Aaron Connolly double piles pressure on Pochettino as Spurs battered by Brighton

Yahoo Sport UK
Neal Maupay opened the scoring for Brighton . (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Neal Maupay opened the scoring for Brighton . (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Brighton picked up their first home win of the season following a brilliant performance at the AMEX to beat Tottenham 3-0 to cap off a miserable week for the north Londoners.

Neal Maupay’s early strike and a brace from 19-year-old Aaron Connolly helped the Seagulls to a first Premier League victory since the opening day, while Spurs suffered their third league defeat of the campaign.

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Of perhaps greater concern to under-fire Mauricio Pochettino is the fact his side have conceded ten goals in a matter of days following the 7-2 Champions League trashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in midweek.

Spurs got off to the worst possible start as Brighton were gifted the lead after just two minutes through calamitous goalkeeping by Spurs captain Hugo Lloris as his fumble allowed Maupay to score from close range.

After receiving the ball on the left hand side, Pascal Gross cut back onto his right foot and whipped a teasing cross into the box.

However, what should have been a routine catch saw Lloris misjudge the flight of the ball dropping it at the feet of Maupay for the easiest of finishes.

To rub salt in the wound, the Frenchman seemed to land awkwardly following his error, injuring his arm and was replaced by Paulo Gazzaniga following lengthy treatment.

Hugo Lloris receives treatment. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Hugo Lloris receives treatment. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

The extent of the injury is as yet unknown but with the keeper needing to leave the pitch on stretcher and reportedly being taken to A&E, it would appear that Pochettino may be without his first choice stopper for a while.

Whether it was the goal or the stoppage, Tottenham seemed to retreat and allow Brighton to play on the front foot, however, the Seagulls created little of note and couldn’t build on their advantage.

The visitors eventually fashioned their first shot in anger midway through the half but Christian Eriksen’s long-range effort was eventually held by Mat Ryan at the second attempt

Brighton doubled their lead just after the half hour when Connolly produced a clever flick to force Gazzaniga into a save before the teenager fired home from the rebound.

The highly-rated Irish striker was making his first Premier League start for the club and justified Graham Potter’s selection with his tidy finish.

Brighton were in the ascendancy and almost increased their lead before the break when Maupay’s drilled cross deflected off Toby Alderweireld but thankfully for Spurs, the ball spun away, rather than towards the goal.

Connolly scores Brighton's third goal. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Connolly scores Brighton's third goal. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Pochettino’s tactical changes saw Spurs pose more of an attacking threat early in the second half but Brighton were rarely troubled.

In fact, it was the Seagulls who looked most likely to score again as Gross’ clever free kick bamboozled Gazzaniga but came crashing off the crossbar.

Spurs failed to heed the warning signs and were punished once more when Connolly found space on the left hand side of the box and with composure defying his age, calmly curled the ball into the bottom right hand corner.

As if to highlight how badly Spurs’ day was going, the normally reliable Harry Kane blasted an effort over the bar from a position inside the box that he would usually score from with ease.

Substitute Lucas Moura then had late chances to get his side on the scoresheet but Ryan in the Brighton goal twice denied him with fine saves to preserve his clean sheet.

The result means Spurs are now nine league games without a win - losing seven - a run stretching back to January.

With speculation already mounting, this latest dismal display on the south coast will only serve to raise more questions about Pochettino’s future.

However, the day belonged to Brighton and young Connolly who will hope to kick on and drag themselves further away from the bottom of the table.

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