Jose Mourinho praised Dele Alli’s first-half display against Ludogorets in what was the midfielder’s first start since Tottenham’s defeat in Antwerp last month.
The Tottenham boss was critical of Alli for this first-half performance against Antwerp, with some Spurs fans fearing that they had seen the last of the midfielder in a Tottenham shirt on the back of his display in Belgium.
However, it looks as though the 24-year-old displayed the right attitude in training as he earned another start against Ludogorets, with Mourinho making ten changes from the side that beat Manchester City 2-0 on Saturday.
The former MK Dons man worked his socks off on and off the ball and showed glimpses of his old self as the Lilywhites had no problems brushing aside the Bulgarian leaders 4-0.
When asked about Alli’s performance, Mourinho told Football.London: “Dele was like the team. A very good first half. In the second half in the first 20-25 minutes, they closed and tried not to concede more goals.
“We became a little bit more passive and we never really felt the threat of a possible goal and 2-1 and game open and we let it go a little bit down.”
The midfielder laid Carlos Vinicius’ second goal on a plate by squaring the ball to the Brazilian instead of going for goal himself, something Mourinho admitted he was not surprised by.
He added: “That’s the team. He could try to score but for Vinicius, it was an easy goal. A team player does that. No risk and 2-0. Doesn’t surprise me that he did that.”
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Dele certainly did enough to warrant a place on the bench for the crucial London derby against Chelsea, especially given the record that he has against the Blues. If Lo Celso does not recover in time for the game from the knock he picked up in training, perhaps, the 24-year-old might even get a brief cameo at Stamford Bridge if Mourinho takes Ndombele off on the hour mark.
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