Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has refuted claims that he is furious with Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling over a bad tackle he recieved from his coutryman during Spurs’ 2-0 win over the Premier League champions on Sunday.
FutballNews reports that the Spurs midfielder was set to control the ball and in an attempt to win the ball from him, Sterling stepped on Ali’s ankle and was badly hurt. Replay showed that the challenge was nasty but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) did not issue any card to the City forward, which would have been a straight red card.
The incident was close to Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s tackle on Crystal Palace’s Max Meyer. The Gunners captain was first shown a yellow card for the tackle but was overturned by VAR and he was given a red card, which sidelined him for three games.
The Spurs midfielder was attended to by the club doctors and limped off in the second hal when he was substituted in the 70th minute for Eric Lamela. The North London club are hopeful that he will be fit to face Southampton in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Ali said: “We were speaking about it at half-time and we are good friends.
“I know what sort of player Raheem is and he would never intentionally try to hurt someone.
“There are no hard feelings. He is a fantastic player and we move on.”
“I am not sure (if it was a red card) to be honest,’ Alli added. ‘I have not had a proper look back at it.
“It is obviously for the referee and VAR to make the decision. They didn’t give the red card.”
Also speaking on the tackle, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said he feared the injury could be a bad one, but it has turned out not to be serious and the England midfielder will be assessed before Wednesday night’s game.
“Not as bad (as we thought), so there is a chance,” Mourinho said. “There is a chance of him playing tomorrow, so wait and see, but there is a chance.
“It is just a question of being a little bit lucky or unlucky. You need a little bit of luck.
“Dele Alli was very lucky. Did Sterling want to injure him? I don’t think so, I don’t believe that he wanted to.
“So respect to Sterling, I have no problem at all. But the intention does not count. What counts is the action. It is a red card.”