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Spurs v Brighton, 16.04.22

PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 16TH APRIL, 2022
(12.30pm)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0) BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 1(0)

Scorer:-
Trossard, 90

Attendance:- 58,685

Referee:- Craig Pawson
Assistants:- Ian Hussin, Dan Robathan
Fourth official:- Tony Harrington
VAR:- Lee Mason
Assistant VAR: Constantine Hatzidakis

Teams:-
Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Romero, Dier, Davies; Emerson Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur (sub Winks, 72), Reguilon; Kulusevski (sub Lucas Moura, 64), Kane, Son (sub Bergwijn, 88)

Subs not used:- Gollini; Sanchez, Rodon, Sessegnon, Lavinier (no. 57); White

Booked:- Kulusevski (foul on Cucurella), Bentancur (foul on Bissouma), Emerson Royal (foul on Trossard)

Brighton (3-5-1-1):- Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk (Capt.), Cucurella; Lamptey (sub March, 82), Gross, Bissouma, Caicedo (sub Lallana, 78), Trossard; Mac Allister, Mwepu (sub Welbeck, 46)

Subs not used:- Steele; Webster; Offiah, Sarmiento; Ferguson, Maupay

Booked:- Mwepu (foul on Reguilon), Bissouma (foul on Kane), Sanchez (time)

Brighton fans sang “North London is ours!”

Spurs v Brighton, 16.04.22

After Leandro Trossard scored Brighton’s 90th minute winner in front of the away fans they joyously sang, “North London is ours!” And so it was, after they beat Arsenal last week to put us in pole position in the race for fourth place. This week, Graham Potter’s game plan and the effort put in by his players was better than that of Antonio Conte and far better than the effort put in by our lack-lustre stars, who perhaps should not have had two days off after that win at Villa Park last week. In particular, perhaps our talisman Harry Kane should not have gone on his one-day jolly jaunt to Augusta, Georgia to see the conclusion of last week’s Masters Golf Tournament. It’s easy to be wise after the event, and the bottom line is that “The Seagulls” thoroughly deserved their win which put them on the magic figure of 40 points. They just need to win a home league game now, which they have yet to do this year.

Brighton’s win ended a few sequences. Spurs won four consecutive games and five of their last six. They had also scored in those games, although Harry Kane has now not scored in the four games since we won away to Brighton one month ago to the day. Spurs had won eight consecutive home games against Brighton in all competitions, including all four Premier League meetings. Brighton's last top-flight away victory at Spurs came at White Hart Lane in October 1981. The Seagulls have lost 12 of their last 17 matches with Tottenham. Their three wins in that period all came at home. This was a record sixth top flight away win in a season for Brighton.

The Spurs team and formation was very predictable (perhaps that’s a problem) with Sergio Reguilon starting, having replaced the injured Matt Doherty last week. Another young player was given his chance on the bench. This was 21-year-old right back Marcel Lavinier, who was on Chelsea’s books before he came to Tottenham two seasons ago.

Brighton’s formation has sometimes been difficult to decipher in recent games, but it appeared to be a 3-5-1-1 with the wing-backs prepared to help in defence, but also getting forward to good effect. Basically, Brighton swamped the midfield, challenged Spurs high as they persistently tried to play out from the back, often to the frustration of the home crowd. Spurs on the other hand failed to challenge Brighton in their half and too often allowed them the time and space to move forward. This luxury was not afforded to Spurs by the visitors. Over the course of the game, Brighton had 12 shots as opposed to our 5. We didn’t muster one shot on target for the whole game. That hasn’t happened for a while. Brighton tended to be more subtle with their fouls on our players. Referee Craig Pawson (allegedly not a Spurs fan as he got upset with our late winner at Man City when he was fourth official) seemed to allow a lot of Brighton’s rougher stuff, whilst he always punished our less subtle fouls.

The game was played in glorious spring sunshine. Brighton kicked off and played towards the South Stand. In the first minute of the game, Harry Kane received the ball inside the Brighton half and hit a speculative long shot which passed wide. Thereafter, Spurs were on the back foot for too much of the time and Emerson Royal cleared up at the back after an uncharacteristic error by Cristian Romero. Three Brighton players had threatened Lloris’s goal.

