Tottenham, Jose Mourinho avoid second straight loss vs. Brighton

Halfway through Thursday’s contest between Tottenham Hotspur and lowly Brighton and Hove Albion, it looked as though Spurs were headed toward a second consecutive home defeat.

Adam Webster had the visitors up a goal at the break, his header shortly before halftime the only goal of the opening 45 minutes after the video assistant referee had nullified Tottenham captain Harry Kane’s apparent opener earlier on. It seemed as though it would be that kind of day.

But Kane pulled the hosts level in the 53rd minute, and Dele Alli scored the eventual winner in a 2-1 victory with less than 20 minutes to play to help manager Jose Mourinho avoid a third defeat in five games.

Kane’s strike came after Seagulls keeper Mathew Ryan stopped his initial shot with a fine save. But the England striker made no mistake on the rebound, swiveling his body to volley the ball inside the near post with his left foot.

The tally marked Kane’s fifth consecutive Boxing Day goal for Spurs. But the real gift for Mourinho and Co. was Alli’s sublime effort in the 72nd minute. Second half substitute Christian Eriksen played a great ball over the Brighton backline to Serge Aurier.

The right back played a pass back to Alli, who did the heavy lifting by looping the ball, with one touch, over Ryan and into the side-netting. At that point, Tottenham was well on its way to a much needed-win after losing to Chelsea at home three days before Christmas:

The victory boosted Spurs from seventh to fifth place in the Prem standings, at least temporarily; Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers play later Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Meantime, the loss for Brighton dropped them from 13th into the relegation zone. It was the reeling Seagulls’ fifth defeat in eight games.

After two straight matches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Mourinho’s side will travel to Norwich City on Saturday. Brighton also faces a beatable opponent next, with fellow struggler Bournemouth scheduled to visit for Saturday’s early match.

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