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Brighton v Spurs, 22.09.18

PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER, 2018
(5.30pm)
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 1(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(1)

Brighton scorer:-
Knockaert, 90(+3)

Spurs scorers:-
Kane (pen), 42
Lamela, 76

Attendance:- 30,531

Referee:- Chris Kavanagh
Assistants:- Daniel Cook, Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official:- Mike Dean

Teams:-
Brighton (4-1-4-1):- Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk (Capt.), Bong; Stephens (sub Kayal, 21); Knockaert, Propper, Bissouma (sub Locadia, 79), March (sub Jahanbakhsh, 73); Murray

Subs not used:- Button; Balogun, Bernardo; Andone

Booked:- Kayal (foul on Rose), Bissouma (foul on Rose)

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Gazzaniga; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Dembele; Son (sub Lamela, 68), Eriksen, Lucas Moura (sub Dele, 78); Kane (Capt.)

Subs not used:- Whiteman; Sanchez, Aurier; Wanyama, Winks

Booked:- Trippier (foul on March)

Erik says “Gertcha!” (R.I.P Chas Hodges)

The Amex Stadium

On the day when Spurs’ Cup Final songster Chas Hodges sadly died, it was substitute Erik Lamela who ultimately said “Gertcha!” to Brighton when scoring our second goal which sealed a win in the 76th minute. Harry Kane had given us a late first half lead with a superbly taken penalty, and despite a late added time goal by Anthony Knockaert, Spurs ended their barren run of three September games without a win to gain their fourth win of the season, thus climbing to fifth place.

After the long hot summer well and truly came to an end this week, it was a wet and miserable night weather-wise at The Amex. Mauricio rang the changes again after Tuesday night’s game in Milan. One change was enforced with Paulo Gazzaniga having to replace Michel Vorm, who suffered a knee injury in training. Gazzaniga acquitted himself well, as he did when he came in last year in the Premier League in his one game against Crystal Palace. The former Southampton goalie had a good command of his area, and was required to make a number of interventions, if not dramatic saves. Trippier, Alderweireld and Rose all returned to the defence.

There were suggestions during the week that one target of Pochettino’s comments about not playing the ball out from the back in the manner and fashion he requires might have been Toby Alderweireld. Maybe this was some sort of double bluff, because Toby’s trademark long passes were used to good effect particularly in the early stages. One of his first balls was long to Trippier advancing down the right wing, whose cross won a corner. Trippier’s corner after 9 minutes was met by a glancing header by Alderweireld and saved well by Ryan in the middle of the Brighton goal. A second Trippier corner was held by the Brighton keeper.

Spurs were dominating possession and totally in control with Brighton on the back foot. Dembele had a good game, I feel, doing what he does well, and today offering some good attacking passes. One such ball to Son on the left gave the South Korean a shot at goal but he sent his effort wide of the right post. Eriksen had a shot after 16 minutes, receiving the ball from Kane. Eriksen’s shot took a deflection and looped up easily for Ryan.

Brighton’s Dale Stephens took an early knock and had to be replaced by Beram Kyal, who took a more advanced midfield position with Propper falling back to take up Stephens role in front of the back four. In fairness, when on the back foot, the whole of Chris Hughton’s team defends for their cause, which made it difficult for Spurs to forge great opportunities despite their domination.

Dembele again fed a pass this time to Rose on the left. Danny’s cross was met by Kane’s header, which must have taken a deflection somewhere, because a corner resulted. After 28 minutes Spurs worked the ball across the middle from right to left ending in a chance for Son, but this one, hit with his right foot was skyward. After 38 minutes, Kane was fouled about 25 yards out after a through ball by Dier, and a touch by Lucas Moura. Trippier took the free kick and referee Chris Kavanagh (who has never before refereed a Spurs game) spotted Glenn Murray’s handball to block the kick, pointing unerringly to the spot. Harry Kane was similarly unerring as he sent Ryan the wrong way and slammed home the penalty convincingly to the keeper’s right. That goal puts Harry level fifth (with Jermain Defoe) in the list of all-time Spurs goalscorers on 143 in all competitions.

Brighton paid a nice compliment to Spurs fan Chas Hodges at half-time playing Chas & Dave’s “There ain’t no pleasing you”. Spurs fans had paid their own tribute early in the first half, but happily sang along with this one too.

As one would expect (and Brighton have come back from two goals down in their last two games) the home side started the second half well, and put Spurs under some pressure. Trippier saw yellow for bringing March down out on the flank, and Brighton won a corner after the free kick, but the corner was well held by Gazzaniga. Lucas Moura hit a nice pass from the centre to Christian Eriksen who was towards the left of the box, and the Dane hit a right footed shot just over the bar. Kane won a corner after another good ball by Lucas Moura and after this one by Trippier it was Eriksen who had the chance again, but he skied his attempt. Eriksen led a Spurs break, and the ball was spread to Danny Rose via Kane. Rose cut into the box, hesitated over his shot a little, before the shot he did hit took a deflection and was easy for Ryan. Brighton’s Duffy needed treatment after his challenge with Rose.

Danny was the subject of the tackles which led to both Brighton bookings, and I understand that BBC’s web site made him our man of the match. There are several contenders really, but there were good performances all round by the Spurs men playing in their greeny third strip.

Brighton had a corner after an hour and March’s shot was blocked at the expense of another corner. Following this Brighton did have the ball in the net, but the offside flag had already been raised, so Spurs fans could breath again. We did have to deal with more pressure though. Gazzaniga held Knockaert’s shot after Kayal’s pass, before Son was replaced by Erik Lamela. Lamela played two parts in an excellent team goal in a sweeping move from half-way. First he made the pass that reached Danny Rose via Lucas Moura, second he swept Rose’s cut-back past Ryan to make it 2-0, and seemingly seal the game for Spurs. Ah, but Brighton had come back from 2-0 down in the last two games, so we hoped for a third!

Dele Alli came on for Lucas Moura, and both he and Lamela added a sharpness to Spurs attacking play, and not a little artistry to add to our threat. Harry Redknapp had by now been spotted in the BT Sport studio in our corner and Spurs fans chanted “One Harry Redknapp”, receiving waves in return. Kane and Lamela combined before Ryan saved Lamela’s shot. Another lay-off – this one by Eriksen – gave Kane a very good chance but his right footed shot was also saved. Dele and Lamela had been involved in another attack before Kane had another shot saved – this one with his left foot. Jan Vertonghen had made the final touch to Harry, and Spurs really should have had a third goal.

We were three minutes into added time before Brighton did get their goal, and it came from Knockaert, after that last Kane effort. Brighton broke clear down the right and Knockaert scored in the bottom left corner. The scorer had another attempt saved a minute later with Gazzaniga down well. Brighton’s record signing – substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh had given Knockaert the chance. Spurs could breathe easily and take their three points back to London.

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