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Tottenham’s Dele Alli brilliantly proves his doubters wrong with Chelsea heroics

The Englishman scored twice for Spurs as they toppled Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Max Cohen

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Dele Alli
Photo: Getty Images

Until kickoff at Stamford Bridge, it had been an abysmal week for Dele Alli. Dropped from the England squad, facing questions over his form, and publicly called out by Gareth Southgate, the Tottenham playmaker was facing a career-defining moment.

As all great players do, Alli stepped up to the occasion, producing a fantastic display which propelled Spurs to their first ever Premier League win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.  The Englishman played an integral role in all three of Spurs’ goals and showed glimpses of top form that have rarely been seen this season.

In an effort reminiscent of Harry Kane’s famous curled goal in the north London derby, a couple of seasons ago, Alli chased down what looked like a lost cause in the far corner. His brilliant show of commitment and never-say-die attitude saved the ball from dribbling out for a Chelsea throw.

Moments later, thanks to the 21-year-old’s tireless work, Christian Eriksen collected the ball thirty yards out from goal and struck a long-range thunderbolt past the helpless Willy Caballero, levelling the score right before the interval.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

Alli’s vital contribution to the first goal set the tone for a spellbinding second-half display. His perfectly timed run in between the Blues defense was well found by a lofted ball from Eric Dier, and Alli plucked the ball sumptuously out of the air and fired home to make it 2-1.

Just minutes later, after a dangerous run and strike from Heung-min Son, Alli slotted home from close range to double Tottenham’s advantage. It was a scrappy goal that revealed his predatory instincts and composure in tight spaces.

It was a big-time performance from a big-time player and one that could not have come at a better time for the midfielder. After all the criticisms levelled at Alli this year, his hard-earned double could provide him with the confidence boost he needs to excel in the closing months of the season and take Russia by storm.

Crucially, it all but secured Spurs’ Champions League place for next season while likely condemning Chelsea to the Europa League. Thanks to the brilliance of Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur looks set to assume the mantle of London’s top club.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Tottenham Hotspur

One winner, one loser as Tottenham defeat Fulham at Wembley

Spurs followed up last week’s win at Newcastle with a first win on home soil.

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Tottenham
Photo: Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur made it two wins from as many games on Saturday afternoon as they beat newly-promoted Fulham by three goals to one at their temporary home, Wembley.

Spurs were led to victory with three well-taken strikes from Lucas Moura, Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane, who netted for the very first time in his career during the month of August.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was left frustrated in his attempts to sign new recruits during the summer but his team’s start to the 2018/19 campaign will have undoubtedly delighted the boss.

Following the London-derby with the Cottagers, The Boot Room looked at one winner and one loser from the contest…

Pochettino

Winner – Mauricio Pochettino

The Spurs manager will have been delighted with his charges who went about their business in typically emphatic fashion. Given the uncertainty surrounding the club’s new home this past week it was vital that Spurs put on a performance to put a smile back on the faces of the club’s supporters.

Pochettino has worked wonders in North London and although no new recruits were added during the summer, it still seems quite obvious that Spurs will be up there challenging for the top four again this season.

The 46-year-old boss got his subs absolutely spot on against Fulham with Erik Lamela providing the assist that saw Harry Kane notch his first every goal in August.

Loser – Danny Rose

Ben Davies once again got the nod at left wing-back to intensify the speculation surrounding the future of England man Danny Rose, who was an unused sub on Saturday.

According to the Daily Express, Rose is a target for French giants Paris Saint Germain this summer and, given the first two games of the season, it seems as though the 28-year-old is not likely to figure a great deal for the foreseeable future.

Rose was a peripheral figure for Gareth Southgate during the World Cup and it appears that he will now be on the fringes at Spurs – provided, of course, he is still with the Londoners come the end of the month.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Early signs from James Maddison suggest Tottenham targeted the wrong man

The talented playmaker has impressed early on for Leicester City, but Tottenham tried for Jack Grealish.

Mathew Nash

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This summer, Norwich City midfield maestro James Maddison seemed destined for a Carrow Road exit.

Tottenham Hotspur were one team heavily linked with a move for the player. As reported by The Mirror, Spurs were reportedly all set to meet the player’s £25 million price-tag in order to bring him in.

However, it soon appeared that Tottenham had set their sights on a different Championship playmaker. Jack Grealish became the object of Spurs’ affection this summer. A £25 million for the Aston Villa man was rejected on deadline day and Tottenham ended the summer without buying a single player.

Judging from the early evidence, they might have made a mistake in not going for the new Leicester City man.

The Foxes tied up a £22 million deal for the player in mid-June. His start to the season has certainly suggested he was worth the money. Maddison impressed in Leicester’s opening day defeat to Manchester United. Then, yesterday, he had the home fans at the King Power extremely thankful for an excellent display v Wolves. He capped it off with a first goal for his new club.

The early signs are Maddison will be a Premier League hit. Tottenham Hotspur must wonder if in targeting Grealish, they went for the wrong Championship playmaker.

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Player Analysis

Lucas Moura proved his point for Tottenham against Fulham with dazzling display

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Photo: Getty Images.

He may have signed from Paris Saint-Germain in January but Lucas Moura has now showed what he has to offer Mauricio Pochettino with an outstanding performance against Fulham at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

The Brazilian scored the opening goal with a fine, curling finish. Busting a gut to get to a loose ball on the edge of the box first, he showed incredible technique to curl his shot beyond Fabri in goal and leave the Fulham shotstopper with no chance.

It was Moura’s first Premier League goal, and a memorable one at that, but it would be naive to assume that it was Moura’s only contribution as he proved to be an asset to his team from start to finish with his energy, pressing and movement.

“Lucas was from day one with us when we started pre-season which is an advantage compared to the players that arrived late and today I think he was very good, he deserves a lot of praise. He scored but more importantly he worked very hard for the team without the ball and that is always important.”

Pochettino praised the attacker after the game.

Supporting Harry Kane in attack, only his new attacking partner completed more dribbles and he offered more too, winning the second highest number of attacking aerial duels and proving his ability to get stuck in.

What’s more, Moura’s work rate was clear as he won four of his six tackles, more than anyone else on the field of play at Wembley, and also made the second highest number of interceptions as he pressed high and applied the pressure on the Fulham defence.

For some time now, Pochettino has been searching for the right solution to support Kane in attack has struggled to find a satisfactory option. With Moura now finding form, he could have found the ideal candidate.

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