Match Report: Spurs 2 Brighton 1(by the scruff of our neck!)
In my match preview, I went against my traditional win and said, “In my heart, it will be a draw (1-1), but my head says we will lose…” We didn’t lose or draw… but it was a close thing. They had two goals disallowed and penalty shouts ignored. We were lucky.
Our trip to Tottenham stadium was a trip of laughs, debate, discussion on possible results etc. This time, it wasn’t just Mel and me, but Janette with her Son JJ. It was her Son’s first trip to the Levy Tottenham showground.
We left Janette’s home at 7.45 am and made our way to Mel’s house, which meant we went in the opposite direction (towards Gloucester), then on to Tottenham, stopping for coffee on the way).
But once at the stadium, a quick trip to the shop for a necessary toilet breather, then to the queue to wait to get in (half an hour wait… but not waisted as we chatted with fellow supporters)… up the escalators to our favoured spot (oh, first got our programmes at the reception – must get my priorities right. Years of collecting… all the way back to the 40s, handbooks to 1920-21, and all the Cup final programmes in between, apart from the Sheffield United (1901) game, where I believe there wasn’t one issued)…
Drinks were ordered… it was then a chance to catch up with friends and discuss possibilities, talk about potential managers that can work with Levy and hopefully achieve something for the fans and team (Levy, over the past 20 years, has hired 10 permanent coaches, who, between them, have won 61 trophies before and after managing Spurs. Only one manager achieved a trophy under Levy’s thumb, and he was quickly fired…
…anyway… back to the Levy creation… yes, we discussed our future prospects until it was time to go into the stadium bowl and see what damage the informed Brighton could do…
The kick-off was delayed because of a scuffle between the coaches, and the referee had to go off for something…
The below-bar Son scored his 100th Premier League goal, and Harry Kane got the second-half winner as we rode our luck to beat inform Brighton.
Brighton dominated large periods and had two goals ruled out for handball, but the strikes from Son and Kane eased our recent struggles. Next up will be Bournemouth… will the Seagull’s game be the calm before the storm? Again, the match will be at our stadium.
Son curled a brilliant 25-yard strike inside the far post after 10 minutes, while Kane’s shot in the 79th minute deflected past Brighton keeper Jason Steele. Upon both goals reaching the net, we all jumped with joy (a lovely girl!) in unison… hand claps, high fives and hugs all around… as per normal when scoring…
Brighton’s Lewis Dunk had earlier levelled in the first half for Brighton, heading in Solly March’s corner unchallenged at the back post, shortly after Kaoru Mitoma was judged to have controlled with his upper arm before converting.
Our opponents (visitors) had the ball in the net again in the second half. Still, Danny Welbeck’s shot flicked Alexis Mac Allister’s arm on the way in, and the goal was disallowed by the video assistant referee.
VAR then turned down strong penalty appeals from Brighton with the score 1-1 when Mitoma went down under a challenge from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. There was relief on our faces… we got away with it! Otherwise, it could have been a disaster for us. We looked sky-wise to thank the Gods! They weren’t pissing down on us like usual…
Then the fun and entertainment started…
The match became increasingly irritable, and both managers (Roberto de Zerbi and Cristian Stellini)- were sent off in the second half after a free-for-all between the two benches. That kept us talking for a while… we couldn’t work out why Stellini was affected as he just stood there… however, it seems – under the rules – the managers are responsible for their coaches/staff’s behaviour. Anyway, that was that…
This win keeps us within three points of the top four, although we have played a game more than fourth-placed Manchester United. We can still make amends as we play both Uniteds at some point. Brighton drop to seventh.
Son’s sensational goal was reminiscent of his best, making him the first Asian player to score 100 League goals. He cut inside from the wing, jolted the ball out and belted a right-footed shot perfectly inside the right-hand post. We all jumped with elation and amazement when he did that… what a goal!
With Kane on the scoresheet with his 25th goal of the season, you could be forgiven for thinking this was the old Spurs. In truth, it was anything but.
To be fair, Brighton had more possession, the better chances. Our opponent’s expected goals total was 1.28 to our’ 0.82 – and they should have had a penalty. We breathed a sigh of relief when the referee looked the other way, and VAR ignored it. We needed some luck after an up-and-down season.
A note of interest, when Stellini was sent off, apparently a bystander in the tussle, which resulted in him being dismissed, the home crowd (but not all) were singing the name of Mauricio Pochettino. They were also singing “Levy and ENIC out”.
However, in seven games in all competitions, it will prove crucial if we can brawl our way into the Champions League again this season. Yes, it will be a miracle… but we are hoping the other chasers for the grand prize will stumble and let us through… With the two Uniteds (Manchester and Newcastle) taking three points on Saturday, we were at risk of being cut adrift if Brighton had won or drawn. Instead, we remain in touch.
Brighton left to regret decisions…
Brighton’s De Zerbi was visibly ‘frustrated’ after they were defeated. They are 10 points behind fourth, albeit with a game in hand, and have been overtaken by Aston Villa. This result will likely end Brighton’s hopes of a remarkable top-four finish.
While our attack was noticeably laboured, our visitors were optimistic going forward without creating many opportunities.
I thought the two handball decisions were tough but correct (in my judgement).
Watching the game again on Match of the Day, I thought Mitoma’s first contact seemed to be with his bicep as he controlled a chipped pass and volleyed in. At the same time, Mac Allister’s intervention on Welbeck’s shot clearly helped the ball squirm under Hugo Lloris, however accidental.
I was surprised by the decision not to give a penalty for Hojbjerg’s challenge on Mitoma minutes before Kane’s winner… but we needed a bit of luck on our side, and we got it (deserved or not).
As Mitoma controlled the ball in the box, Hojbjerg’s foot landed on top of his boot, but referee Stuart Attwell was not asked to view the incident again by VAR. Lucky for us, De Zerbi had already been dismissed by this stage. Given his arguments with our bench before kick-off, it would have really pissed him off (it may have caused an injurious confrontation… bloodshed at the old Nell Inn). No doubt, where he was sitting (even though further back)… he must have been doing the penguin… waddling around in frustration and yelping all over the place… There has been talk about him becoming our next manager… I don’t think so.
Well, that was enough excitement for one day (the life and tribulations of a Tottenham fan in a whirlpool of directorial incompetence). Until the next time (Bournemouth), we shall have a breather and a period of home calmness.
JJ and Janette enjoyed their day… talking to friends, eating, drinking, discussing and getting away with a win… next up, it will be just Mel and I that has the joys of our topsy-turvy Tottenham circus ride. Where the wheel of doom will stop… nobody knows… but we do know that it will be Levy and his cohorts spinning that wheel.
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: “Daniel Levy is our own devil, and he will make this world our hell for his own money-making journey.” That is if we let him. As I said, the joys and tribulations of a Tottenham fan.
Up the Spurs!
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
I go to all home, away and abroad matches.
I was born in 1955, Edgware, London. I currently live in Berkshire.
I also collect all Spurs books, Spurs handbooks, Spurs programmes etc.
Previously, I wrote for Spurs Fanzines: The Spur, Spur of the Moment, My Eyes have seen the Glory and various other Spurs fanzines’. I also wrote for the SpursWeb app & its website.
I currently write and work for spursnetwork.com and its website. I write its Reviews & Match reports and a lot more.
My other interests are; reading, history, social history, Politics, going to the gym, wine, going out for a meal, music (all sorts), writing, theatre, concerts, going on holidays, socialising etc.
I have been writing blogs/ articles since 1989
If you wish to read more of my blog, please click “here”