Alli's late leveler avoids further Spurs misery

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli scores its first goal against Watford at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, on Saturday. — Reuters

LONDON — Tottenham Hotspur snatched a 1-1 draw at home to Premier League basement club Watford on Saturday thanks to a fiercely contested late strike from Dele Alli that was awarded after a VAR review.

Alli pounced on a lapse from Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster and used his shoulder to control the ball before firing into the empty net in the 86th minute, cancelling out Abdoulaye Doucoure's sixth-minute opener for the visitors.

Watford, who had had a penalty claim turned down in the first half when Gerard Deulofeu was felled by Jan Vertonghen, claimed Alli had used his arm and complained that Harry Kane had fouled Christian Kabasele before the ball fell to Alli.

Confusion reigned as the screen at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium initially said "No Goal" but it eventually stood, leaving Quique Sanchez Flores' side still without a win after nine Premier League games.

"Of course it's a relief," Alli told reporters after averting another defeat for last season's Champions League runners-up, who have only won three of 12 games in all competitions this term.

"I was sure it didn't hit my hand but then you start thinking did it? I tried to make sure it didn't touch it so I could get the strike away."

Watford scorer Doucoure said his side should feel pleased with their display.

"We are very disappointed at the end of the game. If you don't score the second one you are always under pressure to not concede," he said.

"The performance was very good, we have to take a lot of positives. We had a lot of chances against a top-six team."

Spurs' only chance in a drab first-half display was a tame shot from Alli which was easily saved by Foster.

Embattled Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino turned to Son Heung-min at the start of the second half and the South Korean nearly equalised when he smashed a high shot at goal which Foster turned on to the crossbar.

Spurs looked headed for a third straight defeat following a 7-2 humiliation by Bayern Munich and a 3-0 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion until Foster failed to grab a loose ball and Alli took full advantage.

Tottenham are seventh in the Premier League standings on 12 points after nine games. Watford remained bottom on four points. — Reuters