February 27, 2018 / 11:47 AM / 24 days ago

Soccer: Dier defends Tottenham team mate Alli over diving accusations

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier has defended team mate Dele Alli after he was criticised for diving in Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - October 28, 2017 Tottenham's Dele Alli and Eric Dier applaud fans after the match REUTERS/Andrew Yates

Midfielder Alli claimed a penalty after going down under a challenge from defender Patrick van Aanholt. He went to ground again near goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey later in the match but neither incident led to a penalty or a booking for Alli.

England international Alli, who was booked for diving against Huddersfield Town and Liverpool this season, came under fire again from television pundits.

“Obviously, because it’s Dele, it probably gets more attention than it deserves,” Dier said.

“It’s difficult sometimes because if you take the action in the game against Liverpool, where he got booked for diving, I was standing right behind him.

“When he’s running towards the ball, he’s taken a touch and it looks like the guy is about to come and take him out. There’s a sense of ‘I need to get out of the way’. If (the opponent) then goes and stops, it’s difficult.”

Dier said the 21-year-old Alli remained affected by the accusations against him.

“That’s the great thing about Dele. I don’t think he pays any attention to it and that’s the most important thing,” Dyer said.

“All he needs to pay attention to is how his team mates feel and how the manager sees him and how his family see him, and the rest really is irrelevant.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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