Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: Johnson helps Spurs secure last-gasp win

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Brennan Johnson scores a goal for Tottenham
Brennan Johnson has scored three Premier League goals for Tottenham this season

Brennan Johnson scored deep into additional time to deliver a come-from-behind Premier League victory for Tottenham against Brighton.

Brighton’s Pascal Gross opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Danny Welbeck had been fouled by Micky van de Ven, sending goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario the wrong way.

Tottenham responded well to falling behind, creating a raft of chances, but Jason Steele made several good saves to deny the in-form Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski, while James Maddison curled narrowly wide.

The momentum remained firmly in Spurs’ favour when the second half got under way with Rodrigo Bentancur, Maddison and Timo Werner attempting efforts at goal as the majority of the action took place deep in Brighton territory.

They continued to probe and that pressure eventually told when Sarr latched on to a lovely through ball from Kulusevski before finishing at the second attempt after his initial shot was deflected on to the post.

Captain Son Heung-min was introduced after the equaliser, making his first appearance of 2024 for Spurs after returning from duty with South Korea at the Asian Cup, and the forward had a major hand in the winning goal as he laid the ball across goal for Johnson to convert.

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou, speaking to BBC Match of the Day, said: “It’s fair to say that we are still a work in progress but we had a world-class player in Son [Heung-min], who makes the most difficult ball look simple to set up Brennan [Johnson].

“It was a great finish for us and the supporters.”

The win moves Tottenham up to fourth – one point clear of Aston Villa, who host Manchester United on Sunday – while Brighton stay eighth.

Joyous stoppage-time scenes for Spurs

No team has conceded more than Tottenham’s tally of eight goals in the 90th minute or later in the Premier League this season, but Spurs were on the other side of that equation on Saturday as they showed grit and determination right to the finish.

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Postecoglou spoke this week about having a strong and healthy squad available for the first time in a while with the likes of Son, Sarr and Yves Bissouma returning from international commitments at the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, while Van de Ven made his fifth successive appearance after a 10-game absence due to injury.

The Australian manager also outlined how key it was to prevent Brighton from settling into a rhythm early on but his side failed to heed that warning as the visitors created early chances and moved the ball neatly through the thirds of the pitch.

After conceding their sixth penalty of the season – the most of any team in the league – which was converted by Gross, Tottenham sprang into life and everything seemed to click with Maddison creating from midfield, Sarr making driving runs into the final third and Richarlison causing problems in and around the box.

Spurs were well clear on the shot count at half-time but lacked a clinical edge, something they managed to correct after the break as initially Sarr and then Johnson got the job done to keep the pressure on Villa in the race for a Champions League berth.

Away problems persist for Seagulls

Brighton were without manager Roberto de Zerbi for the game as the Italian was suspended after being shown his third yellow card of the season and opted not to travel after dental surgery this week, so assistant Andrea Maldera was deputising.

It all seemed to be going so well when Gross calmly converted from the spot but clear-cut openings were few and far between for the remainder of the match.

The Seagulls, to their credit, were always willing to press and showed plenty of energy but the absence of top-scorer Joao Pedro, who missed out with a hamstring injury, left them wanting in the final third.

Coming up short on the road is becoming a common narrative for the south coast club, winning just one of their last 10 away from home in the league, and De Zerbi will be eager to address that issue as he looks to steer Brighton back into Europe next term.

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number5Player nameDunk

  2. Squad number13Player nameGroß

  3. Squad number23Player nameSteele

  4. Squad number22Player nameMitoma

  5. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck

  6. Squad number29Player namevan Hecke

  7. Squad number40Player nameBuonanotte

  8. Squad number2Player nameLamptey

  9. Squad number14Player nameLallana

  10. Squad number30Player nameEstupiñán

  11. Squad number11Player nameGilmour

  12. Squad number31Player nameAnsu Fati

  13. Squad number28Player nameFerguson

  14. Squad number34Player nameVeltman

  15. Squad number20Player nameBaleba

  16. Squad number47Player nameBaker-Boaitey

Line-ups

Tottenham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Vicario
  • 23Porro
  • 17Romero
  • 37van de Ven
  • 38UdogieSubstituted forHøjbjergat 80′minutes
  • 29SarrBooked at 61minsSubstituted forDaviesat 80′minutes
  • 30BentancurSubstituted forSon Heung-minat 62′minutes
  • 21KulusevskiSubstituted forBissoumaat 63′minutes
  • 10MaddisonBooked at 35mins
  • 16WernerSubstituted forJohnsonat 62′minutes
  • 9Richarlison

Substitutes

  • 4Skipp
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 6Dragusin
  • 7Son Heung-min
  • 8Bissouma
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 20Forster
  • 22Johnson
  • 33Davies

Brighton

Formation 4-3-3

  • 23Steele
  • 2LampteySubstituted forBalebaat 90+1′minutes
  • 29van Hecke
  • 5DunkBooked at 88mins
  • 30EstupiñánBooked at 79mins
  • 13Groß
  • 11GilmourSubstituted forBaker-Boaiteyat 90+1′minutes
  • 14LallanaSubstituted forAnsu Fatiat 57′minutes
  • 40BuonanotteBooked at 65minsSubstituted forVeltmanat 83′minutes
  • 18WelbeckSubstituted forFergusonat 83′minutes
  • 22Mitoma
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Substitutes

  • 1Verbruggen
  • 4Webster
  • 15Moder
  • 20Baleba
  • 28Ferguson
  • 31Ansu Fati
  • 34Veltman
  • 47Baker-Boaitey
  • 55O’Mahony

Referee:
Samuel Barrott

Attendance:
61,445

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