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Spurs v Brighton, 01.11.20

PREMIER LEAGUE
SUNDAY 1ST NOVEMBER, 2020
(7.15pm)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(1) BRIGHTON 1(0)

Spurs scorers:-
Kane (pen), 13
Bale, 73

Brighton scorer:-
Lamptey, 56

Attendance:- 0

Referee:- Graham Scott
Assistants:- Simon Long, Tim Wood
Fourth official:- Simon Hooper
VAR:- Jonathan Moss
Assistant VAR:- Nick Hopton.

Teams:-
Spurs (4-2-1-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Ndombele (sub Lo Celso, 64); Lamela (sub Bale, 70), Kane, Son (sub Davies, 85)

Subs not used:- Hart; Rodon; Winks; Lucas Moura

Booked:- Ndombele (foul on Lamptey), Reguilon (foul on Gross)

Brighton (3-4-3):- Sanchez; Webster (Capt.), Veltman, Burn; Lamptey (sub Mac Allister, 79), White, Bissouma, March (sub Bernardo, 65); Lallana, Trossard (sub Welbeck, 74), Gross

Subs not used:- Ryan; Alzate, Propper; Zeqiri

Booked:- Burn (foul on Lamela)

The Real connection takes us to second place!

Three years ago on this very night, Spurs beat the mighty Real Madrid 3-1 (Ronaldo et al) at Wembley on one of their many great European nights in front of 83,782 fans. The two players we acquired from Real Madrid in the latest window were responsible for the winning goal which took us into second place in the Premier League. Gareth Bale was not in the Real squad that night, and Sergio Reguilon was playing a second eleven game away to Celta Vigo. The headline writers have licence tonight because Gareth Bale scored that winning goal which was his first in his second spell at Spurs and therefore his first Spurs goal since May 2013. Left-footed Reguilon provided the excellent cross with his right foot.

The winning goal is only part of the story. VAR was involved in both the other goals. Firstly after Harry Kane cleverly invited a foul by his former England team-mate Adam Lallana which occurred right on the line of the penalty area. Referee Graham Scott gave a free kick, but VAR upgraded that to a penalty. In the second half Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was clearly fouled in the build-up to Brighton’s equaliser (a first goal for right wing-back Lamptey) but Mr. Scott saw no offence and allowed play to continue. He was invited by VAR Jon Moss to review the incident, and took a long time over that, but stood by his decision. At that stage it looked as if Spurs might make a hash of their chance to go second but all was well in the end.

Two of those goals against Real Madrid three years ago had been scored by Dele Alli, who didn’t make Jose Mourinho’s 18. Nor did Aurier, Sanchez, Bergwijn or Vinicius. Of course there was no crowd at tonight’s game and with another Covid-19 lockdown being imposed, the prospect of “being there” looks ever-distant.

Brighton manager Graham Potter surprised a few with his selection with usual number one keeper Mathew Ryan standing down in favour of 22-year-old Robert Sanchez making his debut. Neal Maupay didn’t make the squad. Nor did Aaron Connolly, the scorer of two goals in October last year when the “Seagulls” beat us at the Amex Stadium and Hugo Lloris was injured.

Each game this weekend has been preceded by silence for Remembrance Day (next week), and the players have also remembered European and World Cup winner Nobby Stiles, whose passing was announced on Friday. Premier League players are also still "taking a knee" in support of the Black Lives Matter continuing campaign.

THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!

THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!

Brighton kicked off, playing towards the South Stand. Hojbjerg gave Tariq Lamptey, who has impressed since his debut last season for Brighton, an early frightener. Spurs did start brightly and an early move featured Son in a central position passing to Lamela to his left. Lamela sent in a beautiful cross going through the danger zone and almost reaching Harry Kane near the back post. Brighton managed to clear though. Next up Son passed inside from the left of the area to Reguilon inside him. Sergio hit a good rising shot which Sanchez pushed over for a corner. That was taken by Son, to no good effect. Son won a second corner with a cross from the left.

The first goal followed a move led by Ndombele, showing skill in the middle at this stage. He passed to Son, who fed Lamela on his left. Lamela’s ball in was half cleared towards the edge of the area where Kane took a couple of glances and saw Lallana coming, “cleverly” winning a foul and ultimately a penalty which he fired to the left of Sanchez (who went right) for club goal number 199. Son had a right foot shot go way off target, and we didn’t see much more of Spurs going forward in this half.

Brighton were winning more possession and Spurs seemed to be letting them come on to their territory. Lamptey, White, Lallana and Trossard were prominent names in their attacks. VAR reviewed a potential penalty when Doherty dangerously had an arm around Trossard, but not for long enough to have been the cause of Trossard going down and protesting to the referee.

Spurs frustrated me often and a typical example was having a free kick near the half-way line, but passing it backwards, before losing the ball where they could have hit it forward in the first place! Oh, I wish I was a coach….

Lamela was fouled just outside the box on the right-hand side by Burn, who was shown a card. Lamela tried an audacious shot on goal from this ridiculous angle and of course failed.

Both Ndombele and Reguilon had been booked in the first half. Ndombele’s booking came very early. That was for a foul on Lamptey. I told you Jose would have a plan for the impressive youngster. Ndombele had to play safe after that, and he also was beaten for pace through the middle a couple of times. I wanted him replaced earlier than he eventually was.

Spurs kicked off the second half and within three minutes after a free kick, Kane lifted a ball into thee area for Son, who went down under Veltman’s challenge, but he was not getting a penalty for that.

Hojbjerg seemed to twist his ankle at our end, and needed treatment, before the incident in which he was fouled but play continued with Spurs players confused. Gross passed to Lamptey towards the right of the box and he scored his first senior goal with a well-placed shot across Lloris’s right hand. The goal stood after that lengthy VAR delay. Mr. Scott isn’t scoring very highly in the early post-match survey results!

Ndombele was replaced by Lo Celso, who was quite industrious. Brighton’s Solly March was replaced by Bernardo. Lo Celso fed a ball to Lamela who came in from right of centre before hitting a 25-yard shot which rebounded off the post. Veltman’s reactive strike would have been an own goal if not for a good reaction save from Sanchez, who had been diving for Lamela’s shot. Lamela was then replaced by Gareth Bale, who played towards the right flank.

Spurs had a corner on the right taken by Lo Celso and touched on by Bale to Harry Kane who was very close to the back post which he hit with his reactive shot. Bale had that magical winning goal within three minutes and twenty seconds of coming on the pitch. Toby Alderweireld had hit a magnificent long pass from the right to Reguilon, who was outside the left of the Brighton area. Reguilon cut back and quickly crossed with a nice weight to Bale who was able to direct his header past Sanchez to the keeper’s right. It was Gareth’s 43rd Premier League goal for Spurs and his 56th in total for the club.

Lamptey was injured and ultimately had to replaced. Danny Welbeck, who had recently been signed by Brighton after he was released by Watford, had replaced Trossard and caused Lloris a problem when Hugo failed to catch a cross with Welbeck threatening. However, the Spurs defence managed to clear. For all their possession after Spurs’ bright start, Brighton had failed to trouble our skipper until this moment.

There was a VAR consideration of handball when the ball hit Eric Dier’s arm (low by his side) inside the area, but no offence was the decision. Lloris was also bothered by a Webster header and just managed to hold the ball on his goal-line.

Three minutes from time, Bale and Lo Celso combined on the right and after Bale’s pass, Lo Celso curled a shot just outside the far post. Spurs managed the six minutes of added time very well. After a trip to Bulgaria we face West Brom in another PPV game next Sunday at 12 noon.

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