Tim Sherwood defends Gary Neville despite backlash over Harry Kane claim

Tim Sherwood has insisted that Harry Kane did not cheat to win a penalty in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

Villa defender Matty Cash was adjudged to have fouled Kane in the penalty area after sliding in to block a cross and the England captain scored the resulting spot kick.

The goal ensured that Spurs came away with a much-needed victory after their disappointing Europa League exit in midweek but the penalty decision sparked some debate, with Gary Lineker claiming it was “never a penalty” and that Kane was “a tad unscrupulous”.

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville came in for criticism from Liverpool fans after saying Kane was “cute” in winning the penalty.

Harry Kane won a penalty after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Aston Villa full-back Matty Cash in Tottenham’s 2-0 win on Sunday

On co-commentary for Sky Sports, Neville said: “Well, he’s miscontrolled it and the ball is going out of play. He makes a mess of it and runs past it. I think he’s looking for the fact that Cash just slides in.

“In the end, it’s cute from Kane. Some won’t like it… but naivety [from Cash], when you go down in the box and don’t get the ball, you’ve no chance.”

Kane scored the resulting spot kick

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Liverpool fans were not happy with Neville’s commentary, saying he had been critical of Mohamed Salah for winning penalties in a similar way this season.

However, Sherwood agrees with Neville’s assessment, telling talkSPORT : “Clever play, that is. He’s bought the contact. He’s waited for him. We’ve seen him do it earlier on in the season, with Adam Lallana when he ran into the back of him.

“He was looking at him, checking that he’s coming, making sure he’s staying in the penalty area. He initiates the contact. There’s contact and he’s entitled to go down. It’s not cheating. It’s very, very clever play.

“Matty Cash slides in to block the cross and Harry leans in and protects the ball, so he says, ‘If you want to win this, you’ve got to come through me’. And he takes him out.”

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