Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has slammed the decision which saw Dele Alli booked for diving which rules him out of the first leg of the Europa League last 16. The England international was cautioned by Romanian official Ovidiu Hategan after 78 minutes of the win over Fiorentina after seemingly being fouled, but the official felt otherwise.
Alli was fortunate to escape being sent off after kicking out at Fiorentina defender Nenad Tomovicin in the first leg. A second booking in as many games - which takes the 19-year-old's tally for the season to nine - will ensure he is missing when Spurs' European campaign restarts next month.
After cruising through to the next knock-out round, Tottenham will discover their opponents when the draw is made on Friday [26 February] with Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United also in the hat. But the north London club must do without the talented Alli, and Pochettino was left fuming.
"I think like you all the people in the stadium though it wasn't a yellow card," the Tottenham boss told reporters after the 3-0 win. "I think he was fouled. Sometimes the referee can make a mistake and now we will miss him for the first leg.
"We have a strong team and now I think today it is not important. We have now a lot of games ahead and I think that next week we have three very important games before we start to compete in the Europa League again. We have played enough to try to play and perform well for the first leg in the next round."
Ryan Mason, Erik Lamela and an own goal from Gonzalo Rodriguez sent Tottenham through to the round of 16 and marked a fine display which Pochettino's side dominated from the outset. The Argentine boss was impressed by the display which his team completed without breaking sweat - ahead of a gruelling fixture schedule
"Yes I think that it was great, the performance was fantastic," he added. "The job was done and now we are in the next round which is our objective before the game we fully deserved the result and the performance was fantastic. The competition doesn't stop and we need to be ready for Sunday."