Tottenham Hotspur beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 on Boxing Day as Harry Kane and Dele Alli scored second half goals to lead Spurs to victory.
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Adam Webster had given Brighton a first half lead but Spurs hung in there and Kane and Alli struck in the final 30 minutes to lead Jose Mourinho’s men to an important win as they bounced back from their defeat against Chelsea.
With the victory Spurs momentarily closed the gap to the top four back to three points, while Brighton lost a second-straight game as they continue to sink towards the relegation zone.
3 things we learned
1. Quality of Kane, Alli rescues Spurs: If in doubt, Kane and Alli will bail Spurs out. The England internationals scored a goal each in the second half as they turned things around for Spurs. It wasn’t pretty but Kane and Alli set the tone for high-pressing and they had the quality to finish off chances and link up in attack. Tottenham have plenty of defensive issues to sort out but going forward they are in good shape with Kane and Alli leading the line.
2. Brighton run out of steam: The Seagulls took the game to Spurs in the first half but totally ran out of steam in the second as they hardly had a chance going forward. Graham Potter‘s side are lovely to watch at times but you worry about their lack of cutting edge in the final third as they continue to sink towards the relegation scrap. Had Aaron Connolly finished a great chance at the start of the second half, we’d be talking about a big away win for the Seagulls. So far this season they’ve just run out of steam at key moments.
3. Midfield balance not right: Harry Winks came in for Eric Dier on Boxing Day but the balance just wasn’t right in central midfield once again. Moussa Sissoko played okay but there doesn’t seem to be enough defensive cover in front of the back four and that is something Mourinho always wants. Get ready for Mourinho’s first signing at Spurs to be a holding midfielder.
Man of the Match: Harry Kane – Didn’t stop running the entire game, scored one and had another disallowed for a tight offside and drove Tottenham on to victory. Kane is now in double figures for the PL season and the Englishman is standing tall as they continue their battle to finish in the top four.
The first big chance of the game arrived for Spurs as Toby Alderweireld‘s long ball found Sessegnon and on his first Premier League start for Spurs the youngster hit the post.
Steven Alzate then drilled a low shot on goal which Paulo Gazzaniga could only push away as Brighton grew as a threat on the break.
Aaron Mooy‘s effort was then deflected wide as Brighton caused Spurs problems, but it then looked like Kane had given Tottenham the lead. Harry Winks’ ball found the English striker and he finished calmly, but VAR intervened and decided Kane was offside by an armpit as the goal was chalked off.
Brighton made the most of that as moments after Moussa Sissoko had missed a glorious chance at one end, Brighton broke and won a free kick. Webster headed home from that set piece as he was left totally unmarked to give the Seagulls the lead.
Dele Alli almost flicked home at the near post before the break but Spurs had it all to do in the second half.
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At the start of the second half Aaron Connolly almost doubled Brighton’s leader with a header and that seemed to finally wake Spurs up.
Kane continued his amazing streak of scoring on Boxing Day as he made it eight goals in five games on Dec. 26, as he finished emphatically at the second attempt to draw Tottenham level and set up a frantic final third of the game.
Spurs pushed hard for the winner late on but Pascal Gross was denied by Gazzaniga as his free kick arrowed towards the top corner.
But a moment of pure class won the game for Tottenham as a flowing move saw Christian Eriksen find Serge Aurier at the back post and his touch set up Dele Alli who lobbed home a sumptuous effort into the far top corner.
Kane, Alli and Eriksen all went close late on to adding a third but in the end Spurs eased to victory after a rousing second half comeback.