Nabil Bentaleb has hit back at Sam Allardyce’s claim that the Tottenham Hotspur players are divers, telling Standard Sport that “sometimes you just have to shut your mouth and not complain”.
Allardyce saw his West Ham United side lose a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at White Hart Lane on Sunday lunchtime, with Tottenham’s Harry Kane netting a last-gasp equaliser after seeing his initial penalty saved.
The in-form striker had won the 95th-minute spot-kick after a foul from Alex Song, but the Hammers boss was less than impressed, taking a dig at their London rivals in his post-match interview.
“You can argue whether Alex Song has made enough contact for Harry Kane to go down, but when you're desperate like Tottenham are, you get touched and the player is going to fall over,” Allardyce told BBC Sport.
"Maybe we should be more like Tottenham - we stay on our feet. They're so lucky today.”
But Bentaleb has defended the Spurs squad and even suggested that West Ham’s Mark Nobe was fortunate to escape a red card after fouling the Algerian midfielder himself.
“He can say whatever he wants and I can understand if he’s a little bit angry because we scored in the last minute,” he said. “But it’s not true. There is no doubt it was a penalty.
“If he wants to argue we could also say Mark Noble should have had a second booking when he fouled me in the second half. But this is football. Sometimes the referee makes decisions and you just have to shut your mouth and not complain.”
Despite the late comeback, Tottenham are now winless in three since their 2-1 home win over Arsenal earlier this month, with the club dropping below Liverpool into seventh in the Premier League table after their fellow top-four contenders sealed three points at Southampton.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are facing a run of six games in 17 days with both the second-leg of their Europa League last-32 tie at Fiorentina and Carling Cup final against Chelsea to come this week, but Bentaleb believes the squad is strong enough to cope with the fixture pile up.
“We have big chances in both competitions,” he added. “We have a large squad, we have the qualities to play well in this competition and I think we want to prove that.
“The positive thing we can take from the West Ham game is that we believed until the end and once again we scored in the last minute and managed to get a point.”