Dele Alli ‘back to his best’ – How the national media reacted to Spurs’ win against Wolfsberger


The Sun

“Was that Dele Alli’s brother,” asks Paul Jiggins.

“How else do you explain a goal and a performance so out of keeping with what the star’s lacklustre showings of the past 18 months or so?

“But, to paraphrase Mark Twain, Dele showed reports of footballing demise may have been greatly exaggerated as he capped a much-improved display with a stunning overhead kick that opened the scoring in the tenth minute.

“He celebrated by giving a peace sign, although it is a wonder he did not turn his hand around and stick two fingers up to Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.”

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The Guardian

“It was a night when José Mourinho wanted victory, a cohesive performance and a confidence booster for the critical run of Premier League fixtures that comes next,” Dave Hytner writes. “The Tottenham manager got the former, even if there was little doubt he would do so against the minnows that sit fifth in the Austrian Bundesliga.

“As for the rest, it was not Spurs at their slickest and most energetic, although it is difficult to put bodies on the line when a Europa League tie is effectively over after a 4-1 first‑leg away win. But there was the tonic of genuine cutting edge from Dele Alli and the latest evidence that Gareth Bale can feel a return of the old rhythms.

“Alli added a magnificent overhead kick to his back catalogue of classic goals while he contributed two assists; the first for Carlos Vinicius and the second for Bale, who had come on as a 69th-minute substitute. Bale swept on to Alli’s pass and bent a first-time left-footer into the far, top corner.

“Mourinho introduced three youngsters and one of them, the striker Dane Scarlett, won the ball high up for Vinicius to add his second to seal a cakewalk into the last 16. There were debuts for Marcel Lavinier at right‑back and Nile John in midfield.”

The Mirror

“It was a sight that many thought we had seen the last of,” Alex Milne writes.

“Sure, it may have only come in a Europa League dead rubber against poor opposition.

“But the vision of Dele Alli majestically trapping a ball before launching himself into a sensational, swivelling bicycle kick was still enough to bring back a warm glow of nostalgia as well as a faint whiff of future hope for Tottenham and England fans alike.

“It was a moment not dissimilar to his wonder-strike against Crystal Palace in 2016 when Alli was at the peak of his powers.

“And although Jose Mourinho didn’t show much emotion on the touchline, it is a goal which could prove to be a pivotal and significant one for him.”

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Daily Mail

“Dele Alli launched himself into the air and gave his Tottenham comeback bid lift-off,” Adrian Kajumba writes.

“With their place in Friday’s last-16 draw already assured after the first leg and bigger concerns for Jose Mourinho and his players amid their Premier League problems, this match appeared about as meaningless as they come for Spurs.

“Alli at least made it memorable with a reminder of what he is capable of in a match-defining display brimming with invention, end product and, at times, audacity.

“His first goal summed it up, a stunning overhead kick as Alli added another goal to his collection of spectacular Spurs strikes.”





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