Mauricio Pochettino Del-ighted for Alli on his return to Milton Keynes

Mauricio Pochettino Del-ighted for Alli on his return to Milton Keynes

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was happy to see Dele Alli have a night to remember on his Milton Keynes return.

Alli, who was born in the town and joined Spurs from MK Dons, scored the winning penalty as his side beat Watford 4-2 in a shootout in the Carabao Cup after it ended 2-2 after 90 minutes at Stadium MK.

The England international, captain for the night, also scored from the spot in normal time to ensure a dream homecoming.

Watford had taken the lead 39 seconds into the second half through Isaac Success, but Alli and then Erik Lamela struck in the space of four minutes near the end to put Spurs in front.

Etienne Capoue’s late deflected effort sent it to penalties, where Alli had the decisive say.

“It is so exciting for him,” Pochettino said of Alli. “I gave him the armband because it was so exciting for him to play here in his home town.

“It is difficult for him to have another possibility to play here again in the future in his career and I wanted to provide him a very good feeling.

“He was inspired by the occasion, to play here he was so excited, the energy in the previous day was amazing.

“We can feel here the love that the people feel for him and that was fantastic for us.

“For him it is an experience he will remember for all of his life. To be Tottenham captain and score is a fantastic night for him.”

Spurs were playing at the home of Alli’s former club as their new stadium is not ready and Wembley was not available.

Over 23,000 fans made the journey 50 miles north for the game and Pochettino was grateful.

“I want to say thank you to our fans, they need to be praised by myself on behalf of the players, the staff to come here and offer their support, they made a massive effort.”

Watford’s night turned with the decision to award Spurs a penalty with just 10 minutes to go as Christian Kabasele saw red for hauling down Alli.

And boss Javi Gracia, who made 10 changes to his side, could not understand referee Lee Mason’s decision.

He said: “I am very proud of my players. I think we played very well and I would like to respect the referee’s decision and to support them because I know it is not easy.

“But it is hard to accept, first the penalty and then the red card I don’t understand that decision. I don’t understand why the referee showed the red card. I think we will appeal it.”

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