England 2 – Slovakia 1
England took a giant stride to World Cup qualification on Monday night, in front of a disappointing crowd at Wembley.
Marcus Rashford was very much the main protagonist in the match – after his mistake allowed Slovakia to grab a surprise early opener.
The Manchester United attacker set up Eric Dier for the equaliser before half-time. And, in the second half, Rashford lashed home to secure his redemption and the 2-1 win.
The Dele Alli controversy
Whilst it was a huge win for England, and Gareth Southgate labelled the victory as his best since becoming Three Lions manager, one incident has marred the World Cup qualifier.
With just under 15 minutes remaining in the match and with England 2-1 up, Dele Alli was clearly seen on camera flipping his middle finger.
Initially, the Dele Alli gesture was picked up on social media and created quite a furore online.
There remains the suggestion that the Spurs attacker could also face an international ban for his actions as well.
The Dele Alli excuse
After the World Cup qualifier, Dele Alli and England manager Gareth Southgate confirmed who the gesture was aimed at: Kyle Walker.
Dele posted the following message on his Twitter account: “Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker! Apologies for any offence caused! Great win 2nite”.
Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker! Apologies for any offence caused! Great win 2nite
— Dele (@dele_official) September 4, 2017
Both Dele and Southgate were initially ridiculed for this excuse, with many claiming it was aimed at the referee or a Slovakia player.
However, on ITV on Monday night, they proved, with the aid of some camera work and some nifty graphics, that the gesture was indeed aimed at Kyle Walker.
Whether this is enough to get Dele out of trouble with FIFA remains to be seen…
Is this the angle that shows Dele Alli was gesturing to Kyle Walker and not the referee? pic.twitter.com/bAiT9lWWiW
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) September 5, 2017
Dele Alli on Instagram after England 2 – Slovakia 1