Brighton and Hove Albion hammered Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, as teenage striker Aaron Connolly scored twice on his full Premier League debut.
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Following a serious early injury to Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris — his error less than three minutes in allowed Neal Maupay to make it 1-0 — Mauricio Pochettino‘s men never recovered and Connolly struck twice to deepen Tottenham’s crisis.
Brighton’s win was their first since the opening day of the season, and their first against Tottenham since 1983. The Seagulls now have nine points, while Spurs have 11 and are without an away win in the Premier League since January.
3 things we learned
1. Spurs’ crisis deepens: Spurs have had a horrendous 10 days or so, as Pochettino will be under serious pressure over the international break and beyond. After being hammered 7-2 by Bayern Munich on Tuesday, his team got off to the worst possible start as Lloris made another costly error and then suffered a serious injury. When your luck is out, it is properly out. Spurs’ slump is a worrying one, and it appears their players have lost the intensity and drive which were the hallmarks of their last few seasons. Right now it is difficult to see how Spurs will get out of this, as Daniel Levy and Pochettino have so many questions to answer about squad recruitment, new contracts and everything else that happened over the summer.
2. Brighton’s new front-line sets tone: Connolly was a revelation with his clever running, tireless hold-up play and fine finishing. The teenager is ready to become a regular after ripping it up in the U23 side. His partnership with Neal Maupay dragged Spurs’ defense all over the place and after being so concerned about where goals will come from, Brighton have found a new duo to lead their line as Connolly is a star in the making. Graham Potter‘s side are very good on the ball and now they have a cutting edge.
3. Lloris’ error and injury adds to misery: Lloris made an error which led to a goal for the second PL game running but what is more worrying for Spurs is that their captain and star goalkeeper is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Lloris looks to have suffered a serious arm injury and was in agony after his error early in the game. Paulo Gazzaniga will now have to step in and even though Lloris has made errors, his presence is needed for a struggling Spurs side. More bad news for Pochettino after a truly horrendous week.
Man of the Match: Aaron Connolly – The Irish teenager, just 19, scored his first two PL goals on his first start in the league and his pace, clever running and finishing shows he can cut it in the top-flight. What a gem Brighton have produced from their academy.
Just two minutes and 28 seconds into the game, Lloris made a huge error and suffered a serious injury to his elbow.
A routine cross from the left was dropped by Lloris and Maupay was on hand to tap home, but as he fell to the floor Lloris appeared to seriously injure his elbow. The Spurs and France captain was carried off the pitch as he received oxygen, with Paulo Gazzaniga coming on. A nightmare start for Tottenham.
That injury sucked the life out of Spurs as Brighton’s Dale Stephens has a thunderous effort blocked and the home side did most of the pressing.
Brighton doubled their lead as Connolly was found in the box and after his first effort was saved he pounced to tap home the rebound for his first PL goal on his first start.
Another effort from Connolly deflected just wide and he than dragged an effort wide as Spurs were all over the place. At the other end Erik Lamela had a shot well-blocked but Maupay was causing so many problems as Spurs hardly got going in a disastrous first half.
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Tottenham improved after the break as Harry Winks came on, they changed their formation and Davies’ cross was blocked as Kane lurked.
Brighton then figured out Spurs’ new shape and continued o dominate as Pascal Gross hit the crossbar with a clever free kick.
Connolly then wrapped up his Man of the Match display as he ran down the left flank, cut inside and curled home a wonderful effort into the far bottom corner to make it 3-0. Game. Set. Match.
Heung-Min Son, Kane and Lucas Moura all went close late on but it was too little too late for Spurs as their crisis plunged to new depths.