Dele Alli: Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho hails 'fantastic' in-form midfielder

Alli scored twice as Tottenham earned a hard-fought 3-2 win over Bournemouth

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Jose Mourinho feels Dele Alli is close to rediscovering his best form after scoring twice in Tottenham's 3-2 win against Bournemouth.

Jose Mourinho hailed a revitalised Dele Alli after his two goals steered Tottenham to within six points of the Champions League qualification places.

Spurs withstood a late fightback from Bournemouth to earn a 3-2 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after another Alli-inspired victory.

The England midfielder will be confident of earning an international recall in March after the start he has made under his new manager.

With three goals and one assist, Alli has been directly involved in three goals in his two Premier League games for Tottenham under Mourinho - as many as he managed in his last 12 under Mauricio Pochettino.

Alli races onto Toby Alderweireld's pass to lift in his second of the game
Image: Alli races onto Toby Alderweireld's pass to lift in his second of the game

"With Dele, I don't need to speak," Mourinho said. "It's the best thing that can happen to a coach when you don't need to speak about a player because everybody speaks.

"Everyone is speaking about him for the right reasons. He's playing really well and I couldn't ask any more from him. He's scoring goals, assisting, and his work-rate is fantastic."

The season feels alive again for Tottenham after things had become a little stale under Pochettino.

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Here, there was still no chant for his successor, but with Spurs now closing in on Chelsea following their surprise 1-0 home defeat to West Ham, a top-four spot is visibly achievable.

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Highlights from Tottenham's 3-2 win against Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Mourinho added: "When I arrived, we were 12 points behind the last Champions League position, and I said that I didn't want to think about it. I just wanted to play matches - we were even eight or nine points from a Europa League position.

"But I said that if we think too much about it, we are going to be depressed because we want to play European football next season. But I told the players not to get depressed but to think game after game and see what's going to happen.

"Now the distance is smaller, and we're going into a period with lots of matches in the Christmas period so we have the chance of both. We could put pressure on our opponents, and we play Chelsea by the end of December.

Moussa Sissoko crashes in Tottenham's third after a brilliant, sweeping move
Image: Moussa Sissoko crashes in Tottenham's third after a brilliant, sweeping move

"If the game was tomorrow, we would play them with six points difference. It would be a fantastic situation to play them - but we play them at the end of December so we have to keep as close as possible - but we have a lot to work on and a lot to improve."

Meanwhile, Bournemouth have lost three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2018 (a run of four).

The Cherries have slipped to 12th in the table, but Howe will take confidence from the manner in which his side staged a spirited fightback in the final 20 minutes.

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Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says his team left themselves with a mountain to climb after going 3-0 down in their 3-2 defeat to Tottenham.

Despite the victory, Tottenham conceded 20 shots against Bournemouth, last conceding more at home in a Premier League game in September 2015 against Manchester City when they faced 22.

"Right now I think it is pure disappointment, frustration at what happened today," Howe said following the defeat.

"But the spirit is there, you can see it again in the comeback today, similar to Wolves last week down to ten men in a difficult scoreline we fought brilliantly last week, and we did again today.

"So, I think there's the contrasting emotions really. I think we know what we are capable of, but we need to start to show on a consistent basis, even today you could see the good bits and bad bits even in 90 minutes. So our challenge is to try and deliver that more consistently throughout the game."

What's next?

Tottenham travel to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday (kick-off: 7.30pm). Meanwhile, Bournemouth will return to London to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Tuesday at the same kick-off time.

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