Brighton strike blow to Tottenham’s top-four hopes as Trossard grabs late winner

Brighton made another potentially decisive impact on the race into the top four as they enjoyed more success in north London by beating Tottenham 1-0 thanks to Leandro Trossard’s 90th-minute strike.

A week after the Seagulls beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to give Spurs the lead in the battle to qualify for the Champions League, they repeated the trick when Trossard scrambled into the box and pushed the box.

It puts Tottenham back in a race where they seemed to be in control and the Gunners, West Ham and Manchester United will all be buoyed by this result ahead of their games later in the weekend.

After a brilliant run of form, this was as bad a display as there has been with Antonio Conte and his lack of shooting on goal defies his fluid nature of recent weeks.

Brighton recorded consecutive wins for the first time since September and it was fully deserved as they contained the Spurs threat well, moving into the top half.

Having broken into the top four with some dazzling displays in recent weeks, there was a real expectation from the home fans before kick-off that their team could put on another show.

However, that did not turn out to be the case as pressure from Brighton and low blocking prevented Spurs from creating anything.

There was little noticeable action at either end in the monotonous opening 45 minutes and the biggest topic of conversation was whether either side should have gone into halftime with 11 men still on the pitch.

Spurs winger Dejan Kulusevski was lucky to avoid a red card just before the half-hour mark when he appeared to wave his arm at Marc Cucurella in retaliation for being held up. He got a yellow one, but it could easily have been another color.

Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham

Dejan Kulusevski was lucky to stay on the pitch (Nigel French/PA)

Then Enock Mwepu could have received a second yellow card just before halftime after a nasty challenge on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, and referee Craig Pawson decided to give him a final warning and he was subsequently taken off at the interval.

Spurs have done much of their damage recently in the second half, so they would have been confident of finding enough space to give Brighton trouble after the restart.

It started off promisingly when Son Heung-min had a shot blocked after a quick Harry Kane throw-in and then Trossard stopped another Son effort by coming in with a big block.

But the Spurs continued to face problems as they struggled to open up the Seagulls, who sometimes posed their own threat, though like the Spurs never really threatened.

The hosts briefly threatened when Hojbjerg entered the area and struck for goal, with Sergio Reguilón inches from finding the ball.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Tottenham

Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg threatened to hit the target (Nigel French/PA)

But there was a sting to the story when Brighton won the game in death.

The Spurs made a mess of clearing the ball, allowing Trossard to burst into the area and into the far corner.

That left the hosts with little time to mount a comeback, but they had a chance when the ball fell into the hands of Steven Bergwijn, who misfired horribly on his first try.

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