Dele Alli: Tottenham need to be 'cleverer' after Arsenal draw
By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 01/09/19 11:18pm
Dele Alli admits Tottenham need to be "cleverer" in the way that they defend after his side squandered a two-goal lead to draw the North London derby.
Christian Eriksen's close-range finish and Harry Kane's penalty were quickly answered by Alexandre Lacazette's left-footed strike during first-half stoppage time, in the 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang then equalised in the 71st minute as Spurs held on for a point against the Gunners.
After one win in four Premier League games this season for Spurs, Alli, who came on as a second-half substitute, believes the result constituted two points dropped for Mauricio Pochettino's side against their local rivals.
"Being 2-0 up we have to be more relentless defensively and a little more mature in the way we played in the second half," Alli told Sky Sports.
"We knew with Arsenal getting the goal before half time they were going to come out and push for the second goal, which does create space for us to counter-attack.
"But at the same time we have to be cleverer with our defending and we're obviously disappointed.
"I think the boys played very well in the first half. Obviously this isn't an easy place to come, you just have to be a bit cleverer with the way you play.
"But we showed great character to not lose in the end because of the amount of possession they had. They are a talented team.
"Obviously we are disappointed but there are a few positives to take."
The England international, 23, enjoyed his first Premier League minutes of the season against the Gunners.
Alli picked up a hamstring injury during preseason which saw him sidelined for Spurs' opening games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Newcastle.
He added: "It felt good to be back today and I'd been doing a lot of hard work in training to ensure I'd come back ready, we were disappointed with the result but it is nice to be back.
"I think we've had some tough games to start. A point away at City is a good one, if you look at today we should've left with three, but it's only a good point if we win the next game."
Tottenham face Crystal Palace on September 14 in their next Premier League encounter, following the international break.