|Brighton & Hove Albion 0 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (1)|
|Date : – Wednesday 16th March 2022||Kick off : – 19.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Amex Stadium|
|Crowd : – 31,144|
|Referee : – Robert Jones (Cheshire)||Linesmen : – Mr. Darren Cann; Mr. Derek Eaton|
|Fourth official : – Graham Scott|
|VAR official : – Lee Mason||VAR Assistant : – Matthew Wilkes|
|Weather : – Rain throughout most of the first 60 minutes of the match, then dry and cold|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the North stand end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 8 minutes
|BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|None||Romero 36m 12s|
|Kane 56m 12s|
|Maupay (elbow on Dier) 7||Reguilon (foul on MacAllister) 43|
|Veltman (foul on Kane) 45+1||Romero (foul on MacAllister) 55|
|BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|1.||Robert SANCHEZ||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|34.||Joel VELTMAN ( 15. Jakub MODER 78)||4.||Cristian ROMERO|
|24.||Shane DUFFY||15.||Eric DIER|
|5.||Lewis DUNK (c)||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY ( 12. EMERSON Royal 80)|
|13.||Christian GROβ ( 2. Tariq LAMPTEY 78)||30.||Rodrigo BENTACUR|
|8.||Yves BISSOUMA ( 18. Danny WELBECK 62)||5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG|
|10.||Alexis MacALLISTER||21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 23. Steven BERGWIJN 90+2)|
|11.||Leandro TROSSARD||7.||Heung-Min SON ( 27. Lucas MOURA 80)|
|9.||Neal MAUPAY||10.||Harry KANE|
|23.||Jason STEELE||22.||Pierluigi GOLLINI|
|42.||Marc LEONARD||6.||Davinson SANCHEZ|
|25.||Moses CAICEDO||14.||Joe RODON|
|12.||Enock MWEPU||8.||Harry WINKS|
|17.||Steven ALZATE||42.||Harvey WHITE|
|60.||Jeremy SARMIENTO||44.||Dane SCARLETT|
|Manager : – Graham Potter||Manager : – Antonio Conte|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – American Express||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Snickers.co.uk||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch
|Colours : –
||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|It was a wet welcome to the club who claim to be Sussex by the Sea, but they must have felt sea-sick after the way Tottenham eased to a 2-0 victory over Brighton at the Community Stadium tonight. With Brighton on a run of five straight defeats, confidence was obviously low, but they showed only a glimmer of retaliation and while they may be relatively safe in mid-table, their lack of threat was emphasised by the fact they failed to get a shot on target during the whole match.
It was different for Tottenham, who found the net twice and could have done so on a number of other occasions, but the three points came without undue fuss and it was a controlled performance more to Antonio Conte’s liking I am sure.
The manager fielded the same side that started against United at the weekend and there was an eagerness in closing the Seagulls down close to the home goal that forced a number of errors from the Brighton players in possession. In the fifth minute, Robert Sanchez took his time over clearing the ball and Harry Kane closed him down, blocking the attempted clearance. Unfortunately, the bounce of the ball off him took it wide to the left of the goal and when Harry tried to find the target from a narrow angle, his shot screwed across goal. The home fans jeered his effort on goal, but he was to have the last laugh.
Two minutes after Kane’s miss a ball was played forward up the Brighton right and Dier went for it and was met with an elbow from Maupay, which left the Spurs players furious. It is not like our players to confront the referee, but they were convinced that the French striker, who is developing a reputation for being a bit naughty, had left something on Dier. VAR didn’t seem to bother looking at it, Jones, who was ineffective all night, produced a yellow card and Eric had to be bandaged up before he could continue. When the ball was next played up to Maupay, Dier took some revenge by going through the back of him and that effectively finished the Brighton forward for the game. Not that he was injured, but he didn’t seem totally interested in getting too involved when he might get some back.
