Jose Mourinho has been quoted by Football London in his post-match press conference as applauding Dele Alli’s first-half performance, but said the under-fire Tottenham midfielder fell away in the second 45 on Thursday night.
Alli, 24, was handed a rare start on Thursday night as Spurs took on Bulgarian side Ludogorets at the Spurs stadium. Mourinho made 10 changes, with only Tanguy Ndombele surviving from Sunday’s win over Manchester City.
Carlos Vinicius opened the scoring with a neat finish and nabbed his second with a tap in, after a very unselfish assist from Alli. Harry Winks nabbed an unlikely third from 50 yards, before Alli created a fourth.
His excellent cross was controlled by Vinicius, who laid off Lucas Moura to make it four. Supporters were delighted to see Alli shine and Mourinho gave a short verdict on his display in his post-match press conference.
“Dele was a bit like the team, very good in the first half and dropped a bit in the second,” Mourinho said.
TBR’s view – Is this a turning point for Alli?
It was the best performance of Alli’s intermittent season. He looked back to his creative best, trying things rather than keeping it safe – and he looked somewhat fitter, too. Could it be a turning point? Possibly.
It must be remembered that it was against Ludogorets – hardly a side that boast the quality of Tottenham’s Premier League opponents. But the performance will give him and Mourinho confidence – perhaps a place on the bench this weekend?