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Arsenal should be grateful for Alli's 'professional' reaction - Pochettino

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Arsenal should be grateful Dele Alli did not overreact to being hit on the head by a bottle thrown from the stands during their EFL Cup encounter on Wednesday.

Alli put Tottenham 2-0 up in the quarter-final clash at Emirates Stadium before the hour and was struck by the missile hurled from the crowd in the 73rd minute.

The England international responded with a '2-0' gesture to the Arsenal supporters and after the match said it made his goal and the win "a little bit sweeter".

Pochettino praised Alli for keeping his cool when the incident occurred and suggested it could have been a much bigger deal if a different type of player had been involved.

"I think it was an amazing reaction. In another country, maybe the player goes down on the pitch and creates a big problem," the Spurs boss told a news conference ahead of Sunday's match against Everton.

"Dele was so honest and professional. He behaved really, really, really well. His behaviour was top. I think the Arsenal people, the club, must be grateful with him because maybe in a different situation the player can go down and create a massive problem and that would be very difficult to manage for the referee, for the people there.

"Sometimes people criticised him in the past in some actions during the game, but it's good now to praise him because his behaviour was top.

"He's more mature now but still he's a kid, he's so young. But he's so clever and he's more mature – it's a normal process.

"I hate this type of situation. I know Arsenal are going to take the responsibility and fix that problem, but we need to praise Dele because his behaviour was fantastic."

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In a statement issued on Thursday, Arsenal confirmed they have identified an image of the suspect and are working with the Metropolitan Police to apprehend them.

Omnisport understands Alli will face no punishment from the Football Association for his gesture and the governing body is unlikely to sanction Arsenal either.

When the subject of a potential stadium closure was raised, Pochettino said: "I think it's not fair that Arsenal or the fans pay for one person.

"It's so important one person cannot create a mess in a club like Arsenal and Arsenal is going to take a big decision and responsibility and is going to fix it. In the future it's only people that behave.

"Celebrate and support your team, but in the right way. It's also so dangerous, if the bottle hit his eyes we are talking about a very serious thing."