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Brighton v Spurs, 16.03.22

PREMIER LEAGUE
WEDNESDAY 16TH MARCH, 2022
(7.30pm)
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(1)

Scorers:-
Romero, 37
Kane, 57

Attendance:- 31,144

Referee:- Robert Jones
Assistants:- Darren Cann, Derek Eaton
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
VAR:- Lee Mason
Assistant VAR:- Matthew Wilkes.

Teams:-
Brighton (4-2-3-1):- Sanchez; Veltman (sub Moder, 78),Duffy, Dunk (Capt.), Cucurella; Gross (sub Lamptey, 78), Bissouma (sub Welbeck, 62); March, Mac Allister, Trossard; Maupay

Subs not used:- Steele; Caicedo, Alzate, Leonard, Sarmiento, Mwepu

Booked:- Maupay (foul on Dier), Veltman (foul on Kane)

Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Romero, Dier, Davies; Doherty (sub Emerson Royal, 80), Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Kulusevski (sub Bergwijn, 90+2), Kane, Son (sub Lucas Moura, 80)

Subs not used:- Gollini; Sanchez, Rodon; Winks, White; Scarlett

Booked:- Reguilon (foul on Mac Allister), Romero (foul on Mac Allister)

Record breaker Kane leads Spurs to another win

Brighton v Spurs, 16.03.22

“We’re winning away, you must be (deleted expletive)” sang some of the Spurs fans after Harry Kane sealed another record with his 95th away goal in the Premier League, surpassing none other than Wayne Rooney, who took a lot more games than Kane to reach his figure of 94. Harry’s goal was his 178th in the Premier League making him clear fifth in the all-time modern-day league scorers’ list ahead of Frank Lampard. The fact is Kane could, and should have added to his tally last night, but he led the line with his usual skill spreading great passes left and right. Brighton had a lot of possession and some pressure on the “steady as a rock” Spurs defence, but they couldn’t muster a shot ln target, which goes a long way to explaining why they have lost 6 successive games. Incidentally, this was our seventh away win of 15 games this season, so that chant was not justified.

Antonio Conte knows how he wants his team to play, and he also knows the specific men he wants to perform the task. He selected an unchanged team, and the squad is stable too. Many years ago, I used to observe how the great continental teams such as Real Madrid moved up and down the pitch as a unit. That is how good teams operate these days, and that is how Conte’s Spurs are trying to play. On a cold, wet and windy night at The AMEX Stadium, mistakes were made all over the pitch by almost every player at one time or another. However, there was plenty of reliable blocking at the back, and by Bentancur and Hojbjerg, both of whom put in unbounded effort. The wing-backs’ success rate is not as high as it could be, but ahead of them, Kulusevski and Kane impressed again.

Spurs kicked off and played away from their fans. There was a degree of pressure upon the Spurs defence after a poor ball by Hojbjerg, but at the end of the day, between them Bentancur and Hojbjerg cleared the ball forward. Kane then had the goal at his mercy after closing down Sanchez and collecting his poor clearance, but uncharacteristically Harry hit his left-foot shot wide across the beckoning goal.

Maupay took an early yellow card for his aerial challenge upon Eric Dier, who needed lengthy treatment and a head bandage before carrying on. Hojbjerg hit a long ball from the left having spotted Doherty’s run beyond the back post, but Doherty’s intended ball for Kulusevski came to nothing. Another Hojbjerg pass gave Kane a chance and he tried a right-footed chip which missed the target.

Bentancur intercepted a Brighton attack hitting a 30 yard back pass over the bar to concede a corner. Trossard had a shot deflected wide by Hojbjerg’s interception midway through the half. Doherty was onto another long pass, this time by Bentancur, but Sanchez cleared. Solly March got the better of our left-side defence passing inside to Mac Allister. His shot was blocked by Dier, and Brighton were making unsuccessful appeals to the referee (Rob Jones). Overall, this referee seemed to adopt a lenient attitude which I think favoured the home side, as both Kane and Kulusevski were subject to heavy tackles for which free kicks were awarded, but no card shown.

A Bissouma shot from outside the area went for a corner after Dier’s intervention. The referee seemed to have “words” with Harry Kane after our hero committed a foul in the middle. After taking a pass from Son (who was in a central position), Ben Davies hit a shot which was deflected for a corner. Spurs took a 37th minute lead after Reguilon passed inside to Son, who in turn fed Kulusevski. Kulusevski’s shot hit the net, going in off Romero, who thus claimed his first Premier League goal.

A Doherty cross was headed clear before Brighton countered through Maupay having a shot blocked and Mac Allister’s follow-up was also half blocked and picked up by Lloris. Both Doherty and Kulusevski had shots blocked. In first half added time, Kane was fouled by Veltman, who was booked. Kane took the free kick which passed over the bar.

Spurs came out early for the second half. Brighton kicked off. A dangerous cross by Cucurella passed across the area before a shot by Trossard was blocked and Brighton had a corner. Brighton seemed to spend a lot of the second period in the Spurs half, but Spurs were confident about their defending, and their ability to counter with threat.

Romero advanced and passed to Son to his left. Son’s right foot shot was blocked. Kane sent Reguilon away with a pivotal pass. Reguilon’s cross reached Kulusevski but his shot was half-blocked and ran easily to Sanchez. Romero added to his yellow card tally following a foul on Mac Allister. Brighton’s free kick from then left led to a corner, after which the Spurs defence scrambled the ball clear.

Spurs countered and Bentancur raced away before making a great pass to Kane to his left. Harry beat Sanchez just inside his right post with an excellent left-footed finish. After wild celebrations, we were on hold as VAR reviewed the goal for a possible offside (so the stadium screen said) but I understand VAR might also have been checking a possible handball when Spurs defended the Brighton corner. The goal was confirmed, and we could celebrate again.

Graham Potter replaced midfielder Bissouma with former Arsenal man Welbeck who was greeted accordingly by Spurs fans. It was during this period of play that Kane and Kulusevski were subjected to particularly strong challenges. Spurs not only managed the closing stages well, but forged several good chances. The margin of victory could so easily have been greater. Kane fed Reguilon with another good pass, and Reguilon probably should have scored, having got into the area. However, Sanchez blocked the shot.

Potter added two more attacking substitutes. One of them, Moder, offered a threat after 83 minutes, but Dier cleared. Hojbjerg broke forward after 87 minutes and sent a good ball to Kane whose shot was subject to a fingertip save by Sanchez. Kane also had a penalty shout turned down as he seemed to be clipped in the box. In added time Hojbjerg had a shot pass over the target after approach play by Kane and Kulusevski. Sanchez saved again from Reguilon after another Kane pass.

Spurs have reclaimed seventh place and drew level with West Ham, who we meet in what should be a humdinger on Sunday.

A final comment has to be made about the sad news we received yesterday regarding the passing of 50s and 60s player Tony Marchi, aged 89. Due to changing rules, Tony was presented with a 1961 Championship winning medal for his part in the squad that season. Marchi played for Spurs before and after playing in Italy. He took the place of the injured Dave Mackay for the 1963 Cup-Winners’ Cup Final. Tony captained Spurs on occasions too. He will be remembered before the West Ham game and the players will wear black armbands in memory of a player who played a great part in our history.

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