Son lost out to a couple of strong challenges by the Brighton defence. Cucurella made a good win of a ball off Kane. Kane had a collision with Dunk, who went down without the trainer coming on. The referee gave no foul against either player. A Lamptey clearance was returned to the danger zone by Bentancur, but Kane’s effort was blocked. Spurs had a little pressure at this stage, winning several consecutive corners, with no return.

After a Brighton free kick and a cross by Lamptey, Mwepu just failed in his attempt to convert the cross. Spurs blocked the shot, but soon returned the ball and conceded a free kick. Mwepu was booked for a foul on Reguilon, but Spurs failed to make any headway. A corner by Gross from the left was dangerous, but there was an offside in Spurs’ favour. Lloris hadn’t truly been tested as yet either in a game which was struggling to get the pulses racing.

Kane tried to work a chance for himself, challenging Sanchez in his goal area for a high ball, but the keeper came off best. Kane could be seen hobbling for a while after this encounter. Ben Davies seemed to take a boot in the face from Mwepu, but there was no card in relation to the clear foul. In first half added time, Mwepu hit a shot on target and Lloris had to pick up.

Mwepu was replaced by Welbeck in the second half. Kane took a quick throw-in on the left and Son managed to lift the ball away from the defender and create a chance for his left-foot shot which was blocked. We did have a good attacking move down the left flank which ended with a ball to Son (possibly by Reguilon). Son’s shot was blocked and ran to Bentancur, but his shot was off target.

Welbeck had a right foot shot from the left side of the area which actually ran out of play for throw-in on the far side. The great Bobby Charlton used to do that sometimes! Spurs managed to give the ball away after their throw near the corner flag. Caicedo got into our area near the bye-line and Emerson managed to block. After the corner a cross by Trossard was blocked by Davies, with the ball running to Lloris.

Neither Bentancur or Hojbjerg were on their game and Hojbjerg gave a ball away allowing Mac Allister a shot which thankfully passed over the target. Kulusevski was not putting himself on the map and both he and Bentancur were replaced by Lucas Moura and Winks. Spurs just did not seem to find the energy to create danger for the visitors who gained more and more confidence.

Trossard tried to play in Caicedo, but Hugo raced out to reach the ball first. At last, Hojbjerg showed some spark up front and after good work in the middle he sent a good ball to the left of goal where Reguilon just failed to get the necessary contact. Lucas Moura made a run deep into the area on the other side, but his cross was held by Sanchez. Quite naturally, Brighton tried to slow the game down at every opportunity, especially Sanchez. They also spent more time on the floor after challenges than seemed justified, and whilst the referee added some time, it didn’t seem to be enough. On the other hand, Spurs might not have scored on this day hours later!

Spurs were under some pressure when Eric Dier was down injured having challenged outside the area. Brighton had men over on the right of our box, but Welbeck headed over following a Lamptey cross. Lamptey was soon replaced by Solly March. Romero soon had to come to our rescue after March put in a dangerous cross with almost his first touch. Hugo saved Lewis Dunk’s header from the ensuing corner.

Time was running out for Spurs and Brighton were looking the more likely winners. Trossard had a shot go wide of Hugo’s right post and scored in the 90th minute following pressure on our right side, before hitting a low shot across Lloris hitting the net inside Hugo’s left post. VAR pondered a possible offside, but the goal stood. Five added minutes was never going to be enough for Spurs to score, although our third substitute Bergwijn had a half-chance following Kane’s ball, but Steven could not shoot effectively.

The only consolation for us at the end of the day was a third consecutive defeat for Arsenal. This one was administered by Southampton, so it is “as you were” regarding our nemesis, but Manchester United did win their game with another Ronaldo hat-trick. Spurs have another tricky game next week away to in-form Eriksen-inspired Brentford, but we have to win this top four place by our own efforts and not the failings of others.

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