Interim Tottenham Hotspur coach Cristian Stellini brushed aside chants from Everton fans calling Harry Kane a cheat after his dust-up with Abdoulaye Doucoure saw the Mali international sent off at Goodison Park.

Michael Keane‘s late strike from distance cancelled out Kane’s penalty on 68 minutes in the 1-1 draw, but it was an incident 10 minutes earlier that drew the ire of the Merseyside faithful when the England captain fell to the ground following a swipe to the face from Doucoure.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Fans sang out that Kane was a “cheater,” but Stellini, overseeing his first match as Spurs coach since Antonio Conte left the club, said it was an obvious sending off for Doucoure.

“The fan [reaction] is normal,” Stellini said. “They are unhappy, but in my opinion it was a clear red card. It happens sometimes, it’s normal.”

Stellini seemed more concerned by his side’s inability to see out a game when they had the lead from Kane’s penalty and a man advantage after Doucoure’s red card.

“The approach of the game was good. The only problem?” Stellini said. “When you find the way to score, and you are leading the game 1-0, you have one extra player, you have to be much more lucid in the way you keep the ball.”

The draw against a team which is battling to avoid relegation was a disappointment for Stellini, who watched his team jump out to the lead through Kane’s spot kick after Keane brought down Cristian Romero in the box.

Keane made up for his blunder in emphatic fashion with a blistering goal in injury time, sending Spurs home with just a point in their race for a top-four finish.

“We didn’t lead the game with the ball,” Stellini said. “After the red card, we had the chance to control the game better than we did. And you have to do it with the ball, because you have one extra player and you have to lead the game.

“But sometimes we were rushed and frantic, we have to improve in this aspect. We know very well it’s a long process and we don’t change in one night.”

Tottenham are fourth in the standings with 50 points from 29 games. Newcastle United and Manchester United also have 50 points, but have played two fewer games.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

Source link

Tottenham coach backs Kane after Goodison ‘cheater’ chants