Jose Mourinho has praised ‘team player’ Dele Alli following the midfielder’s unselfish assist during Tottenham’s 4-0 win over Ludogorets in the Europa League.
Spurs edged closer to qualification for the knockout stages with a comfortable victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, summer signing Vinicius opening his account for the club with a brace before further goals from Harry Winks and Lucas Moura.
Mourinho chose to field a rotated side against the Bulgarian visitors with the out-of-favour Alli returning, the midfielder having made just two Premier League appearances for the north London side so far this season after struggling for form.
The 24-year-old produced a much improved showing and will hope this performance can be the turning point following a difficult spell, playing his part in three goals including a wonderfully unselfish assist for Vinicius’ second.
The midfielder reacted first to a rebound but opted to square the ball to his unmarked teammate instead of going for goal himself, with Mourinho full of praise for the star’s team-first mentality.
‘That’s the team,’ Mourinho said at his post match press conference. ‘Dele could try to score but for Vinicius it was an easy goal. A team player does that. No risk and 2-0. It doesn’t surprise me that he did that.
‘Dele was like the team. A very good first half. In the second half in the first 20 to 25 minutes they closed and tried not to concede more goals.
‘We became a little bit more passive and we never really felt the threat of a possible goal… and we let it go a little bit down.’
Spurs currently sit second in Group J with nine points from their four group stage fixtures, ahead of a crucial meeting at third-placed LASK next week as they bid to secure progress.
However, Mourinho’s side must first navigate a mouthwatering clash with London rivals Chelsea in the Premier League this weekend, Spurs heading to Stamford Bridge as the current league leaders.