Christian Eriksen’s 88th minute goal finally broke Brighton and Hove Albion’s brave resistance to give Tottenham a precious 1-0 victory in their quest for a top-four finish in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Until the Danish playmaker’s low shot from just outside the penalty area whizzed across the turf and past Mat Ryan, it seemed Brighton had withstood a second-half siege and would escape with a point in their relegation battle.
Chris Hughton’s side erected a green wall in front of Tottenham for more or less the entire game, leaving the home fans groaning in frustration — none more so than when Toby Alderweireld’s shot with 20 minutes remaining hit the inside of the post and rolled across the face of goal.
In his desperation, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino sent on outcast Dutch striker Vincent Janssen in the 80th minute for his first action of the season.
But in the end it was Eriksen who punctured Brighton’s armour from Tottenham’s 29th goal attempt — 21 of which were from outside the penalty area.
It secured a fourth win from four matches in all competitions for Tottenham inside their new stadium and more importantly it lifted them three points above fourth-placed Chelsea with three games to go and four ahead of Arsenal who have played one game less. Tottenham are six clear of Manchester United.