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Seagulls snatch points with late winner

Spurs 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Sat 16 April 2022, 14:30|Tottenham Hotspur

A below-par performance ended in defeat on Saturday afternoon, as Brighton stole the points with a 90th-minute winner from Leandro Trossard.

Having gone on a four-game winning run during which we’d been scoring goals for fun, we simply never got going against the Seagulls, who remain unbeaten in all six of their Premier League trips to the capital and followed up last week’s win at Arsenal with victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

A niggly first half was interrupted by a string of fouls and free-kicks, resulting in very few attempts at goal with only one real save, Hugo Lloris comfortably keeping out Enoch Mwepu’s long-ranger in stoppage time.

It wasn’t a great deal better after the interval either. Heung-Min Son had a couple of early efforts at goal blocked and, while we had the greater share of possession, it was Brighton with the chances, Lloris saving from Tariq Lamptey’s angled drive and Lewis Dunk’s header from a corner.

With such little goalmouth action, it looked to be heading for a draw as the clock ticked over to 90 minutes, but the visitors had other ideas. Cristian Romero initially won a tackle on the left edge of our box, but then slipped and flicked the ball back to Trossard, who side-stepped Eric Dier and slid past Lloris into the far corner. Substitute Steven Bergwijn volleyed wide deep into stoppage time as we failed to muster a shot on target throughout the 90 minutes on a disappointing afternoon in N17.

Seagulls set us back

We came into the game as the joint-best goalscoring team of 2022 across the top five leagues in Europe, along with RB Leipzig, but we knew it would be difficult against a Brighton team renowned for its organisation and defence solidity, especially away from home. And it played out exactly that way as Graham Potter’s side kept it tight, closed us down all over the pitch and didn’t let us play how we wanted to. It didn’t help that we were off the boil and just didn’t get our passing game going. The stop-start nature of the game just disrupted the flow and the tempo, which suited the visitors.

The first sight of goal for either side came on 22 minutes when Mwepu’s shot from the edge of the area deflected just wide off Ben Davies and, from the corner, Brighton fashioned another chance, the ball falling to Joel Veltman but this time Harry Kane was in the way to block his shot.

Brighton were making it hard for us to get our passing going and most of the play was in the middle third of the pitch as defences dominated. There was one final strike at goal in first half stoppage time, Mwepu rifling a 25-yard drive straight at Lloris.

We were brighter in the early stages of the second half. Just six minutes in, Kane took a quick throw into the box, Son brought it down but saw his shot blocked by Veltman and on 58 minutes, our first real flowing attack saw Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg send in a low cross which Son could have hit first time but chose to take a touch and Trossard was in the way to block. Back came Brighton though. Danny Welbeck half-volleyed well wide, Emerson Royal was in the right place to prevent Moises Caicedo getting a shot away and Alexis Mac Allister drilled over from 20 yards as they seemed to be able to create far easier than we were finding it.

Lloris then saved from Lamptey and Dunk, before went close to breaking the deadlock when Hojbjerg delivered a low cross which Sergio Reguilon just failed to reach sliding in at the far post. As we moved into the 90th minute, it felt it was a case of taking a draw and moving on from a difficult day, but that was scuppered when Trossard pounced on the loose ball and finished in some style.

Double ton for Winks

While it won’t be a game he’ll remember for the result, Harry Winks did make a landmark appearance. He stepped off the bench on the 72nd minute to make his 200th Spurs appearance in all competitions, a fantastic achievement for the Academy product.

Team news saw Antonio Conte make one enforced change from the win at Aston Villa last week, with Sergio Reguilon coming in for the injured Matt Doherty. Full-back Marcel Lavinier, 21, who made his first team debut for us against Wolfsberger AC in February, 2021, was on the bench in the Premier League for the first time.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'There is big disappointment'

Antonio told Spurs TV: "For sure, there is big disappointment for the final result. Also, because I think we can do much better. We started the game slowly. It was a tactical game, Brighton were very good to prepare for this game, to close every space, but at the same time, when you move the ball slowly, you help your opponent to close the space. It’s a pity, because we wanted to get the three points. At the same time, a lesson to learn is that there are games where if you are not able to win, you are not to lose. Honestly, the end of the game, the draw is a fair result. Instead, we are talking about a loss."

Highlights on Spurs TV

Spurs 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Royal, Romero, Dier, Davies, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Bentancur (Winks 72), Kulusevski (Lucas 64), Son (Bergwijn 88), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Lavinier, Rodon, Sanchez, Sessegnon, White.

Brighton & Hove Albion (3-5-2): Sanchez, Veltman, Dunk (c), Cucurella, Lamptey (March 82), Gross, Bissouma, Caicedo (Lallana 78), Trossard, Mwepu (Welbeck 46), Mac Allister. Substitutes (not used): Steele, Webster, Maupay, Offiah, Ferguson, Sarmiento.

Match data

Goal: Brighton – Trossard 90.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Kulusevski, Bentancur, Royal; Brighton – Mwepu, Bissouma, Dunk.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Sunny intervals, gentle breeze, 15 degrees.

Attendance: 58,685.