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Brighton v Spurs, 08.10.22


Kane, 22

Attendance:- 31,498

Referee:- Tony Harrington
Assistants:- Lee Betts, Marc Perry
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
VAR:- Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR:- Wade Smith.

Brighton (3-4-3):- Sanchez; Veltman (sub Lamptey, 88), Dunk (Capt.), Webster; March, Mac Allister, Caicedo (sub Gilmour,89), Estupinan (sub Mitoma, 67); Gross (sub Lallana, 82), Welbeck, Trossard

Subs not used:- Steele; Colwill, Turns; Sarmiento; Undav

Booked:- Veltman (foul on Son)

Spurs (3-5-2):- Lloris (Capt.); Romero, Dier, Davies; Doherty, Bentancur, Bissouma (sub Richarlison, 70), Hojbjerg, Sessegnon; Son (sub Perisic, 80), Kane (sub Skipp, 90)

Subs not used:- Forster; Sanchez, Spence, Lenglet; Gil, Sarr

Booked:- Kane (deliberate handball), Bissouma (foul on Mac Allister)

Battling and emotional win for Spurs

Brighton v Spurs - 08.10.22

Thanks to Cassim Patel for the picture

This was an excellent away win for Spurs, giving them a six-point lead over Brighton, who could have climbed into Spurs’ third place with a two-goal win. Before the game Spurs players wore training shirts paying tribute to Gian Piero Ventrone, who passed away this week. The motif was “Always in our hearts”. The game was preceded by a period of applause for the Spurs fitness coach, and Antonio Conte’s tears for his friend and colleague were plain to see.

More sad news was received early in the game via social media reporting the passing of former Spurs striker John Duncan at the age of 73. Duncan lived in the Chesterfield area and twice managed what is now my local team, most famously taking them to a replayed FA Cup semi-final in 1997 against Middlesbrough.

Antonio Conte made four changes to his team, one of which was enforced with Matt Doherty replacing the suspended Emerson Royal. Ben Davies returned for Lenglet, and Ryan Sessegnon replaced Ivan Perisic. The final change was to give Yves Bissouma a second Premier League start for Spurs against his old club. Richarlison was on the bench and Spurs lined up in a 3-5-2 formation.

Brighton were unchanged after their 3-3 draw at Anfield last week. The players are taking the knee for the next two games to reinforce the anti-racism message.

The Amex Stadium is one which usually relies upon a special train service to transport fans to the out of town venue from the centre of Brighton. Somehow the fans turned up in their hordes (credit especially to the travelling fans) despite yet another day of national train strikes. The game was blessed with late evening sunshine and fair weather.

Spurs kicked off and in the early stages enjoyed a lot of possession in an advanced position. Brighton’s recently appointed coach Roberto de Zerbi was perhaps taken by surprise with Conte’s switch to his usual 3-4-3 formation. Spurs used their additional midfield numbers to press high, but later in the half and for most of the game reverted to a defensive 9strong and effective) to preserve their 22nd minute lead.

Kane was fouled by Mac Allister just outside the Brighton area within two minutes. Son took the kick (he had success for his country in the recent international break) and goalkeeper Sanchez dived ton his right to push the ball away from danger. Sessegnon was getting into advanced positions at all stages of the game, as was Doherty in that early spell. Doherty ran onto a good ball by Bentancur, but over-hit the ball, which ran to the keeper.

Hojbjerg’s drive and power was evident throughout the game. He is not always successful when going forward, but his contribution all over the pitch tonight was immense. He seemed to get a special embrace from Conte at the end of the game. After a race forward from the Spurs half after 8 minutes and a pass to Kane, Harry’s shot was blocked, and Sanchez did not have to worry.

Spurs had been controlling the early possession, but Brighton be came more confident and more dangerous too with slick short passing high up the field, which firmly tested the Spurs defence. Lloris held a lofted shot by Mac Allister.

After another decent pass by Hojbjerg and a cross by Sessegnon, it was Doherty again who fired well over the target inside the Brighton area. Son also had a curling left-footed shot go over the target to the right of goalkeeper Sanchez. Another good forward pass by Hojbjerg went to Kane, but Harry over-hit his pass intended for Ryan Sessegnon, leading to a goal kick.

