Eriksen Leaves It Late but It’s Advantage Spurs
Tottenham fans always knew it was going to be a war of attrition when Brighton visited the new White Hart Lane on Tuesday night. Fighting for survival and with a dreadful run of form, Seagulls manager Chris Hughton was never going to do his old side any favours in their quest for a top four finish.
After a frustrating 87 minutes, a crisp strike from Christian Eriksen sealed the points. Aside from the spectacular goal, it wasn’t pretty, but Tottenham now go into the weekend with a gap opening up over the chasing sides.
It would have been easy to be angry with Brighton, particularly if the game had ended goalless but we knew what to expect. The current trend of taking to social media and venting against the opposition (Chelsea v Burnley) is to be expected but are these teams really supposed to open up and let you run through them?
The defending was admirable – the time wasting and cynical challenges less so – but ultimately the result was the right one. On another day, Seagulls striker Florin Andone might have received a second yellow but would that have made a difference? It would have deprived Brighton of their only outlet and left them with just ten men behind the ball.
He’s our former player and we should all hope Chris Hughton keeps his team up but in truth, we’re all glad to see the back of that game.
The stats really tell the story: Spurs enjoyed 29 shots to Brighton’s 6. Five of Tottenham’s efforts were on target while the visitors troubled Lloris just once. The standout figure shows that Spurs had 71% of the possession but all that matters is that Eriksen’s strike eventually found the net.
If there was a concern, it was the way that Llorente was closed out of the game. At times, Spurs resorted to high crosses into the big man but they invariably found a Brighton head. It was the kind of battle where Fernando’s physicality might have been the deciding factor but it just wasn’t happening.
In terms of a top four finish, Spurs sit in third place with 70 points, four ahead of Arsenal and six in front of Manchester United. Both of those teams have a game in hand with United hosting Manchester City on Wednesday night.
United will then play Chelsea on Sunday which will see at least one team cancelled out. In reality it’s all down to us and two wins from the remaining three should be enough.
Saturday’s game at home to West Ham should follow a different pattern. Surely the Hammers will be on message with their supporters who will see two incentives: To be the first away team to score at the new stadium and the first to go on and steal a point at the very least.
Bournemouth away and Everton at home should be equally open and on paper at least, the fixture calendar seems to have been kind at the critical point of the campaign. For now, it’s goodbye Brighton – we hope you stay up but we’re happy not to be seeing you again for a few months.