Our Ivory Coast defender opened the scoring five minutes before the interval with a fortunate cross-shot which deceived Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan, before Son scored his fourth goal in four games to seal the points late on and see us climb back into the top four.
We started well, Harry Kane having an effort cleared off the line by Shane Duffy, while Son just couldn’t connect at the far post as we failed to make the most of the half-chances that came our way in the opening stages. At the other end, Hugo Lloris comfortably saved from a Duffy header, Brighton’s only real opportunity in that first period.
Aurier’s strike – his first goal since scoring for PSG in September, 2015 - opened up the game after the break as the visitors pushed forward more. Kane and Son both had efforts blocked from inside the area, while Erik Lamela brought a smart save out of Ryan.
Brighton were a threat on the break though and Lloris needed to make a fine stop to deny Tomer Hemed’s shot from 12 yards.
But, after Kane’s free-kick from 25 yards was deflected onto the post by Ryan, we secured the win three minutes from time when Christian Eriksen’s free-kick from wide on the right was flicked in at the near post by our in-form South Korean international forward.
Mauricio Pochettino made four changes to the team that beat Stoke at the weekend. Aurier and Danny Rose replaced Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies at full-back, Moussa Sissoko came in for Mousa Dembele and Lamela made his first start since October, 2016, following his recent comeback, replacing Dele Alli.
CHANCE: SON MISSES AT FAR POST – 24mins
It was a familiar story in the opening minutes at Wembley, as we enjoyed plenty of possession but were faced with a massed and determined defence. In fact it was the visitors with the first half chance, Jose Izquierdo firing over the bar after good work from Anthony Knockaert and Ezequiel Schelotto. Kane had an effort cleared off the line on 21 minutes by Duffy, before Harry Winks dinked over a cross which Kane flicked on but Son couldn’t convert at the back post.
Above: Erik Lamela in action.
GOAL: SPURS 1-0 BRIGHTON – SERGE AURIER – 40mins
Not much was happening in front of goal at either end, Duffy heading straight at Lloris from a corner and Sissoko’s 20-yard effort was comfortable for Ryan. But suddenly we were in front and it came completely out of the blue. Harry Winks laid a pass off to Aurier wide on the right, he produced a neat piece of skill to get away from Izquierdo and then sent over a cross towards goal. As he did, the Brighton player was late in a challenge as he went to block, prompting the assistant to wave his flag for a free-kick – only for Aurier’s cross to drift over Ryan and into the net, with referee Bobby Madley waving play on and letting the goal stand.
SAVE: LLORIS DENIES HEMED – 70mins
The goal at the end of the first half meant the visitors would have to come out a bit more after the interval and that did seem the case, as we were finding more space in attacking areas, with Kane and Son seeing shots blocked and Ryan saving well from Lamela, diving to his right to tip around the post. But as the game went on, so Brighton’s confidence grew and they created a number of chances midway through the half. Hemed drove straight at Lloris, Duffy sent another header goalwards before their best chance on 70 minutes, the ball breaking to Hemed 12 yards from goal but again, his effort was too close to Lloris who saved well.
GOAL: SPURS 2-0 BRIGHTON – HEUNG-MIN SON – 87mins
We introduced Dembele and Dele into the action to try to wrestle back control of the game again and it certainly helped, as we started to push Brighton back and dominate the football. It was almost 2-0 on 85 minutes when Eric Dier was fouled 25 yards from goal, Kane stepped up and drilled a low free-kick through the wall which Ryan pushed onto the post and the danger was cleared. But only briefly though. Two minutes later, Aurier was upended wide on the right, Eriksen whipped in a cross which Son met at the near post, crouching to flick home with his head to double our lead and wrap up another home win – our third in eight days.
MAURICIO POCHETTINO SAID
"It was tough, very tough. I'm happy in the end to win and three points is so important for us. I'm so pleased with the effort and the performance. It was a night to be patient, try to build and to play, play, pass, pass until finding the best option. The team was very good. I'm happy with the performance and it's good to be back in the top four."
HEUNG-MIN SON SAID
"Normally it's not my thing to score with a header but I'm really happy to score for the first time with my head for Tottenham. Maybe I last scored with a header three years ago. Honestly, I'm so happy to get the three points. It was tough. They defended well, 11 men in their half and it's difficult, sometimes you need a little luck. Everyone is so proud of Serge and I'm laughing because he's my good friend."
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks (Dembele 67), Sissoko, Lamela (Dele 75), Eriksen, Son (Davies 90), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Foyth, Llorente.
Brighton (4-5-1): Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk (c), Bong, Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Kayal (Gross 78), Izquierdo (March 62), Hemed (Murray 72). Substitutes (not used): Krul, Bruno, Goldson, Brown.
Goals: Spurs – Aurier 40, Son 87.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Rose; Brighton - Knockaert.
Referee: Bobby Madley.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Heung-Min Son was named Man of the Match by our supporters with 50 per cent of the overall votes on social media.
After three successive home games in the last week, we’re on the road this weekend when we travel to Manchester City in the Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s side won again on Wednesday evening, their 16th win in 17 games in the division and remain well clear at the top of the table. Kick-off at the Etihad Stadium is 5.30pm.