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Brighton v Tottenham: Premier League – live | Premier League

Brighton v Tottenham: Premier League – live | Premier League

Key events

22 min: Penalty to Brighton!

Kulusevski is bang to rights. He’s booked for pulling back Welbeck.

20 min: Woodwork! Or metalwork! Or whatever the posts are made of! Gross swings in a corner for Brighton. Van Hecke rises highest at the far post and powers a header which crashes back off the upright. There are huge appeals for a penalty and VAR is having a look … a pull by Kulusevski on Welbeck who was looking to get on to the rebound. The referee, Jarred Gillett, is going to his screen …

18 min: Milner is everywhere! Spurs are passing the ball about around the edge of the Brighton box. The former Liverpool man skips into the thick of the action, dispossesses an opponent and slides a pass back to Steele. Appreciative applause comes from the home fans. Postecoglou will be warming up the hairdryer because Tottenham have been largely second-best.

16 min: Milner is at it again for Brighton, making another good run and testing the Tottenham back line. João Pedro then takes a good ball floated over from the right wing, does a couple of stepovers, and cracks a shot that is beaten out by Vicario.

That’s a cracking finish by Jack Hinshelwood, who takes a touch just inside the box, and belts a shot with loads of power into the roof of the net, virtually straight through Vicario. It’s James Milner that injects the momentum into the move initially: he makes a dart on the Brighton left, and then his surging decoy run opens the space up for João Pedro to drive infield, skirting along the edge of the penalty area and daring one of the defenders to bring him down. João Pedro finds Hinshelwood with a pass to feet, lurking in a bit of space among an unsettled Spurs defence, and he smashes the ball into the net with gusto.

Goal! 11 min: Brighton 1-0 Tottenham (Hinshelwood)


Jack Hinshelwood rifles a shot past Vicario to give the hosts the lead! Photograph: Kieran McManus/THFC/REX/Shutterstock

6 min: Brighton pass their way into the Spurs box as they keep up the pressure … Buonanotte initially has a shot blocked, but the ball drops nicely for Welbeck, who sidefoots a low attempted finish looking for the far corner. It looks every inch a goal, but Vicario anticipates the shot superbly and palms the ball out to safety, diving to his left. Welbeck looks a bit shocked at the quality of the save. Vicario was half down on the turf after reacting to the earlier effort by Pedro, and did phenomenally well to get back up and make the save.

5 min: Chance for Brighton! Welbeck plays a neat one-two with Gilmour in the Spurs box and has a sight of goal from an angle on the Seagulls’ left. He forces a good save from Vicario with a powerful shot that’s beaten out.

Danny Welbeck shoots at goal.
Danny Welbeck with a big chance to give the Seagulls an early lead! Photograph: Andrew Kearns/CameraSport/Getty Images

4 min: We’re going to see lots of Gangnam-style pressing this evening, as an MOTD pundit once erroneously called it.

3 min: Brennan Johnson is fouled by Igor, just outside the Brighton box. It looks like Porro is going to hit the free-kick … and he does, but straight into the wall.

1 min: A good ball by Kulusevski, angled low into the feet of Richarlison up front, creates space immediately for Tottenham. Son has a speculative shot when the ball is half-cleared but fails to get hold of it. A positive start for Spurs anyway.

First half kick-off!


Pretty nearly as far away as possible – Dunedin, New Zealand,” writes Michael Albert. “Unfortunately, also wet here though it’s not cold. Love these 0830 starts.”

Welcome, Michael.

There is every chance we are in for a treat,” says the Amazon Prime commentator, Conor McNamara. Famous last words?

Right, thanks for those. Good to hear from everyone. The teams are lining up out on the pitch, and it’s nearly show time.

We’re watching Brighton v Tottenham from the beach in Barbados – pretty far flung!” writes Sian. “My boyfriend, a Brighton supporter, predicts 7-0 to Brighton. I’m an Arsenal fan and waiting to watch them thrash West Ham later. We’ll be following along with the live blog.”

Alejandro Polo, “Peruvian living in Kentucky”, emails: “Hey, you said no emails from London, here we go! 2.30pm the game here, hope Spurs continue with this run of form!”

“Emailing from San Francisco where it is drizzling and gray,” writes Mark Lewis. “Possibly much like London … exactly how I am expecting this match to be.”


“Greetings from the exotic land of America!” writes Justin Madson. “Is there any team in the league that isn’t having some sort of injury crisis? Feels like every team is having at least a few players unable to play. Good thing Fifa is only finding more games for them to stuff into the calendar.”

“On the Ange bandwagon from Sydney,” writes JD. “Love the guy’s way of playing and how he supports his players.”

“An Israeli Spurs (and an FC Cologne season ticket holder) fan here,” writes Yinon.

”It is so nice to finally have a manager to be proud of and a recruiting team that manages to find jewels before others clubs, just as Brighton has been doing for the last years. And with Ange all Spurs fans finally feel the club is going in the right direction after stuttering since Poch’s last season.

“This exciting title challenge might come a bit too early for this squad, but … who knows if we will manage to survive until Sonny (as well as Sarr and Bissouma) come back from their international duties (and we maybe manage to bring a CB and a forward during January) we might just be primed for a push at the business end of the season.”

“Hello from not-London, Luke!” writes Gerry from Queens, NYC. “My wife studied at University of Sussex and so is hoping for a Brighton win to get them back on track after an inconsistent few games, but I need Richarlison to score – ideally several times – to have a chance in my fantasy match-up this week. So let’s hope for a 4-3 Brighton win but with a Richarlison hat-trick for Spurs.”

De Zerbi speaks! “I think it has been a good experience, in the first six months of the season … we played 26 games, I thiink we played better than last season, we did a good result … we could do better, we have five-six less points on the table, but I think we can be happy.

