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Race for top four wide open as Leandro Trossard’s last-minute strike sinks lacklustre Tottenham


  • Leandro Trossard’s 89th minute strike the only goal of the game
  • Tottenham fail to get a single shot on target
  • Brighton go 10th, level on points (40) with Leicester in 9th

A week after winning at Arsenal, Brighton completed a north London double when Leandro Trossard scored in the 89th minute to put a dent in Tottenham’s hopes of finishing in the top four.

Graham Potter’s side had struggled for goals and gone almost two months without victory before winning at The Emirates Stadium last week, and have now won two games in succession for the first time since September.

It was a big blow for Antonio Conte’s previously free-scoring Spurs, who struggled to break down Brighton’s well-organised defence and hardly forced goalkeeper Robert Sanchez to make many meaningful saves.

After winning seven of their previous nine league games, Tottenham slipped badly and are back in a precarious position if they want to hold on to fourth place.

The opening 45 minutes was a good example of midday kickoffs producing sleepy football. The fact that there were more yellow cards than shots on goal exemplified the cautious approach from both sides. Spurs were content to try building patiently from the back, but Brighton’s well-drilled side pressed well and their backline gave little space for Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son or Dejan Kulusevski to wreak the sort of havoc they have been inflicting on opponents in recent weeks.

Spurs are the top scorers in the league in 2022, but failed to get a shot on goal during a frustrating first half for their supporters. Kane dragged one shot wide and was denied by a timely interception from Marc Cucurella as he teed up a volley close to goal.

Brighton did not threaten Hugo Lloris’s goal much in the opening period either, except for a stinging volley from Enock Mwepu that flew off the midriff of Ben Davies for a corner.

The Brighton man was replaced by Danny Welbeck at half-time, having been booked for fouling Sergio Reguilon and then lucky to escape a second yellow on two occasions before the break. It was a niggly game, and perhaps that is why Spurs struggled to find any rhythm.

Antonio Conte clearly urged more urgency in his half-time team talk, and his team responded well. Son was denied twice early in the half, with first Joel Veltman and then Leandro Trossard blocking the Korean’s goalbound shots.

Lucas Moura replaced Kulusevski and gave Spurs a more direct approach, as they went in search of a breakthrough. He skinned Cucurella to reach the byline, but Robert Sanchez cut out his low cross. Pierre Emile Hojbjerg also went on a mazy run before drilling the ball across goal, but neither Kane nor Reguilon could apply a finish.

Brighton finally called Lloris into action in the 74th minute with a low shot from Tariq Lamptey, and captain Lewis Dunk had a header saved from a corner.

But there was little he could do in the 89th minute when Trossard pounced when Cristian Romero slipped. The Belgium-international danced towards goal and shot into the far corner of the goal with the outside of his boot.

Brighton’s delighted supporters started singing “Is this the Emirates?” and “North London is ours” as their side left this corner of the capital with three points for the second week in succession.

And who could deny them their celebrations?