Tottenham Hotspur reclaimed their spot in the Premier League‘s top four thanks to a dramatic 2-1 victory at home against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, sealed by substitute Brennan Johnson‘s stoppage-time heroics.
Johnson hammered the ball into the net from close range following a low cross by Tottenham’s captain Son Heung-min, who had started the match on the bench after returning from his Asian Cup duties.
Son’s entrance onto the field, shortly after Pape Matar Sarr had leveled the score for the hosts, ignited the crowd with the loudest cheer of the day, a cheer that was surpassed only by Johnson’s game-winning strike in the seventh minute of added time.
Tottenham faced an early setback when Pascal Gross converted a penalty for Brighton after Danny Welbeck was fouled, but they rallied after halftime. Sarr found the equalizer in the 61st minute, pouncing on a rebound after his initial shot ricocheted off the post.
A draw seemed likely, but Johnson’s late heroics sent Tottenham fans home jubilant as their team climbed into fourth place, surpassing Aston Villa with 47 points from 24 matches.
“It was a great finish for us and the supporters,” Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou, who finally has the luxury of an almost full-strength squad, said.
“It’s a reward for our second half efforts but we weren’t great in the first half. Part of that was because Brighton are a great team and we lacked some discipline.”
On the contribution of Son, Tottenham’s talisman now that Harry Kane has moved on, Postecoglou said: “We had a world class player in Son, who makes the most difficult ball look simple to set up Brennan.”
Son returned to action sooner than expected or desired following South Korea’s unexpected loss to Jordan in the Asian Cup semi-finals, a disappointment for Son despite his three goals in the tournament, adding to the 13 he has contributed for his club.
The manager chose not to immediately bring him into the game, but when Son did enter the fray, he once again proved to be the catalyst for his team, injecting Spurs with a renewed energy and providing a perfect low cross from the left wing that Johnson couldn’t miss.
Brighton faced a tough challenge without their manager, Roberto De Zerbi, serving a touchline ban. They took the lead in the 17th minute after Micky van de Ven fouled Danny Welbeck in the area, with Gross converting the resulting penalty.
Tottenham’s Richarlison, in good form, had the best chances for his side in the first half but failed to find the target, while James Maddison narrowly missed with a curled effort.
Tottenham displayed greater sharpness in the second half, with Sarr calmly finishing after being set up by Dejan Kulusevski, as Brighton came under pressure.
Despite this, the visitors regrouped and appeared poised to secure all three points. Substitute Ansu Fati came close to restoring Brighton’s lead, but his shot from Kaoru Mitoma’s pass narrowly missed the target.
Ultimately, Brighton’s adventurous approach proved costly as they were caught on the counterattack, with Son and Johnson combining effectively to punish them and secure the victory for Tottenham.
(With Reuters inputs)


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