Jose Mourinho insisted that Dele Alli’s spot in the starting XI this evening against Fulham was not a gift but the product of hard work from the Spurs midfielder.
Dele seemed to reinforce that point on the pitch as he forced the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage.
Alli was on his toes in the middle of the box to divert a fantastic cross from Heung-min Son which ended up in the back of the net via a deflection. Even if the goal did not have his name next to it on the scoresheet, Dele certainly played an integral part in its making.
This evening represented Dele Alli’s first Premier League start since the opening day of the season where he was hauled off at half-time against Everton (TransferMarkt).
This means that the 67 minutes recorded this evening was the midfielder’s longest run out in the competition all season.
On why he handed Dele a start, Mourinho said (Football London): “He deserved to start. It was not a gift.
“It was a consequence of his work since he came back and working 100 per cent. He was giving us important things.
“Did very well in the Europa League and very well in every minute he had. He was deserving. We need the squad we have.”
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