Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Dele Alli’s match-winning performance following his two goals in Tottenham’s 3-1 victory at Chelsea on Sunday.
Spurs secured their first league win at Stamford Bridge for 28 years, moving eight points ahead of fifth-placed in the battle for Champions League qualification.
Alli, who had come under criticism despite barely playing for England during the international break, scored two crucial goals to secure a memorable three points for the visitors.
And his manager heaped praise on the 21-year-old after the game.
“I’m very, very pleased for Dele. It’s been a tough period for him, but I like his talent, his character. I’m so happy for him because he deserved it,” Pochettino said (via the Telegraph).
“In the end, he’s a great talent, only 21 years old, and sometimes we lose the focus on that. He’s only 21. Sometimes the expectation is too much.
“Dele is not one to be affected if he plays or does not play. He’s so strong, with the personality. He’s a fighter, very competitive. He won’t be affected. Then we need to help him.
“If he doesn’t play with the national team, he needs to compete and give his best to try and win again the confidence of his manager in the national team.
“The only way to win the confidence and trust from your manager is doing what he did today – scoring the goals and playing like he did.”
Chelsea took the lead after half an hour when Hugo Lloris missed his punch and Alvaro Morata headed into the bottom corner.
Christian Eriksen’s stunning long-range strike levelled things up before half-time – a photo later proved just how good a hit it was.
Spurs took control after the break when Alli took down Eric Dier’s pass beautifully and lofted the ball over the outstretched arm of Willy Caballero.
Alli scored against moments later to secure a long-awaited win at Stamford Bridge for Tottenham.