Monday 18 December 2017

Bentaleb: Spurs players not divers

Tottenham Hotspur's French midfielder Nabil Bentaleb
Tottenham Hotspur's French midfielder Nabil Bentaleb

Nabil Bentaleb has rubbished claims from West Ham manager Sam Allardyce that Tottenham players go to ground too easily.

Allardyce saw his side lose a two-goal lead at White Hart Lane on Sunday, with Harry Kane scoring a last-gasp equaliser in an exciting 2-2 draw after seeing an initial penalty saved.

The England Under-21 international had won the 95th-minute spot-kick himself, having been felled by Alex Song, but Allardyce, whose side had looked set for three points after goals from Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho, was unimpressed.

"You can argue whether it's enough contact from Alex's arm or whether it's not, but when you're desperate like Tottenham are and you get touched, a player's going to fall over and ask the referee to make a decision," the Hammers boss said. "Whether it's the right decision or not, it's the way football is today. If we're to learn anything by it, we have to do the same as what Tottenham do more often."

But Bentaleb defended Tottenham's squad, insisting Allardyce may have been caught up in the heat of the moment - and also suggested Mark Noble was lucky to escape a red card after the Hammers midfielder scythed through him having already been cautioned.

"He can say whatever he wants," Bentaleb said when asked about Allardyce's remarks. "We scored a penalty in the last minute. Maybe it's because of this, I can understand if he's a little bit angry. But it's not true. Of course it was a penalty - there's no doubt about that."

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