Brighton beat Spurs to increase pressure on Poch

Report as Spurs’ winless run away from home stretches to 10 matches

Last Updated: 05/10/19 3:12pm

 Harry Kane shows his frustration during Tottenham's defeat at Brighton
Harry Kane shows his frustration during Tottenham’s defeat at Brighton

Aaron Connolly scored twice on his first Premier League start as Brighton increased the pressure building on Mauricio Pochettino, thrashing Tottenham 3-0 at the Amex Stadium.

Tottenham came into the game low on confidence already following their 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but their problems deepened in only the third minute when goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who was subsequently stretchered from the field after suffering a nasty arm injury, gifted Neil Maupay Brighton’s opener.

Pochettino’s side were second best throughout the first half and Brighton deservedly extended their lead in the 32nd minute thanks to Connolly’s close-range finish.

Spurs’ dreadful afternoon was complete when the impressive Connolly cut inside Toby Alderweireld before finding the far corner to extend Pochettino side’s winless run on the road to 10 Premier League matches, stretching back to January.

A second straight defeat in five days leaves Pochettino, who insisted he would not walk away from Tottenham before the game, facing further scrutiny with his side now sixth and 10 points behind league-leaders Liverpool, having played a game more, heading into the international break.

However, the gloom has lifted at the Amex Stadium with Graham Potter, whose side are up to 12th, leading his side to just their second win of the season and a first win at home since March.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino endured a miserable afternoon at Brighton
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino endured a miserable afternoon at Brighton

How Spurs’ miserable afternoon unfolded

Pochettino would have wanted to see a strong opening from his side as they attempted to bounce back from their midweek humbling, but he got nothing of the sort as Spurs made a shocking start on the south coast.

Player ratings

Brighton: Ryan (7), Montoya (7), Webster (7), Burn (7), Dunk (7), Alzate (7), Gross (8), Mooy (8), Stephens (7), Connolly (9), Maupay (8).

Subs: Bissouma (n/a), Bong (n/a), Murray (n/a).

Tottenham: Lloris (4), Sissoko, (5) Alderweireld (5), Vertonghen (5), Davies (6), Dier (5), Ndombele (4), Son (5), Eriksen (5), Lamela (6), Kane (6).

Subs: Gazzaniga (5), Winks (5), Moura (6),

Man of the match: Aaron Connolly

They conceded after just three minutes following another error from Lloris. The French goalkeeper, under no pressure, dropped a hopeful Pascal Gross right on his own goalline to leave Maupay with the simplest of headers to give the hosts the lead.

Lloris’ struggles

Only Asmir Begovic (21) has made more errors leading to goals than Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris (18) in the Premier League since his debut in the competition in October 2012.

Lloris was then stretchered off after landing awkwardly on his left arm and, after a lengthy spell of treatment, he was replaced Paulo Gazzaniga.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is carried off against Brighton
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is carried off against Brighton

Spurs’ problems deepened in the 32nd minute when Connolly struck from close range after Gazzaniga had smartly kept out the youngster’s initial flick.

It left Pochettino with plenty to do at half-time and he reacted by bringing on Harry Winks in place of Tanguy Ndombele. He also switched to three at the back with Eric Dier moving back to join Jan Vertonghen and Alderweireld, and it brought about some improvement from Spurs.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino made four changes from the side that were hammered by Bayern Munich against Brighton. Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen returned to the starting XI as Spurs looked to bounce back from that 7-2 mauling in the lunchtime kick-off.

Brighton made one change from the side that lost to Chelsea last time out. Aaron Connolly came in to the starting line-up with Yves Bissouma dropping to the bench. The hosts were still without Davy Propper (hamstring) after he failed a fitness test, but Solly March was fit enough for the bench.

But any signs of a reaction were short-lived as Brighton pushed to kill the game off.

Kane laments a missed chance at Brighton
Kane laments a missed chance at Brighton

Gross clipped the top of the crossbar from a free-kick from a tight angle before Connolly extended his side’s advantage further.

Latching onto Lewis Dunk’s long ball, the forward cut inside Alderweireld before unleashing a powerful right-footed shot to beat the dive of Gazzaniga and find the bottom corner.

Aaron Connolly curls the ball into the bottom corner for his second goal of the game
Aaron Connolly curls the ball into the bottom corner for his second goal of the game

Connolly rightfully received a standing ovation when he was substituted 10 minutes from time with Potter bringing on Yves Bissouma to strengthen his midfield, but there was still time for Spurs to create a few openings.

Substitute Lucas Moura forced Mat Ryan into action and the Australian made two smart saves to get Brighton over the line and complete Spurs’ miserable afternoon.

Connolly is congratulated by his team-mates
Connolly is congratulated by his team-mates

What the managers said…

Brighton boss Graham Potter: “I’m delighted for the players. Aaron Connolly has been knocking on the door and gives us an extra dimension. He’s a young lad with a big future who took his goal really well.”

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino: “It is a tough moment but we keep going. I feel sorry for the fans. We are living in a tough moment. We need to stick together, keep working hard and believing. We will support the players.

“I hope all the pressure comes on me and the players can be free. Now is the moment to be strong. We can’t underestimate the situation. But in the times that are not so good, there is always some possibility to become stronger.”

Man of the match – Aaron Connolly

 Connolly enjoyed a record-breaking afternoon at the Amex Stadium
Connolly enjoyed a record-breaking afternoon at the Amex Stadium

There were plenty of candidates from the Brighton side, who were as good as Tottenham were bad.

But 19-year-old Connolly, on his first Premier League start, was their shining light, scoring twice as Albion dominated last season’s Champions League finalists.

It was a record-breaking afternoon for Connolly, who at 19 years, 250 days old became the first teenager to start a Premier League game for Brighton and the first teen to score in the league for the Seagulls since Jake Forster-Caskey against Charlton back in April 2014 in the Championship.

He also became the 100th player from the Republic of Ireland to score a Premier League goal, first to score a double in the competition since Shane Long against Arsenal in December 2015 and the first Irish teenager to score a Premier League brace since Robbie Keane did so for Coventry against Derby in August 1999. A good afternoon’s work!

Opta stats

  • Courtesy of their victory over Tottenham, Brighton ended a run of eight Premier League home games without a win (D3 L5).
  • Tottenham have lost 17 games in all competitions in 2019, more than any other top-flight side.
  • Brighton equalled their biggest-ever margin of victory in a top-flight game and scored more than once in a Premier League home game for the first time in 16 games, since beating Crystal Palace 3-1 in December 2018.
  • Tottenham have conceded 10 goals across their last two games in all competitions for the first time since December 1997 (1-6 loss to Chelsea, 0-4 loss to Coventry).
  • At 2 mins 30 secs, Neal Maupay’s opener for Brighton was their fastest-ever goal in the Premier League.

What’s next?

Tottenham return to Premier League action against Watford at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 19; kick-off 3pm.

Brighton return from the international break, also on October 19, with a trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa; kick-off 3pm.

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Source : Sky Sports