

“That was really important to the way we want to play. He can be very pleased with his performance.”

AFP

Pochettino Hails Alli As Tottenham Break Chelsea Jinx

Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on April 1, 2018. PHOTO: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Mauricio Pochettino saluted Dele Alli as Tottenham ended their 28-year wait to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with a 3-1 victory, while Arsenal left it late to seal their 3-0 win over Stoke on Sunday.

Defeat for Chelsea shattered their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League as Tottenham opened up an eight-point lead over their closest challengers for fourth place.

Ending their long wait for a win at their London rivals is just the latest sign of the progress made under Pochettino.

And it was even more impressive as they came from behind as a huge error from Hugo Lloris gifted Alvaro Morata the opening goal when the Tottenham goalkeeper misjudged a cross in the 30th minute.

Christan Eriksen’s sublime long-range strike drew Tottenham level in first-half stoppage time.

Alli took centre stage to end a barren run with two smart finishes in the 62nd and 66th minutes.

Tottenham could even afford the luxury of doing the damage without Harry Kane, who made his return from a three-week layoff with ankle ligament damage 16 minutes from time.

It was a sweet moment for Alli, who has endured criticism for some erratic performances this season.

“He’s a great talent and I have no doubts about him. Young players need room to breath,” Pochettino said.

“There’s pressure on their shoulders. But he has nothing to show to me or Tottenham.

“It’s more about the expectation being so high. I’m so happy for him.”

After a long run of poor results in away fixtures against their top four rivals, Tottenham finally proved they can win when the stakes are highest.

Pochettino, yet to win a trophy with Tottenham, said: “After 28 years it is important to win here. It’s a happy day for everyone – fans, players. We feel very proud.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted Eriksen’s equaliser was a hammer blow after his side had dominated for much of the first half.

“The goal at the end of the first half it wasn’t good for us and our confidence. We deserved to go in 2-0 up but football is this and Eriksen scored a fantastic goal,” he said.

“Second half we tried to score again but Tottenham have been more clinical than us. In this season we are not so clinical and then we lost the game.”

Conte rues Chelsea flop

Failing to qualify for the Champions League could trigger Conte’s departure at the end of the season after he spent much of the campaign feuding with the club’s hierarchy over their failure to back his transfer plans.

But Conte wouldn’t concede Chelsea are out of the race for the top four.

“For sure we lost a great chance today to reduce the gap with Tottenham,” he said.

“There are seven games to go and we have to do our best until the end. At the end of the season, you finish in the position you deserve.”

At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal warmed up for Thursday’s crucial Europa League quarter-final against CSKA Moscow with three goals in the final 15 minutes against second-bottom Stoke.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the first two, including a penalty opener.

Alexandre Lacazette netted the third, also from the spot, after Aubameyang passed up the chance of a hat-trick to give his out-of-form team-mate a welcome confidence boost.

Asked if he was surprised Aubameyang did not take the second penalty, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “No, because I know they have a good understanding.

“I like that because it can only make the team stronger. That shows well the state of our society because when people are generous we are surprised.”

Frustrated by the first penalty decision, Stoke manager Paul Lambert called for the Premier League to introduce the Video Assistant Referee system that has so far only been used in cup competitions in England.

“I’ve seen VAR work. I saw it in Germany and it worked seamlessly, absolutely no problem at all,” he said.

AFP

Tottenham In Historic Win Over Chelsea At Stamford Bridge

                                                                                                                                                                       Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli (L) celebrates with Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on April 1, 2018. PHOTO: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Dele Alli scored twice in four second-half minutes as Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea 3-1 on Sunday to end a 28-year wait for a Premier League win at Stamford Bridge.

Defeat for the hosts all but ends Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League football next season as Spurs opened up an eight-point lead over their closest challengers for fourth place.

Ending their long wait for a win at their London rivals is just the latest sign of the progress made under Mauricio Pochettino as Spurs look set to seal a place in the Champions League for a third straight season.

And it was even more impressive as they came from behind as a huge error from captain Hugo Lloris gifted Alvaro Morata the opening goal.

Christan Eriksen’s wonder strike levelled in first-half stoppage time before Alli took centre stage to end a barren run by his standards with two smart finishes just after the hour mark.

Spurs could even afford the luxury of doing the damage without Harry Kane, who made his return from a three-week layoff with ankle ligament damage 16 minutes from time.

Alli was pushed into a more advanced role than his usual roving role behind Kane and had the first chance but couldn’t direct Eriksen’s cross goalwards.

Chelsea was the side far more in desperate need of the points and that began to show as the first-half developed.

Willian and Victor Moses forced Lloris into comfortable saves, whilst Marcos Alonso also saw a goal ruled out for offside.

However, the French number one was clearly at fault when the opener arrived on the half-hour mark.

Morata hadn’t scored in the Premier League since Boxing Day, but no one has scored more headed goals in the league this season and he was left with the easiest of tasks to nod into an empty net as Lloris flapped at Moses’s cross.

Symbolic Spurs win

Lloris was also far from secure when he parried Alonso’s driven cross back into the danger area and relied on Jan Vertonghen to make a crucial clearance.

Eriksen’s shooting ability from long range had been Spurs’ only real threat before the break.

Willy Caballero, deputising for the injured Thibaut Courtois, got a strong hand to the Dane’s first warning shot.

However, Caballero was helpless when Eriksen’s fierce dipping effort clipped the bar on its way past him in first-half stoppage time.

The Argentine goalkeeper was forced into a brilliant save from another long-range effort, this time from Son Heung-min, on the hour mark as Spurs started to take control.

And two minutes later they led when Alli brilliantly controlled Eric Dier’s long pass before slotting inside Caballero’s near post.

Alli had scored just two goals in his previous 19 games in 2018 but soon had as many in four minutes as Spurs set the seal in a hugely symbolic win.

Son was again denied by Caballero but Alli pounced on the pinball inside the Chelsea area before slotting into the bottom corner.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte kicked a water bottle into his dugout with the frustration of a man who knows his days in charge.

Failure to make the top four is likely to seal the Italian’s fate no matter what comes of Chelsea’s run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

However, Spurs too are in the last four and on this evidence are more likely to end their wait for a trophy under Pochettino, particularly with Kane back to lead the line.

AFP