after seven and a half years.
2723 days previously Gareth Bale scored his last goal for Spurs, it was a winner, as was this as Spurs struggled and got lucky against a toothless Brighton.
Spurs seem to be stuck in a mindset, Jose’s mindset of counter attacking. Attack from the off, get ahead early then sit back.
Brighton’s manager thought he had played a blinder though, he knew who he was playing, by bringing in a keeper making his debut and everyone, and I mean, everyone knows that keepers have their career highlight playing Spurs. Added to that he decided to leave his main striker at home. No one really knows why but while Brighton had the best of the play they had absolutely no cutting edge, so while he thought it might have confused Spurs it helped the home side out massively.
So Spurs started quickly and it looked as if they were playing with the intent that was so lacking in the last two games, though they never really created any real chances. Then just before the quarter hour the first talking point of the game. Good ol’ VAR, which would provide really all the talking points bar the final one from Bale.
Harry Kane knew exactly what he was doing. He knew where Lallana was and what Lallana was going to do and Lallana fell for it. Is it a foul? Some say ye, some no. If it was anywhere else on the pitch there wouldn’t be an argument. The only argument was where it occurred. Was it on the line? If so it’s a penalty. VAR said so. And Harry put the spot kick away. Maybe the keeper wasn’t going to have his greatest game after all.
From there Spurs should have ben in command and if they kept playing that way they would have been but they dropped off and basically let Brighton play. That it took them into the second half to equalise would have been surprising but they were just so toothless in the Spurs’ box, mainly because they hardly ever got anyone in the Spurs’ box.
One time they did proved another VAR talking point. Doherty made contact with the Brighton player. It’s one of those where you see them given, especially against Spurs but surprisingly it wasn’t this time.
The equaliser also came with its own heavy dose of VAR as Spurs are on the end of another first. In the build up Hojbjerg was taken out but the ref let it go. There was a bit of play before Lamptey finally scored. Nobody could believe the ref didn’t give the foul. The VAR ref couldn’t believe he hadn’t given the foul so told him to have a look at the screen. Having done so unbelievably the ref still didn’t think it was a foul. The goal stood.
Again Jose had sat and watched it not working and waited until after the equaliser and the hour to make a change. Again he didn’t want to play Ndombele and Lo Celso as the latter replaced the former. An early yellow card seemed to curtail Ndombele a bit. Wasn’t at his best.
Shortly after bale entered for Lamela, who had just hit the post with a decent attempt, Spurs nearly scored from the rebound as the keeper had to save from his own player. From the corner Kane almost got the winner but it came to him awkwardly and he could only hit the other post.
So the one non-VAR talking point. Bale’s winner. Bale’s first goal for Spurs since the final game of the 2013 season. It started with a glorious cross field ball from Toby to Reguilon. Cutting in on his right put put the perfect cross onto Bale’s head. Bale all alone in the area guided his header perfectly past the diving keeper.
Like Burnley it was a win, three points when not playing well and Spurs are up to second in the table, for now. But if Spurs really want to be title challengers it has to be better than this, sitting back fro most of the game and playing for throws at the end, against Brighton, I don’t know…