Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Premier League Match Report - Brighton v Spurs, 28.12.23
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Brighton v Spurs, 28.12.23

(7.30 PM)

Brighton scorers:-
Hinshelwood, 11
Joao Pedro, 23, 75 (both pens)
Estupinan, 63

Spurs scorers:-
Veliz, 81
Davies, 85

Attendance:- 31,675

Referee:- Jarred Gillett
Assistants:- Darren Cann, Eddie Smart
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
VAR:- Peter Bankes
Assistant VAR:- Simon Bennett

Brighton (4-3-1-2):- Steele; Hinshelwood, Van Hecke, Dunk (Capt.), Igor (sub Estupinan, 46); Gross, Gilmour, Milner (sub Moder, 69); Buonanotte (sub Baleba, 59); Welbeck (sub Ferguson, 69), Joao Pedro (sub Lallana, 90+3)

Subs not used:- Verbruggen; Dahoud, Baker-Boaitey, Barrington

Booked:- Buonanotte (not allowing free kick to be taken), Moder (foul on Hojbjerg), Dunk (foul on Kulusevski)

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vicario; Pedro Porro, Emerson Royal, Davies, Udogie; Sarr (sub Gil, 65), Hojbjerg; Johnson (sub Veliz, 70), Kulusevski, Son (Capt.); Richarlison (sub Lo Celso, 65)

Subs not used:- Forster; Dier, Phillips, Dorrington; Santiago; Donley

Booked:- Kulusevski (dissent - kicked ball away) (misses next game), Richarlison (foul on Joao Pedro)

Spurs mobbed by "Seagulls"

Brighton v Spurs - 28.12.23

Thanks to Eugene Gasper for the picture

Spurs went into this game hoping for a win to take them back into the top four. Both teams could claim absences amounting to double figures. Roberto de Zerbi's Brighton team (who had a full week since their previous game) proved to be much sharper and fitter than Spurs who were four down after 75 minutes. It could have been more. Spurs' two-goal come-back proved to be too little, too late.

Ange Postecoglou chose a back line of four full backs with Emerson taking the place of the injured Romero, who is going to be greatly missed, having been a mainstay of our defence. Three centre-backs, Eric Dier, and teenagers Phillips and Dorrington remained on the bench.

De Zerbi had a teenager - 18-year-old Jack Hinshelwood at right back. He performed well and scored his side's first goal in the eleventh minute. Hinshelwood has already scored this season, against Brentford.

The oldest man on the pitch, James Milner, who will be 38 next week, proved to be a thorn in our side, hitting the post with one shot, and claiming the assist for Estupinan's second-half goal, having taken the corner that led to the shot.

There were chances for both sides, with Spurs also hitting the woodwork and having "goals" disallowed for offside, but the home side were the better side and deserved winners, even though Spurs threatened to score with every attack in the closing stages, which included 9 added minutes.

Spurs were additionally hampered by the absence of Oliver Skipp, who had suffered a knock. Spurs had a chance of becoming the best away side in the Premier League with a win, but that was well and truly blown.

The strategy of playing out from the back is all very well, but only if you can keep possession. Spurs failed to do that on too many occasions. The latter stages of last Saturday's Everton game were more comfortable when Vicario was kicking long. Spurs were once again grateful to their keeper for some fine saves to keep the score down.

Spurs kicked off and played away from the travelling fans. Teams have been taking the knee for this round of fixtures.

Spurs started well and after a foul on Johnson 25 yards out, Pedro Porro's free kick hit the wall. Another move broke down and 33-year-old Danny Welbeck got the better of Emerson Royal before hitting a shot from the left side of the box, which Vicario saved with raised arms, pushing the ball to safety. Soon after Vicario made a brilliant low save from a close-range Welbeck shot after the ball had been returned from the right. Welbeck was astounded by the save.

Johnson won a corner at the other end, after which Welbeck blocked a Kulusevski shot. Brighton's first goal began with former Watford man Joao Pedro threatening on the left side of the area. Richarlison intervened, but Joao Pedro still managed to get the ball to the back of the area where Hinshelwood had acres of space, scoring with a powerful rising shot.

Despite an important touch by Pedro Porro, Gilmour's pass found Milner, and he teed up Joao Pedro for a shot which was saved by the Spurs keeper. After a failed Spurs play-out and a Brighton corner, Van Hecke's header rebounded off the post before the home side begged for a penalty. It was a while before referee Jarred Gillett stopped play to check the monitor which clearly showed Kulusevski had tugged Welbeck's shirt. Joao Pedro sent Vicario the wrong way and slotted home his seventh penalty of the season in all competitions.

Spurs mustered a decent attack down the left side when Udogie passed inside and Kulusevski touched the ball to Son whose shot was deflected and won a corner. After the corner, Brennan Johnson crossed from the right into the 6-yard box, but agonisingly in front of Richarlison.

Milner hit a cracking shot at the other end, but saw the ball rebound off Vicario's left post. A shot by Johnson was blocked by Igor after Pedro Porro's cross. After the corner, Sarr headed wide.

Buonanotte "scored" after taking a pass from Welbeck but had been offside. Spurs desperately needed a goal back before the break but failed to close the gap. Vicario came to the rescue after Pedro Porro's poor touch allowed Joao Pedro to run at goal.

In added time, Hojbjerg hit a long clearance, crossed by Johnson. Richarlison's sharply taken shot hit the outside of the post. Son hit a shot wide after an Udogie pass.

De Zerbi replaced Igor with Estupinan at the interval. The left back had been successfully targeted by Spurs in the first half. Richarlison had the ball in the net again in the opening minute but had been offside when Son passed.

Brighton put us under more pressure, winning three successive corners. Vicario got down to save a Welbeck shot. Richarlison had a shot go wide after another Son pass and was then flagged offside when Pedro Porro crossed. After an exchange between Udogie and Kulusevski, Udogie had one shot blocked and the other saved.

Richarlison had the ball in the net again after Kulusevski's threaded pass, but he had been offside yet again. Brighton's third goal followed a quickly-taken corner taken by Miler and pushed to Estupinan lurking unmarked outside the left corner of the area. The Ecuadorian hit an unstoppable shot which dipped into the net in the far corner.

Postecoglou introduced Gil, Lo Celso and Veliz for Sarr, Richarlison and Johnson, respectively. However, Spurs soon went four down through a foolishly conceded penalty. Milner had been replaced by Moder and when he crossed into the box, Lo Celso stupidly fouled Ferguson from behind and after VAR checked for a possible offside, Brighton had another penalty, converted again by Joao Pedro, this time sending Vicario in the other direction.

All was lost, but Spurs suddenly started to put in the degree of effort which had been required throughout the game. Veliz had a nice personal moment, scoring after a neat turn from a Son pass after Kulusevski had battled for the ball. Udogie worked well with Gil on the left and Pedro Porro crossed to the back post where Ben Davies headed inside the post.

Many Spurs fans had left, but their team looked like scoring with every attack. Home connections were getting stressed. Son made a run and went down in the box but got no return. Veliz had a shot blocked after a pass from Lo Celso. Kulusevski hit a trademark shot over the target. After approach play by Son and Lo Celso Hojbjerg's 20-yard shot hit the post before Estupinan blocked Pedro Porro's attempted follow-up. Son hit the side netting after Lo Celso's pass to Veliz. Udogie had a good run but fired over.

It was all over, and Spurs are looking fragile for the visit of in-form Bournemouth on New Year's Eve. I'm not hopeful either.

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