What Dele Alli did in Tottenham dressing room after Europe exit
By Harry Sykes
Toby Alderweireld has revealed that Dele Alli apologised to his Tottenham teammates in the dressing room after the club’s Europa League elimination.
Spurs crashed out of the tournament on Thursday night after failing to clear the first hurdle of a last-32 clash against Gent, the eighth-placed side in Belgium’s Jupiler League.
Alli was given a straight red card in the second-leg clash at Wembley after 41 minutes for a horror challenge on Gent player Brecht Dejaegere.
The 20-year-old’s rush of blood gave 10-man Spurs an uphill task and, despite goals from Christian Eriksen and Victor Wanyama, a 2-2 draw meant they tumbled out of the competition just two months after their Champions League exit.
Alli has been widely condemned by ex players and managers for the nature of a tackle that they agreed could have broken Dejaegere’s leg.
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Alderweireld explained how the playmaker took responsibility for his actions in the immediate aftermath of the match in the changing room.
Asked if Alli had apologised to his teammates, Alderweireld told the Telegraph: “Yes of course he said sorry. He didn’t mean to get sent off.
“Two seconds before someone made a foul on him and he reacted on that, but not to get a red card. He is young and I know for 100 per cent he didn’t mean to do it.”
Mauricio Pochettino’s side will now focus their efforts on securing a top-four Premier League finish as well as pushing strongly for the FA Cup.
Tottenham are third in the league ahead of Sunday’s clash against Stoke and have a quarter-final cup draw next month against League One outfit Millwall.
In other Tottenham transfer news, a forward has signed after Spurs agreed terms on an out-of-window deal.