31-year-old former Arsenal man Danny Welbeck is a regular starter for Brighton these days and he had several opportunities, the first of which was a right footed shot wide of Lloris’s right post. Dier put an end to Solly March’s attempt to advance towards the Spurs goal.

Kane was shown a third Premier League booking this season by referee Tony Harrington when he surreptitiously handled a ball to his advantage. Harry had not been crafty enough!

Son passed across the outside of the Brighton area to the advancing Bentancur, who hit a good shot which was well saved by Sanchez, who dived to his left to push the ball away. A corner resulted on the right, and this was taken by Son. The initial corner was half-cleared and Hojbjerg lifted the ball back to Son, who had just managed to regain an onside position before hitting a cross/shot which Kane cleverly and instinctively headed past Sanchez. VAR ratified the goal which was Kane’s 101st away goal in the Premier League. Kane had gained the Premier League record with his 95th such goal in last season’s game here in March. This was also the 43rd Son-Kane combination for a Premier League goal which extends their record in that category.

Hugo raced out to reach the ball before the advancing Welbeck, and at the other end Kane turned a ball to Sessegnon who overhit his cross. Brighton built up some pressure and looked more and more dangerous towards the end of the first half. Lloris made a clean save from a shot by Caicedo and Bissouma was shown yellow for his foul on former colleague MacAllister. Brighton had three successive corners and from the third of these Lewis Dunk headed over with Lloris rooted to his position towards the centre of goal.

Ben Davies hit a good pass to the advanced Sessegnon, but Ryan had mis-timed this run and was offside. Solly March pulled a left foot shot just wide of the post after receiving Mac Allister’s pass. Davies blocked a shot by Gross and Lloris parried another Welbeck shot away from danger.

Brighton kicked off the second half and started brightly, but Veltman wasn’t happy when he was booked for a challenge upon Son, who was breaking forward down the left wing. Romero carried the ball forward now and again, but Son failed to control one of his forward passes.

One of Brighton’s back three – Adam Webster – reached an advanced position, but Romero blocked his shot, conceding a Brighton corner. Lloris was being well-protected by the bank of players in front of him. Bissouma was one of those players and he hit a good ballot Kane who passed in turn to Son. Son was tackled cleanly by Dunk and the ball rebo9unded out of play off Son for a goal kick.

Dunk didn’t do so well when Kane turned him after receiving a forward ball, but Harry pulled his shot wide across Sanchez and his goal. Sessegnon overhit another cross before Brighton substitute Mitoma had a shot well blocked by Doherty. Mitoma is a Japanese International who was signed last year, but made his Brighton debut this season. He had a clever jinking run inside the Spurs box, but Hugo brought that to an end with a good save at the player’s feet near the bye-line.

Bissouma was replaced by Richarlison, who had to do his share of helping the defence. Spurs had a free kick, taken by Son, but headed wide of the post by Kane. Son did hit the net after racing onto a long ball, but the offside flag was correctly raised.

A Trossard shot was blocked on the edge of the Spurs area and after poor touches by Richarlison and Sessegnon, Welbeck had another chance, but he hit that wide of Hugo’s left post.

Time was moving on and Perisic replaced Son. Spurs were more and more focussed upon preserving their lead and whilst it was not an easy game for Spurs fans to watch, I became more and more confident in our defence.

Hojbjerg closed down a poor ball by Sanchez, but his reactive shot passed just wide. Kane fo8und Perisic on the left and the cross passed just too far in front of Richarlison. Spurs were now defending strongly, and Kane was fouled by Mac Allister just outside the Spurs area. Harry took a knock and was replaced by Skipp for added time. Dier embraced Matt Doherty after his excellent tackle inside the box upon Trossard, who had scored a hat-trick at Anfield last week.

Hojbjerg was prominent in advanced positions in added time, winning both a throw and a corner as Spurs successfully rode out the five additional minutes.

At the end of the game Conte embraced his players in turn and Hugo emotionally held up a Spurs shirt bearing the name of Gian Piero in front of the travelling fans who chanted the deceased fitness coach’s name with gusto. There were plenty of difficult journeys to be made, but they were made by happy faces.

· Comments by John Ellis.

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