Newcastle – Dele Alli warned Premier League provocateurs he won’t be losing his cool this season after the Tottenham star kept his temper in check following Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’s stamp.
Newcastle’s Shelvey was sent off early in the second half at St James’ Park for stepping on Alli’s ankle while the England playmaker was lying on the pitch.
It was the kind of incident that has often provoked a furious response from Alli and landed him in trouble in the past.
But, having been told by Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino to keep his emotions under control, this time Alli didn’t react to Shelvey’s foul.
“We knew it was going to be a physical game. It’s not an easy place to come. It happens sometimes,” Alli said of his clash with Shelvey.
“I’ve been pulled up for my temper before but today we had to keep our cool. There was no need to react today.
“I don’t want to talk about it too much. I’ve had a few talks with the gaffer in the past.
“I’m sure Shelvey will be disappointed. It was important we stayed professional.”
Alli was rewarded for his composure as Shelvey was dismissed, sparking Tottenham’s 2-0 victory in their Premier League opener.
Fittingly, it was Alli who opened the scoring with a clinical finish from Christian Eriksen’s sublime pass before Ben Davies wrapped up the points.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez revealed former Liverpool midfielder Shelvey had apologised to his team-mates for the rush of blood that cost his newly promoted team their chance of a shock win.
“The sending off changed everything. He made a mistake,” Benitez said.
“Hopefully he will learn from it. He has apologised but that changes nothing now.”