English Premiership

Tempers flare as Pochettino slams Xavi over Alli comments

2017-04-26 10:59
Mauricio Pochettino (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Mauricio Pochettino accused former Barcelona midfielder Xavi of unsettling star player Dele Alli after the Spanish star said that Alli is the "type of player" wanted by Pep Guardiola at Man City.

Pochettino accused Xavi of doing Manchester City's dirty work and said the former Barca player had "tried to destroy our focus."

Responding in a joking manner over Xavi's comments, Pochettino said the 37-year old, who is now playing in Qatar “lied and cheated” during a 1-0 victory for Guardiola's Barca over his Espanyol team in 2009.

"He's in a period where he loves to talk, he's in Qatar, and listen - he was a Barcelona player, he's my enemy. He tried to destroy our focus to win because he hates me because he's Barcelona - a player, a fan, you know," said Pochettino.

"I know him [Xavi] very well, I played against him a lot and when I was a manager [at Espanyol]. Yesterday, Thierry [Henry] was here and we remembered the game where he [Xavi] cheated the referee. He fell down, it wasn't a penalty, but [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic scored for Barcelona and they won.

"The marking man was Raul Baena, Xavi fell down and said 'penalty.' They gave a penalty. After, in the video [replay], it was very funny because no one touched him and everyone in the media was saying, 'No, no trust me - it was a penalty.' Come on! It goes from lie to lie to lie.

"I don't know what Xavi said but he is working for Manchester City, maybe? He wants to help Guardiola and [club captain Vincent] Kompany."

Earlier, the Spurs boss refused to give any guarantees over Alli’s future at Spurs. Alli, along with Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen have all been linked with moves away from the club this summer.

"I think because we are doing good things, the club with a lot of potential are focused on our players, on our talented players. But it is important, I told you, because my relationship with Daniel Levy is so close - so far! You know the relationship between chairman and manager can change in a moment," he said.

"The good thing is we have the plan to try to improve. And we will deliver it when we finish the season. Like I told you, the players that we want to keep, we will keep.

"Because he [Levy] said to me, 'We don't need money.' If we sell some players it is because we want to sell some players. We will sell players because of the players we want to sign. For our fans, it is so clear that all the decisions we take are for the reason to try to improve the team, try to be more competitive next season."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 31 March 2018
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 13:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 16:00
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Burnley, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v AFC Bournemouth, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester City, Goodison Park 18:30
Sunday, 01 April 2018
Arsenal v Stoke City, Emirates Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Saturday, 07 April 2018
Everton v Liverpool, Goodison Park 13:30
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Newcastle United, King Power Stadium 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.