Instead of dealing with a relentless attack like City’s, Spurs had to deal with a well-organized Brighton defense. The Seagulls almost stole a point, but a late winner from Christian Eriksen gave Tottenham a 1-0 win.
The win allowed Spurs to capitalize on recent poor results from the other teams chasing the Champions League places.
Mauricio Pochettino didn’t have too many options in midfield due to the absences of Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko. Thus, Eriksen dropped deeper to play alongside Victor Wanyama. Dele also dropped deeper into midfield at times. Fernando Llorente earned another start, as did Lucas Moura. Hugo Lloris came back into the team after Paulo Gazzaniga started at the weekend.
The Seagulls hadn’t won since a March 9th contest with Crystal Palace. They allowed Spurs time on the ball and tried to hit them on counter-attacks and set pieces, as has been their game plan all season.
Tottenham’s new stadium was once again in fine voice, with Spurs fans singing from the opening whistle.
But the home side had to be patient with their attacks. The first real chance came in the 20th minute when Jan Vertonghen had a shot on a ball that was bouncing around the box dangerously. A couple of Brighton defenders teamed-up to block it, and then Mathew Ryan poked it away from harm.
The visitors stayed organized throughout the first half. They even managed a few forays forward that resulted in dangerous corner kicks or crosses.
Spurs managed one more clear-cut opportunity right on the stroke of halftime. Kieran Trippier played a ball into the box for Dele, and the 23-year-old displayed tremendous control to bring the ball down and flick a shot towards goal, but it was kept out by a combination of Ryan and Shane Duffy.
Brighton almost started the second half with a shock. Duffy had a free header at the back post on a free kick, but his effort was right at Lloris.
Tottenham responded well to that chance by the visitors. The Lilywhites’ attacks were constant. Brighton barely had a kick at the other end.
Danny Rose had a chance in the 67th minute when he ran forward and made good contact on a shot with his right foot, but Ryan was there to save.
Brighton increasingly wasted time as they tried to scheme their way to a point.
Alderweireld struck the post a few minutes later when he slipped while having a go from a corner. Then, Lucas’ cutback for Dele was swept over the bar. It still wouldn’t happen for Spurs.
The final throw of the dice by Pochettino? Vincent Janssen. The Dutch striker hadn’t played all season, but he came on to try and bolster the attack with about ten minutes left.
Brighton were so close to securing a point, but Christian Eriksen had other ideas just before stoppage time. The Dane ripped a left-footed shot from outside the box that went past Ryan and got the Tottenham Hotspur stadium up on its feet.
It was another late winner from outside the box for Eriksen. Those have become his trademark goals at Spurs.
The visitors tried to regroup and muster an attack, but there wasn’t much time. It was a devastating result for Brighton, and a massive one for Tottenham, who now have a bit more of a buffer between themselves and Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.