Spurs 2 – 1 Brighton Review

Spurs 2 - 1 Brighton Brennan Johnson winner

Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham returned to the top four in the Premier League in dramatic fashion against the Seagulls at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Spurs welcomed a high-flying Brighton side to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where, with a win against the Seagulls, Ange Postecoglou’s side would return to the top four and stay there for at least a week should results elsewhere go their way. In the end, it was a dramatic turnaround 2 – 1 victory in North London that lifted the Lilywhites back into a UEFA Champions League Qualification spot.

Not only did Spurs get a vital three points, they will remain in the top four in England’s top flight after Aston Villa suffered a narrow 2 – 1 defeat at the hands of Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United at Villa Park on Sunday evening. The win for Tottenham has seen them leapfrog Villa into the top four for the second time in three weeks.

Coming into this game against their South Coast counterparts, Postecoglou’s side had played out a competitive 2 – 2 draw at Goodison Park against Sean Dyche’s Everton. Before this, Thomas Frank’s Brentford team had been Spurs’ opponents in the Premier League, and it turned out to be a tight and competitive 3 – 2 win in North London.

Against the Bees, Spurs manage to score thanks to Destiny Udogie (48’), Brennan Johnson (49’) and Richarlison (56’). For the away side, Neal Maupay (15’) and the recently returned Ivan Toney (67′) had found the back of the net for the visitors.

Let’s move on to Tottenham’s game against Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton on Saturday afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. As mentioned earlier, Ange Postecoglou’s side would go into the top four with a win, whilst the Seagulls would be able to climb as high as 6th place if they had come away with three points from North London.

It is ex-Arsenal and current Brighton forward Danny Welbeck who had the first significant chance of the afternoon. But, thankfully for the home team, Italian Goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario made a great save to deny the forward from opening the scoring for the away team in the opening minutes of the match (1’).

Significant chances were few and far between for the next few moments of the contest. It was not until almost 20 minutes had gone that either side would have an excellent opportunity to take the lead. Micky van de Ven conceded a penalty kick after conceding a foul on Welbeck in the penalty area. The forward’s German teammate, midfielder Pascal Gross, stepped up and scored from the spot to give his team the lead after beating Vicario and finding the bottom left corner of the net (17’).

This did spark spirit in the home side. Richarlison had an opportunity a few minutes later, when after receiving a through ball from James Maddison, the Brazilian forward looked to have found the net only for a brilliant save to be made by the Seagulls’ English Goalkeeper Jason Steele (22’).

Timo Werner then came close himself, but his effort from just outside of the box missed the target with the ball flying past the right post (22’).

Then, after Maddison had an effort well blocked by the Brighton backline (26’), Welbeck had an effort blocked himself before a shot from Kaoru Mitoma forced Vicario into another important save just seconds later (29’).

In the final few minutes of the first half, there was a flurry of chances for the home team. Richarlison narrowly missed the target (36’) before Dejan Kulusevski forced a save from ex-Sunderland stopper Steele a couple of minutes later (38’). Richarlison then had another effort, which was blocked (41’).

Despite all of their efforts on goal, Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur went into the half-time break behind at 1 – 0.

Spurs carried on the momentum from the first half, with them having the first chances of the second half. After Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur had a shot blocked well (46’), James Maddison then forced a save from Steele, with the England international’s effort on goal looking as if it would find the bottom left corner (48’).

It was when there were less than half an hour of the game remaining when Tottenham finally found the goal that restored parity in this match. It came thanks to Senegalese international midfielder Pape Matar Sarr, who fired the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle (61’).

Tottenham’s first significant chance to finally take the lead came through ex-Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson, who unleashed an effort that looked like it would beat keeper Jason Steele and go into the back of the net. Steele did, however, manage to make the save (66’).

Then, with the game entering its final moments, the home side was looking for a winning goal in second half stoppage time. It ultimately looked like it may not happen when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who missed the target following a pass into his feet from Maddison (90+4’).

There was to be jubilation for the Spurs faithful. Johnson, who had earlier been denied by Jason Steele, finally managed to beat the English goalkeeper to score the winning goal to earn his side three vital points (90+6’).

Over the course of the match, Spurs had the most possession with 52.5% of the ball compared to Brighton’s 47.5%. Out of 16 shots, Tottenham saw 6 find the target. As for the Seagulls, 3 of their 6 shots were on target.

Following the game, Spurs Head Coach Ange Postecoglou had this to say (via the official Tottenham Hotspur website): “The players have showed bags of character all through the year dealing with things, whether that’s in game or trying to get results, and it was there again, we pushed them right until the end and I’ve a real belief if we keep pushing, we’ll get the outcome.

“There was a lot I didn’t enjoy today. We were really poor in the first half. Some of that was Brighton are a very good side and very disciplined, well coached, and we lacked a real discipline and took some liberties with and without the ball. That was really disappointing.

“The second half was better. We had a good response. Obviously, when you are chasing the game, you’re always susceptible to counter attacks, but I thought for the most part we handled it okay and probably just edge it in the end, deserved the points, but plenty to work on.”

Tottenham’s next game in the Premier League will see them take on Gary O’Neil’s Wolves at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday 17th February in a 15:00 kick-off. This is then followed by another home game, this time against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace in North London a week later on Saturday, 2nd March 2024, in what will be a 15:00 kick-off.

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