Tottenham Hotspur may not finish in the Premier League Top 4 as their hopes were dealt a blow by Leandro Trossard’s spectacular late goal, which gave Brighton a courageous win.
Trossard raced into the Spurs area in the last minute of normal time before firing a wonderful finish past Hugo Lloris after a game with few clear-cut chances.
Steven Bergwijn then squandered a chance to equalize early in stoppage time, one of the home side’s few chances.
Tottenham Hotspur is still in fourth place, barely ahead of Arsenal, while Brighton, who is in tenth place, is on course for their best-ever Premier League result.
Graham Potter’s side had the best of a first half in which Spurs felt strangely slow despite having not played in over a week, but after the hosts started to improve in the second half, they were undone by a mix of sloppy defense and excellent talent from Trossard.
The Belgian dodged Eric Dier before opening up his body and firing a shot low into the far corner of the net with the outside of his right foot.
Spurs pay the price after a sluggish start
Tottenham did not appear like the team that entered the game on a four-game winning streak, which began with a 2-0 win over Brighton and saw them score 14 goals while conceding just two.
Son Heung-min and Harry Kane were effectively restrained by Brighton, with the South Korean not getting a shot on goal until over an hour had passed – and that effort was safely blocked in the Albion area.
They were slow to get going, and while they were fired up after half-time, probably after manager Antonio Conte had shared his thoughts with the players, they lacked the kind of precision needed to break down the Brighton defense.
It might be a squandered opportunity for Spurs, with Arsenal looking to draw level on points with a game in hand with a win at Southampton later on Saturday.
Tottenham faces Liverpool on 7 May, followed by their north London rivals five days later, in games that might determine whether they will compete in the Champions League next season.
Brighton’s two triumphs in north London in a week will have erased memories of a dreadful tumble down the table in February and March, which included six successive defeats.
Trossard had sent Albion on their path to a spectacular win at Emirates Stadium only seven days before, and his sixth goal of the season meant his side would finish with the best-ever collection of away points in the Premier League.
They’ve earned 25 of their 40 points on the road thus far, and they’ve worked well together to carry out Potter’s strategy to frustrate and ultimately defeat Spurs.
Their 29 goals scored so far are the fewest of any team in the top half of the table, but they appear on track for their best-ever Premier League finish – and with games against Manchester United and West Ham yet to come, they might still have a role in how the European places are decided.
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