Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says that midfielder Dele Alli “has a lot to learn” after the 19-year-old appeared to kick out at an opponent during their Europa League draw against Fiorentina.
The England international was cautioned on the half-hour mark of the 1-1 last-32 first-leg stalemate at the Stadio Artemio Franchi after Nenad Tomovic reacted angrily following a foul from Alli.
Replays appeared to show the Spurs man made no effort to jump clear of the defender and instead caught him with a boot.
The home players were further incensed when Tottenham were awarded a soft penalty shortly afterwards as Ben Davies went down under minimal contact from Tomovic, with Nacer Chadli stroking home the penalty.
Fiorentina earned a draw courtesy of a deflected second-half strike from Federico Bernardeschi and the hosts actually finished the game strongly.
And Pochettino says that he will “try to teach” Alli in regards to that side of his game.
Speaking after the match, the Argentine said: “We need to look at the video and try to teach him.
“He is a young player and he has a lot to learn about elite football. It is his first season in the Premier League at Tottenham.
“He came from League One, he needs to learn a lot, still learn. But I didn’t see (the incident). Some people say ‘yes’, say ‘no’, so I don’t know.”
Pochettino had insisted leading into the contest that he was still taking the Europa League seriously despite now being one of the favourites to claim the Premier League crown.
He may have changed over half of his side for the trip to Florence, but he maintains that is a necessity if Spurs are to challenge on three fronts – with an FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Palace next up on Sunday.
“It is important to play with the squad,” he said.
“We have a strong squad to try to fight for every competition, we need to use all of the squad. I am happy with all of the players.
“Six changes from the City game and I’m happy, it is not important to talk about using the squad. It is important how we compete, we have big motivation.”