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Dele Alli sorry for rude gesture as England inch past Slovakia

05 September, 2017 — By Paul Cowling

ENGLAND 2 SLOVAKIA 1
World Cup Qualifying Group F

DELE Alli has apologised on social media after making an offensive gesture during England’s 2-1 victory over Slovakia at Wembley last night (Monday).

The Tottenham midfielder says his middle-finger gesture during the World Cup qualifying win was aimed at team-mate Kyle Walker.

Television pictures showed Alli gesturing in the 77th minute of the match after the 21-year-old was denied a free-kick following a tackle from Martin Skrtel.

“Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker! Apologies for any offence caused! Great win 2nite,” Alli tweeted.

FIFA may choose to also review the incident with Alli facing possible retrospective action, depending on what French referee Clement Turpin includes in his report.

England coach Gareth Southgate played down ‘gesturegate’.

“I’ve not seen it, but I’ve been made aware of it. Kyle (Walker) and Deli were mucking about, and Dele’s made a gesture to Kyle,” he said.

Meanwhile Southgate had nothing but praise for Marcus Rashford after the Manchester United striker made up for an early goal gaffe by scoring the winner at Wembley. Rashford had tried to dribble out from his own penalty area just minutes into the match, but was caught in possession by a maruading trio of Slovak players.

Stanislav Lobotka bundled Rashford off the ball before playing a one-two with Adam Nemec. Lobotka then neatly controlled the return pass before deftly clipping the ball past a Joe Hart.

But Rashford showed his character as he battled back to put in a man-of-the-match performance, capped by scoring a spectacular winner on 59 minutes when his swerving, long range drive nestled in the left hand corner of the net.

Rashford had also had a hand in the equaliser, taking the corner that saw Spurs man Eric Dier ran in unmarked to neatly flick the ball into the net.

“I am really pleased,” said Southgate. “This was a good experience to go through. We showed good resilience and a good reaction. “Marcus has such a mature character, and has no fear of the occasion.”

ENGLAND: Hart; Walker, Jones, Cahill, Bertrand; Dier, Henderson; Rashford (Welbeck, 84), Alli (Livermore, 90), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Sterling, 83); Kane Attendance: 67,823

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