With Spurs pushing on towards the Brighton goal, the final pass was lacking and only Hojbjerg’s shot that swerved well away from goal on the quarter hour was all we had to show for the attacking we had done. The home side won the first corner of the game when Bentancur flew into a tackle, blasting the ball at Trossard, but the referee gave a corner, although the Uruguayan said that it came off the Brighton man. Set-pieces are always a worry, as we don’t usually defend them that well and Brighton have some giants in their side, but March’s ball in was cleared at the near post easily. Another corner followed soon after, but MacAllister cold only put his header wide across goal.
The amount of rain in the previous few hours had made the top skiddy and some of the Spurs passes quickened off the turf, zipping away from their targets, but we were still pinging passes into feet to up the tempo. At the other end, Brighton were forced to shoot form outside the box and Dier threw a good block to MacAllister’s effort, using the modern technique of having his arms behind his back, so as not to give away a free-kick or penalty. Tottenham’s first corner came after 34 minutes, but didn’t trouble the Brighton goal, but a couple of minutes later, Spurs had possession on the right with Cristian Romero, who played it across to Davies, who passed it to Sergio Reguilon on the left wing. The Spaniard looked to play the ball into the box for Kane, but it came off a defender’s leg for Son just inside the left corner of the area. With four defenders around him, he knocked a short pass to his right for Kulusevski to shoot left-footed at goal heading towards the keeper’s left. Sanchez was left stranded though, when the effort hit Romero’s shin and diverted the ball into the keeper’s bottom right hand corner of the net to give Spurs a fortuitous lead, but one that was deserved. Probably not the first goal that Cristian had envisaged for the club, but one that then put pressure on Brighton to come out to get something from the game.
Just after Reguilon had been booked for pulling back MacAllister in the centre-circle, Spurs launched a high ball forward for which Shane Duffy had the jump on Dejan Kulusevski. He could have put it anywhere, but headed it straight against the Swede and this put him through on Sanchez. He didn’t look totally confident as he approached the keeper and tried to slot it to the keeper’s right, but he stuck out a leg to block the shot. A goal then, three minutes before half-time would have been a real boost for Spurs. There was another chance to grab a second goal just before the half-time whistle, as Veltman slid in late on Kane just outside the box to earn a yellow card. Kane lined up to take it and he cleared the bar with his shot. We should really find out who takes the best free-kicks from these situations, as we so often to make them count.
Half-time came with the home support (as it was) giving groans as they had to look forward to another 45 minutes of less than enthusiastic football from their side, but they must have been given a boot up the backside, as they did start the second half with a bit more purpose … well for about ten minutes. Trossard’s shot brought a block from Reguilon, then Veltman did the same at the other end to deny Son, who had a quiet game mis-placing passes and losing the ball often. Sergio then pulled a ball back square along the 18 yard line for Dejan to shoot from inside the D, but it lacked any power and Sanchez fell to his right to get behind it with ease. Brighton did win a header from one of their corners with Duffy headed it straight up into the air for Hugo to come and claim it. Lloris had a night off, with only a couple of crosses to claim, but without a shot on target, his involvement was limited to watching a few balls whizzing across the face of goal and taking the subsequent goal-kicks. His passing looked more assured tonight as Spurs played the ball out from his possession, although it still looks nervy sometimes.
As it was breaking down a Brighton attack outside our own area, Kulusevski chased back to muscle MacAllister off the ball and Hojbjerg played it to Bentancur, who was halfway inside the Spurs half. He ran the ball forward to the halfway line and picked out a pass to Kane running past the trailing Brighton defenders to the left. Sanchez went back, came halfway forward and allowed a space to his right for Harry to slot his shot between keeper and post to make it 2-0. It was another classy finish from Keane, who took the Premier League away goal-scoring record with his strike. He celebrated by volleying a bottle of coke thrown from the Spurs fans into the air. Despite a VAR review for offside, it couldn’t save the Seagulls and at this stage, the game was gone for Brighton.
