TOTTENHAM 2-1 BRIGHTON: Ange Postecoglou’s team came from behind to secure a dramatic win thanks to sub Brennan Johnson as Brighton leave north London empty-handed
Brennan Johnson fired home a 96th-minute winner as Tottenham Hotspur came from a goal down to break Brighton’s hearts.
The substitute rifled into the roof of the net with 10 seconds of added time remaining after running on to Heung-min Son’s low cross to send Spurs wild.
But it was heartbreak for Albion, who arrived without banned head coach Roberto de Zerbi and still created enough chances to win the game after Pascal Gross gave them an early lead from the penalty spot before Pape Sarr equalised on the hour.
Here are the talking points from a barnstorming Premier League meeting in north London.
Have that, supercomputer
On the eve of this clash, Postecoglou laughed off a supercomputer that predicted Spurs had only a 0.1 per cent chance of winning the title. In isolation, a draw against an opponent that mirrors their gung-ho style more closely than any would have been a solid one.
But this latest last-gasp win will have them believing that maybe, just maybe, all those old cliches about their mental fragility can be consigned to the past. Not that anyone is seriously considering them to be contenders for all their undoubted progress since the Australian’s arrival. Right?
Son’s decisive return
The roar that greeted Heung-min Son’s introduction was not far off the one that met Sarr’s equaliser a minute earlier. And until the 96th minute, it looked like the captain was unable to produce the necessary moment of magic in his half an hour of action – mostly because Brighton created the better opportunities in search of a winner.
It was easy to explain Son’s mild lethargy when he did not return from Qatar until Wednesday and his only proper training session was on Friday. But then in the final 30 seconds of a compelling clash, he motored down the left and provided the low cross for Johnson to finish.
De Zerbi absence
Roberto De Zerbi was serving a one-match touchline ban after receiving three yellow cards but was not even at the ground as he recovers from invasive dental surgery scheduled to coincide with his suspension. Yet there was little deviation from his team’s style of play with assistant Andrea Maldera placed in temporary charge.
Brighton started well and continued to push forward whenever possible – typified by the decision to bring on Ansu Fati for Adam Lallana while leading 1-0.
Even after Spurs levelled they continued to push and while the daring approach does not always pay off the commitment to their identity must always be praised.
Timo Werner’s loan move from RB Leipzig was heralded as a smart piece of business but so far the German is experiencing similar struggles to those he endured at Chelsea.
There was one shot, deflected for a corner after cutting in from the left, early in the second half here before being replaced by Son an hour in.
And the rest of Werner’s afternoon was one frustrating moment after another, capped off by a cross late in the opening period that went straight to Jason Steele when he had several other options.
Once Son is flying on all cylinders, Werner will find himself limited to cameos off the bench as a career that appeared so full of promise before he arrived at Stamford Bridge remains in a state of flux.
Welbeck’s hard yards
With top scorer Joao Pedro hamstrung, Danny Welbeck led the Albion line instead of teenager Evan Ferguson and caused Spurs hassle from the opening minute.
The 33-year-old former Arsenal and Manchester United striker can still be a nuisance for the most hardened defenders and as the afternoon wore on he dropped deeper to ensure Rodrigo Bentancur was denied space.
Welbeck has never hit double figures in a single league campaign (he struck nine twice at United) but what he has lacked in the finishing stakes he makes up for in commitment and endeavour.
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