Jose Mourinho has praised Dele Alli for being a “team player” by unselfishly setting up Carlos Vinicius for a goal against Ludogorets on Thursday night.
Tottenham cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Bulgarian visitors thanks to a Vinicius brace and goals from Harry Winks and Lucas Moura.
Alli set up both Vinicius strikes and played a part in Lucas’ goal with a pinpoint ball into the box that eventually led to the Brazilian adding the fourth.
But it was his assist for the second goal of the night that was most noteworthy.
After Tanguy Ndombele’s shot was parried to by the goalkeeper, Alli could have attempted to score the rebound himself – instead he squared the ball to Vinicius for a tap-in.
And Mourinho was pleased, if unsurprised, by Alli’s selflessness.
“That’s the team,” the Spurs boss said after the game (via the Independent). “Dele could try to score but for Vinicius it was an easy goal. A team player does that. No risk and 2-0. It doesn’t surprise me that he did that.
“Dele was like the team. A very good first half. In the second half in the first 20 to 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 we let it go a little bit down.”
We’d like to think Alli will play a part against Chelsea this weekend after his impressive performance, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see him left out of the Premier League squad once again.
Hopefully he can continue to make an impact when given the opportunity to do so.