Pochettino defends Alli's moment of madness
Mauricio Pochettino launched a passionate defence of Dele Alli despite the midfielder's horror tackle costing Tottenham dear in the Europa League yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Alli was sent off as Spurs were held to a 2-2 draw against Gent at Wembley, which meant Pochettino's men lost the tie 3-2 on aggregate and crashed out in the last 32.
Harry Kane's own goal had cancelled out Christian Eriksen's early opener before Alli's moment of madness in the 39th minute.
The 20-year-old, frustrated at being denied a free-kick, jumped to his feet, miscontrolled the ball and then thrust his right foot high and into the shin of Gent's Brecht Dejaegere.
It meant Tottenham were left needing to score twice more with 10 men and, while Victor Wanyama gave the hosts temporary hope in the second half, Jeremy Perbet's late goal sealed Gent a surprise victory.
"He is very disappointed and sad," Pochettino said of Alli.
"In football, it happens. He knows he made a mistake. Now he tries to move on and improve." - PA SPORT
EUROPA LEAGUE LAST-16 DRAW
- Celta Vigo v FC Krasnodar
- Apoel FC v Anderlecht
- Schalke v Borussia M'gladbach
- Lyon v Roma
- Rostov v Man United
- Olympiakos v Besiktas
- Gent v Genk
- FC Copenhagen v Ajax Amsterdam
*First legs to be played on March 9, second legs on March 16.