Dele Alli opens the scoring with an overhead kick
Dele Alli reminded us of his supreme natural talent as he scored a superb overhead kick – better than Olivier Giroud’s banger against Atleti, for what it’s worth – and made two assists to send Spurs through to the Europa League last 16.
After he opened the scoring with his acrobatic effort, Dele then set up striker Carlos Vinicius, who added a late second, and Gareth Bale (a lovely first-time finish), as Spurs easily qualified for Friday’s draw with an 8-1 aggregate win. After a tough few weeks for Spurs, this was a welcome victory.
Yes, I think Dele Alli is probably worth persevering with.
— Seb Stafford-Bloor (@SebSB) February 24, 2021
If Dele’s man-of-the-match performance (albeit against very weak opponents) doesn’t convince Jose Mourinho to give him more playing time, nothing will. Ditto Bale, who is looking better and better as the season goes on, and may not be the bust that many think he is – his goal tonight was casually world-class. That said, I still think the Premier League is not Dele’s cup of tea. He would fare very well in a slightly less intense league such as Serie A or La Liga, I think.
Also, Spurs fans will have enjoyed seeing young forward Dane Scarlett in action. The 16-year-old came on for Dele with ten minutes to go, and set up Vinicius’ second goal two minutes later. He is definitely one to watch. After the game, Mourinho said he has “incredible talent”, and “next season he has to be a first-team player”.
16y 337d – Aged 16 years and 337 days, Tottenham's Dane Scarlett is the first 16-year-old to assist a Europa League goal since Kylian Mbappé in December 2015 for Monaco against Tottenham. Prospect. pic.twitter.com/sooxTEbvDg
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 24, 2021
Man of the match: Dele Alli (Spurs)