Poch hails 'divey' Dele as Kane goal shatters Palace
C Palace 0 Tottenham 1
Mauricio Pochettino defended “easy target” Dele Alli from the latest accusations of diving after further criticism followed his appeals for a penalty in Tottenham’s 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace.
Harry Kane’s 88th-minute header secured the three points at Selhurst Park that took Spurs back up to fourth in the Premier League, but even after he secured his 35th goal of the season it was Alli who was the centre of attention.
The 21-year-old went down in the area under minimal contact from the impressive Wayne Hennessey and also sought a penalty after a challenge from Patrick van Aanholt, who then confronted him.
In response to the first incident, Gary Lineker called him “Divey Alli” on Twitter, and fellow former England striker Alan Shearer labelled the incident a “blatant dive”. Former Tottenham chairman Lord Sugar also said that Alli is “such a diver”.
But Pochettino said of his midfielder: “He is an easy target for everyone. We need to stop saying too much about him to stop helping people, the fans, creating this reputation.
“He’s so competitive and played very well but Dele is an easy target.
“Dele is such a special kid. He’s going to play. He’s going to show his quality. He won’t worry what people are saying about him.”
Asked if Alli had deserved a penalty, the 45-year-old Pochettino then said: “For me, the action of Hennessey on Ben Davies was a clear penalty.
“We deserved the victory. Late but, in the end, we fully deserved the game. It wasn’t easy to play here against a team who are difficult to break down, but the win was important.”
“Harry (Kane) missed the first few chances but in the end his character made him keep pushing, keep trying, and achieve what he wanted.”