Kane and Bale see off Brighton - report and debrief
Spurs 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Sun 01 November 2020, 21:32|Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Bale came off the bench to score his first goal since his Spurs return to give us all three points against Brighton and move us up to second in the Premier League table on Sunday evening.
The Welsh forward, on loan from Real Madrid, headed home in the 73rd minute to make it 2-1 – his first goal in our colours since scoring the winner against Sunderland in May, 2013 – and it proved to be decisive in a game in which the Video Assistant Referee was a prominent figure.
We opened the scoring after 11 minutes, Adam Lallana crashing into the back of Harry Kane right on the edge of the area, with referee Graham Scott initially awarding a free-kick but on closer inspection by the VAR, it was decided the incident happened right on the line of the area which meant it was a penalty. Kane stepped up to drill past Brighton’s debutant goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.
There was another VAR review on 23 minutes when Matt Doherty had his hands on Leandro Trossard inside our area as the ball came across from the right flank but nothing was given this time.
Despite our bright start, the visitors had the better of the first half although didn’t manage a shot on target however, 11 minutes after the interval, Brighton did have a shot at goal and it brought about their equaliser. But again there was VAR involvement as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg looked to have been fouled by Solly March as the Dane started to launch a counter-attack from deep inside our half. Referee Scott waved played on, the ball was worked to Tariq Lamptey via March and Pascal Gross and the Seagulls’ wing-back beat Hugo Lloris to score. There then followed a VAR check on that challenge in the build-up with Scott going over to the pitchside monitor to check for himself – and decided there was no foul and the goal was awarded.
The crucial goal came in the 73rd minute and it was excellent in its creation. Toby Alderweireld hit a magnificent cross-field pass to Sergio Reguilon out on the left wing, he cut onto his right foot and delivered a cross which Bale, unmarked in the area, headed past Sanchez to restore our advantage. The closing stages were scrappy with neither side really creating much and we held out for our first home win of the season in the Premier League.
Good recovery against solid Seagulls
It looked like it might be a straightforward evening at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after Kane’s early penalty put us in control, but instead we had to dig deep to get the points as Graham Potter’s side fought back well.
For two thirds of the first half, it was Brighton who saw more of the possession and we were struggling to find much rhythm to our play going forwards. But defensively we were fairly solid and Lloris wasn’t troubled up to half-time.
That changed in the 56th minute when Lamptey converted their first shot on target, even though it seemed certain that referee Scott would disallow the goal for March’s apparent foul on Hojbjerg in the build-up. Instead, he became the first referee in Premier League history to view an incident again on the pitchside monitor and not overturn the decision, awarding the equaliser.
It was a setback, although we responded well by slowly starting to regain control of the contest and could have scored twice before Bale’s winner. The first chance came on 68 minutes when Erik Lamela crashed a 30-yard right-foot shot against the post, with Joel Veltman then hitting the rebound goalwards and Sanchez needed to make an instinctive save to prevent the own goal. And two minutes later, a corner glanced off Bale’s head to Kane at the back post but his flick hit the upright before Brighton cleared.
Bale’s fine header completed our recovery and the closing minutes were short of any real goalmouth action, Adam Webster’s 86th-minute header which tested Lloris right on his goal-line the only noteworthy action as we held firm.
Kane closing in on double landmark
After converting the 11th-minute penalty, Kane moved to within one goal of two significant milestones. He now sits on 199 goals in his Spurs career and is also one short of completing 150 Premier League goals.
Our win over Brighton means we have now lost just once in 13 Premier League matches, that coming on the opening day against Everton.
As for the team news, Jose Mourinho made two changes from our last Premier League outing at Burnley with Reguilon and Lamela coming in for Ben Davies and Lucas Moura, who were on the bench. There were nine changes from Thursday night in Antwerp, with only Lloris and Reguilon remaining in the starting XI.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'For the last 15 minutes we had that stability'
Jose Mourinho told Spurs TV afterwards: "It meant a lot. They felt on the pitch what we felt outside - it was a difficult match, a very complicated match. We had to react to the equaliser, and we did it. Then, after two posts, one goal and 15 minutes to play, we managed the 15 minutes in a good way. No more danger close to our goal, we kept them away, gave some stability to the game, stability that we couldn’t have for the 90 minutes, but for the last 15 we had that stability and that control. This is the Premier League, and every point is gold."
Spurs 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Lamela (Bale 70), Ndombele (Lo Celso 64), Son (Davies 85), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Rodon, Winks, Lucas.
Brighton (3-4-2-1): Sanchez, Webster (c), Veltman, Burn, Lamptey (Mac Allister 79), White, Bissouma, March (Bernardo 66), Gross, Lallana, Trossard (Welbeck 74). Substitutes (not used): Ryan, Alzate, Propper, Zeqiri.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 13 (pen), Bale 73; Brighton – Lamptey 56.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Ndombele, Reguilon; Brighton - Burn.
Referee: Graham Scott.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Gusty winds, light rain, 16 degrees.