TOTTENHAM midfielder Dele Alli has vowed to learn from his spat with West Brom’s Claudio Yacob after his season was brought to a premature end by a three-match suspension.
Alli accepted the Football Association charge of violent conduct after television replays showed the 20-year-old punch Yacob in the stomach during the first half of Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with West Brom at White Hart Lane on Monday.
The recently-crowned Professional Footballers’ Association Young Player of the Year contested the standard three-match sanction as “clearly excessive”, a claim that was dismissed following an independent regulatory commission hearing today.
“Gutted that my season is over. Shouldn’t have reacted like I did. Will learn from this and come back stronger,” Alli wrote on Twitter.
Euro 2016 hopeful Alli, who has been involved in more top-flight goals – he has scored 10 and assisted nine – than any other English midfielder this season, will miss Tottenham’s three remaining matches against Chelsea, Southampton and Newcastle.
His ban is the latest blow to Tottenham’s increasingly forlorn bid to rein in Premier League leaders Leicester. The Foxes have a seven-point cushion at the summit and can be crowned champions with victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Even if Leicester lose, Tottenham’s margin for error is minimal. In such circumstances a draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night would just about keep alive their title aspirations, although defeat would end all hope.