Tottenham left it late to beat Brighton in the Premier League to cement their place in the top four and maintain their 100% winning record at their new stadium.
Ahead of the game, Spurs knew victory over the Seagulls would take them four points above fifth placed Arsenal, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side had to wait until the 88th minute to find a way past a well drilled Brighton defence, when Christian Eriksen’s long range effort found the bottom corner to give them the 1-0 win.
The contest started in slow fashion with neither side able to create many clear cut chances in the first half.
Lucas Moura came closest to finding the opening goal, striking the ball from a tight angle, beating Matt Ryan in the Brighton goal, but defender Lewis Dunk slid in to clear the ball away from the onrushing Dele Alli who would have tapped the ball home for the opening goal.
Moura came close again with a long range effort, but his powerful shot was saved by Ryan who had positioned himself well.
Brighton’s Florin Andone epitomised the effort that Brighton were showing in their fight to avoid the drop but after one caution, may have been lucky not to receive another after a couple of clumsy, late challenges.
Chris Hughton’s side were tough to break down and were throwing themselves in the way at every Tottenham attack. The impressive Shane Duffy denying Alli again throwing himself in the way of the England man’s close range shot to clear it off the line after Ryan had got a palm to the effort.
At half time it was Spurs who were on top, but unable to find the opening goal as a result of the Seagulls’ resilient defending.
AS IT HAPPENED: Tottenham v Brighton
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After all of his defending at one end, Duffy was then a threat at the other end, rising highest to head a cross on target, but Spurs’ goalkeeper Hugo Loris easily saved from a tight angle.
Spurs continued to press forward with the home fans making plenty of noise to urge their side on, but they were missing the killer pass to create the opening goal.
The home side were dominating possession and defender Danny Rose had one of Spurs’ best chances of the second half. The left full-back with a fierce, swerving effort that stung the hands of Ryan, but he collected the ball at the second attempt.
Brighton were living dangerously as they camped inside their own area. Belgian Toby Alderweireld was unlucky not to score as he struck the post from just outside the area, the ball creeping behind Ryan and across the goal-line, but somehow it stayed out.
But Spurs finally managed to break the deadlock that their pressure throughout the game deserved when he found a yard of space and buried a ferocious strike into the bottom corner, past the despairing dive of Ryan.
Brighton hearts were broken and the disappointment was etched on the faces of every Seagulls’ player and fan - a result that might have serious repercussions for the club in their battle to avoid the drop.
The win takes Tottenham onto 70 points, three above Chelsea who sit a place below them, with only three league games remaining.
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