The Tottenham Hotspur supporters have been in buoyant mood in the Transfer Tavern since their 2-2 draw against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium.
When the draw for the Champions League last-sixteen was made back in December, Tottenham undeniably were handed one of the toughest possible fixtures by being pitted against the Italian champions Juventus. However, Tottenham have defied the pre-match expectation and sit in pole position to progress to the quarterfinals at the half-way stage of the tie. Of course, the Lilywhites need to urge on the side of caution as The Oldy Lady are a formidable outfit who were far from their best on Tuesday night, but the early signs are extremely positive for Pochettino’s side.
Plenty of individuals were singled out for lavish praise by fans and pundits alike in the aftermath of Tottenham’s performance in Turin, particularly Moussa Dembele who dominated the midfield and Christian Eriksen who scored the crucial second-half equaliser.
The performances of the aforementioned players somewhat overshadowed the game-changing impact Dele Alli (valued at £72 million by Transfermarkt) had on proceedings. The 21-year-old’s performances have been intensely scrutinised this season by supporters of the English national side who expect so much from their emerging talent.
Overall, Alli has been heavily criticised by supporters who slate his attitude and claim that his contribution over the course of a 90-minute match is below the standard he has displayed in previous seasons, but Tottenham’s prodigy answered those critics with a brilliant performance last night.
Alli was a menace to the Juventus defence all night as he consistently found pockets of space to exploit and made life extremely uncomfortable for a team who are typically a nightmare to break down. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect about his performance was his key role in both of Tottenham’s goals.
Harry Kane pulled a goal back for Spurs after Alli intelligently latched onto a loose ball in midfield and threaded a perfectly weighted ball into his path, and Eriksen’s equalising strike was scored directly from a free-kick which Alli won on the edge of the Juventus area after he drew a foul from Chiellini with a delicate first-touch.
The England international has often been criticised for going missing for long periods of time, but when Tottenham needed him most he provided two moments of quality which have served to put the Lilywhites in a commanding position ahead of the second-leg. Alli still has plenty to do to change the minds of his harshest critics, but for now they will remain silent after his starring role in his side’s 2-2 draw.