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Five times Tottenham's Dele Alli has been accused of diving

Dele Alli is under further scrutiny after England legends Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer were among those to accuse him of diving again in Tottenham's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Alli's tumble over Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was his third controversial incident in February alone and at least the fifth time he has been accused of simulation this season.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino and Alli's teammates Harry Kane and Eric Dier have said there is too much focus on the 21-year-old, but no Premier League player has been booked for simulation more times than Alli (3) since his Spurs debut in summer 2015.

ESPN FC takes a look at the incidents that have led to the criticism.

vs. Huddersfield (0-4), Sept. 30, 2017

Pochettino admitted Alli "needs to learn" and improve his on-field behaviour after the midfielder was booked for simulation in a routine win at Huddersfield. Through on goal, Alli threw himself to the ground despite replays showing there was no contract with Terriers' goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.

"This type of action does not help him, does not help the club and does not help football," Pochettino said afterwards. "We are talking these last few years about fair play and being honest. He has improved a lot but still there is that little bit he must learn."

Former England striker Alan Shearer said Alli was "blatantly trying to cheat."

vs. Burnley (0-3), Dec. 23, 2017

Two days before Christmas, Alli was the pantomime villain after being booked for a rash early challenge before he was felled by Kevin Long for Kane's seventh minute opener from the penalty spot. The Burnley fans, convinced he had dived, jeered him throughout.

Alli certainly seemed to anticipate contact from Long but there was little doubt he was caught and Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager, was more concerned about his "orange card" tackle than a possible dive.

Afterwards, former England midfielder Steven Gerrard concluded: "Dele has been a bit clever but you would be in this situation. He's bound to go down."

vs. Liverpool (2-2), Feb. 4, 2018

Alli's dive at Anfield, flinging himself to the deck after no contact from Dejan Lovren, finally elicited Pochettino's true feelings on the subject, with the Spurs manager claiming simulation was a simple case of football trickery -- but admitting Alli deserved to be booked by Jon Moss.

"That is the football I was in love with when I was a child," the Argentine said. "Football is about trying to trick your opponent."

Alli received widespread criticism for the dive, although Dier said his teammate was only guilty of anticipating contact before it came. The game ended in more controversy after both Kane and Erik Lamela were accused of further dives, as two late penalties helped Spurs to a draw.

Dele Alli has been criticised for going to ground too easily.

vs. Rochdale (2-2), Feb. 18, 2018

Rochdale boss Keith Hill suggested Alli had dived to win the penalty that almost knocked his side out of the FA Cup but said he "won't hold it against" the England international if he does similar at this summer's World Cup.

"I'm led to believe he's looking for it but we get too involved in controversy," Hill said after Alli went down under pressure from Harrison McGahey. Replays suggested Alli was clearly caught by the Rochdale defender, even if he knew the tackle was coming.

Kane scored from the spot to give Spurs a late 2-1 lead, only for Steve Davis to equalise in stoppage-time.

vs. Crystal Palace (0-1), Feb. 25, 2018

Shearer again accused Alli of a "blatant dive", while Lineker dubbed him "Divey Alli' after the Spurs player tumbled under a challenge from Hennessey. Earlier, Alli had gone to grown after a clash with Patrick van Aanholt, who confronted him as the players left the pitch, amid widespread boos for Alli. Afterwards, both Palace manager Roy Hodgson and Pochettino defended Alli.

Replays suggested he had been kicked by Van Aanholt, although he seemed to be on the way down before making contract with Hennessey. He was not booked for either incident.

"He is an easy target and is surrounded," Pochettino said. "Sometimes other players are worse than him and nothing happens because Dele is an easy target."

Hodgson added: "I don't think he was looking for a penalty and I never expected the referee to blow for a penalty."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


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