While making an attacking substitution of sorts by bringing on the massively over-hyped Welbeck, by taking off Bissouma, they lost a lot of determined work in midfield. It did produce some more action for them in the Tottenham box, with Bentancur’s well-timed tackle preventing Trossard getting closer to goal and Cucerella hit a low ball across goal without a Brighton player getting on the end of it and Welbeck moving away from goal instead of towards the ball. In between Kane produced a killer pass to put Reguilon in space on the left and he moved into the box, but his low shot was straight at Sanchez, who gathered the ball after blocking it in the first place. Without too much pressure on the ball by Brighton players, Tottenham were enjoying long spells of possession to calm the game down, as Conte wants when the team need to see games out. That was shown to be a dangerous game to play when Hugo cleared the ball straight into Dier’s back, allowing substitute Moder possession, but his cross was over-hit from their right side.
Dier had got a vital foot in to stop Moder inside the area and then Hojbjerg threaded a fine pass through the square Brighton back-line to put Kane through. Usually you would back him to score, but his shot tried to beat Sanchez to the keeper’s left and was kept out by a strong hand that gave Tottenham a corner. Nothing resulted from it, but Spurs looked stronger as the game went into added time and Kane and Kulusevski worked a neat move inside right side of the box and Dejan’s ball aimed into the middle of the six-yard box was cleared to Pierre, who attempted a chip that flew a good few yards over the bar. There was a strong shout for a penalty when Kane went on a run into the area, with Duffy’s tackle seeming to catch him on the ankle after the ball had gone. The referee, who is in the early stages of his Premier League career, frankly looked out of his depth. He booked players for tackles that he let go elsewhere in the match without producing yellow cards, stopped play when players were pulled back and their team had possession, while letting play go on at other times and his reading of the game and his positioning was frustrating players on both sides. The fact that he ignored the claims and that VAR did not even review the incident puts the officiating of this game in question, as to what is the review system there for ? Being right in front of us, it looked like a badly times tackle, which he had given free-kicks for in other parts of the pitch and produced yellow cards for. It should not be any different if it happens in the box or in added time at the end of the game. Nothing was given, but Kane once more gave Reguilon a sight of goal with a great pass to the left, This time Sergio got more power behind the shot and brought a good stop from Sanchez, who pushed the ball wide of the other side of the goal for a corner.
The win was fairly routine, but once again, the opposition was less than daunting. However, the three points were very welcome, the clean sheet too and the only disappointing issue was the lack of more goals. We do lag behind the teams above us in goal-scoring terms, so boosting our goal difference would have helped even more.
Dier was outstanding at the back, Bentancur and Hojbjerg worked tirelessly in midfield and the slow centre-halves of Brighton couldn’t cope with Kane fairly and were pulled out of position too easily for the home team to try to stop Spurs making chances. Going forward, Brighton showed a lack of quality. A few runs across the Spurs box in the second half were the only worrying moments, but Bentancur’s tracking on one run inside the Spurs are late in the game was superb in stopping on them getting a shot away. There was great support from the Spurs contingent, with plenty of Chelsea bashing by singing about their sanctioning and the home crowd was quiet most of the match, with many of their fans flooding out of the ground with about 15 minutes left. They obviously felt that there was no way back and had seen enough.
Spurs are still win one, lose one, but hopefully that will end on Sunday with a back-to-back win over one of the teams very close to us and a performance a step above this will be required.
|Harry Kane’s goal made him the all-time away goal-scorer in the Premier League with 95 goals, scored in 104 fewer games than the previous record holder Wayne Rooney.
Kane’s goal also made him the fifth all-time goal-scorer in Premier League history with it being his 178th goal.
Premier League Table 2021-22
|6||West Ham United London||29||14||6||9||48||36||48||+12|
|10||South Coast Big Club||29||8||11||10||36||45||35||-9|
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||29||7||12||10||26||36||33||-10|