THE NOTEBOOK:  Dele Alli makes a surprise return to Tottenham

THE NOTEBOOK: Dele Alli makes a surprise return to Tottenham, Dimitar Berbatov sports Elvis-style quiff and new rule saves Cristian Romero

  • Manchester United were furious after being denied a penalty for handball
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Ange Postecoglou oversaw a thrilling first win as Tottenham manager with 2-0 victory over Manchester United.

Pape Sarr’s strike and a Lisandro Martinez own goal settled a pulsating Premier League clash on Saturday night.

Even by Spurs’ standards this has been a chastening year, with their struggles in the second half of last season compounded by homegrown star Harry Kane’s recent switch to Bayern Munich.

But former Celtic boss Postecoglou has brought new hope to Tottenham and his entertaining, new-look side sealed a fine 2-0 win thanks to Sarr’s effort and a late Martinez own goal.

Mail Sport’s Gerry Cox shares some of the more unusual talking points.

Former Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli watched the Manchester United game on Saturday

Dele back at Spurs

Dele Alli made a surprise return to Spurs, sitting in the executive seats just behind the press box. 

The former Tottenham midfielder, who has yet to play for Everton this season while he recovers from hip surgery, gave an emotional interview last month when he talked about his troubled background and addiction to sleeping tablets. 

But he looked back to his old self as he posed for selfies with fans, and was smiling afterwards after an entertaining win for his old side. 

“It’s nice to be back and I enjoyed watching that,” he said as he made his way to the Spurs dressing room.

Berbatov sports Elvis-style quiff

Dimitar Berbatov was another guest of honour at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium for the match between two of his former clubs. 

The Bulgarian, who was starting to go thin on top when he was at Spurs 17 years ago, looked resplendent with a full head of hair and even sported an Elvis-style quiff. 

One member of the media quipped: “I’d love to get a hair transplant like his!”

Premier League’s new guidelines on handball saved Tottenham defender Cristian Romero

New rule saves Romero

The Premier League’s new guidelines on handball saved Cristian Romero when the Spurs defender handled a shot from Alejandro Garnacho midway through the first half. 

The ball clearly struck Romero’s outstretched arm, but referee Michael Oliver waved play on, and VAR Craig Pawson did not feel there had been a clear and obvious error, citing the proximity of the player and ball – suggesting it had travelled too short a distance to be considered deliberate.

Warm reception for Eriksen

Tottenham’s summer signings were paraded on the pitch to great applause shortly before kick-off. 

James Maddison got the biggest roar, but there was acclaim for Micky van de Ven, Guglielmo Vicario, Detiny Udogie, and Manor Solomon. 

There was also warm applause when former Spurs favourite Christian Eriksen, one of United’s substitutes, started warming up on the touchline.

Van de Beek future in doubt

Erik Ten Hag named two goalkeepers among his nine substitutes, limiting his options from the bench. 

New striker Rasmus Hojlund is still injured (and sorely missed on this showing), Harry Maguire was reported as injured after turning down a move to West Ham earlier in the week, but there was also no sign of Donny Van de Beek, which does not bode well for his future at Manchester United.

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