By James Dale
Last Updated: 18/06/18 11:56pm
Dele Alli hopes the quad injury he suffered in England’s late 2-1 win over Tunisia in their World Cup opener is not too serious.
The 22-year-old appeared to pull up with a muscle problem in the first half, with Fabian Delph stripped and seemingly ready to come on.
England went ahead early through Harry Kane but were rocked by a Tunisia equaliser from the penalty spot 10 minutes before half-time.
Manager Gareth Southgate kept Alli on for 80 minutes as he felt the midfielder was “still causing a problem” for Tunisia as England went in search of a winner – which eventually came in the 91st minute when Kane headed in his second.
“Hopefully I am OK,” Alli said after the game. “It’s my quad.”
Alli will have the quad issue assessed upon England’s return to the team base in Repino.
Southgate insisted the England coaching team were keeping tabs on Alli throughout the game, with their next match on Sunday against Panama.
“We had to keep monitoring Dele,” Southgate said.
“He was feeling a little bit of an issue just before half-time, but he felt he could carry on and I thought the runs that he was making and the way he was pressing the ball was still causing a problem.
“He had a half chance with a lovely ball Jordan Henderson played to him, lofted over the top.
“But we have good options on the bench and we felt to put the freshness of Marcus (Rashford) and Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) would both bring fresh energy but also a different sort threat to the one that we’d posed.”
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