Dele Alli Claims His Middle Finger Gesture Was Just Banter With Kyle Walker

If you say so mate

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Though England did managed to beat Slovakia last night, they didn't make it look quite as easy as you might have hoped.

A fairly dry qualifier enjoyed its most thrilling moment when Dele Alli reacted to Martin Skrtel serving him a heavy tackle with the universal gesture for **** ***.

Having been unjustly ignored by the ref over the incident, Alli appeared to direct his pre-watershed middle finger at the official when he wasn't looking.

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Classic banter that, and banter which of course Twitter dot com enjoyed a little too much.

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The excuse? It wasn't directed at the poor old ref at all but teammate Kyle Walker.

After the match Gareth Southgate said: "Dele and Kyle Walker were messing about and Dele made the gesture towards Kyle. They have a strange way of communicating."

Alli also denied the finger was for the ref, though not everyone was convinced.

Lee Dixon pointed out that, "If the ref has seen it and it is in his report then he's in trouble. The referee's got a view of him walking towards him and if he's looking at that, and I'm pretty sure he says something when he gets substituted, there's a little chat going on there."

If Alli were to receive a three game ban for his antics he may miss the first game of the World Cup. Costly bit of banter, that.