“We have some problem in the squad with players’ injuries. We have to play anyway with our style, to try to win the game.

“It’s a very tough challenge, a very tough moment (with the injuries) … but that is football for Brighton now, and other teams, especially if you compete in Europe. We have to be focused on what we have to do.”

It’s 22 games with no clean sheet, says the interviewer. But is it? “Four games in a row playing with clean sheet in the Europa League,” De Zerbi points out. “I am really sad, because we are conceding too many goals. Sometimes we concede a goal in the bad way, sometimes because of the opponent, sometimes because our DNA is to attack … we have to find the balance, and the right way to defend better.”

Monterey California far enough?” emails Paul Maslin. “Of course I happen to sitting in a pub near Hyde Park. So I guess I am a London person. If Ange can get four points from this game and Bournemouth Sunday with this depleted roster. The sky is pretty close to the limit!”

Brighton’s Lewis Dunk speaks: “Two teams that like to play football, two teams that like to press high … we’ve had a lot of injuries … but that’s what our squad’s for.”

Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham also has a natter: “Two teams that want to play the ball. They have a very good team, very good coach … They are doing something fantastic that’s not done my many other teams.”

Ange Postcoglou has a chat with Amazon Prime, and first up is asked about what he did on Christmas Day:

“We had the day off which was pretty rare … I was home alone. My family went off on holiday and forgot about me … but it was all right, it was nice.

“It’s always a tricky period (around Christmas) … you’ve got a lot of games … we’ve got a well-chronicled injury list, as do Brighton, to be fair.”

Next up, Ange is told that Tottenham will have the best away record in the league should they win tonight: “It’s always a good test of a team’s resilience and character … we’ve had some good tests away from home … home or away, I think our attitude is to try and play our football. For the most part, it’s worked OK.”

And what about Richarlison’s good form? “Richie, part of his problem, start of the year he was physically struggling a bit … he was carrying a bit … we had the operation and since then he’s looked a better player in terms of his freedom of movement.

“We’ve tried not to make excuses. Our performances have been pretty good. Our results have been pretty good. Hopefully we’ll get through this spell and get our players back … It’s a new year’s resolution now to keep everyone healthy.”

Kick-off is just over 30 minutes away.

Why not email me, especially if you’re reading from some far-flung, exciting place. Basically anywhere that’s not, let’s say, London.*

*Emails from London will also be carefully considered.

Meanwhile, here’s David Hytner’s report regarding that injury to Cristian Romero:

Below, courtesy of Steph Fincham, is Brighton’s festive report card, including some thoughts on VAR that I am sure we can all get behind.

“Our first time in Europe has been absolutely incredible – we won our “group of death” despite looking like rabbits in the headlights in our first game. To draw at Marseille and win at Ajax, and then beat Marseille at home was remarkable, and we’re into the knockouts. Everyone has worked so hard to achieve that progress: Lewis Dunk is critical; João Pedro, Igor, Van Hecke and Adingra have really hit the ground running. Gilmour (big quality, big attitude, says Roberto De Zerbi) improves every game, and a huge shout out to 18-year-old Jack Hinshelwood who has seized his chance after a depressing number of first-team injuries. Just hope Mitoma’s injury isn’t too bad after Thursday’s annoying draw with Palace.

Happy with the manager? Over the moon with De Zerbi. He says we’re not a “top, top team” yet and that maybe he isn’t a “top, top coach” but we’re on such an exciting journey: the players clearly love working with him and he seems to make everyone better.

We will finish … 6th, so long as we don’t get more injuries.

VAR – keep it, tweak it or get rid? Get rid of it. It’s become so boring listening to debates about where the system has gone wrong every week. We had three apologies from the PGMOL last season after VAR mistakes, and there’s really nothing worse than to be celebrating a goal only to be told minutes later that a toenail was offside in the buildup.”


Injury-hit Brighton are without Kaoru Mitoma and Simon Adingra among others – De Zerbi said this week that they “have more or less 10 injured players”. There are four changes to the team that drew at Palace just before Christmas with Jason Steele, Facundo Buonanotte, James Milner and Danny Welbeck coming into the side.

For Tottenham, similarly injury-hit, there is no Oliver Skipp or Cristian Romero. Skipp, they say, has a knock but will be fit for the next match while Romero is out for four to five weeks with a hamstring strain. Destiny Udogie and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are the additions to the side that beat Everton.

Brighton (4-2-3-1): Steele; Hinshelwood, Van Hecke, Dunk, Igor; Gilmour, Milner; Buonanotte, Gross, João Pedro; Welbeck. Substitutes: Verbruggen, Dahoud, Lallana, Moder, Baleba, Ferguson, Estupinan, Boaitey, Barrington.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Vicario; Porro, Udogie, Davies, Emerson; Sarr, Hojbjerg; Johnson, Kulusevski, Son; Richarlison. Substitutes: Gil, Dier, Lo Celso, Forster, Phillips, Veliz, Alonso, Donley, Dorrington.

Referee: Jarred Gillett (Australia)


Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs project was wobbling for a while back there. But after winning their past three Premier League matches against Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Everton, in that order, Tottenham are now feeling suitably festive and front-foot Angeball is very much in fashion.

Roberto de Zerbi’s Brighton, meanwhile, have hit a touch of turbulence on the domestic front. They are winless in three even though Danny Welbeck’s stupendous, old-school header at Crystal Palace earned them a point four days before Christmas to generate a smattering of seasonal cheer.

Not to mention the fact that the Europa League win against Marseille a week before that – ‘the best moment in my time here’ said De Zerbi – saw them impressively top their Europa League group. In the grand scheme these are both clubs on the up, but a Spurs victory would see Brighton’s recent blip threaten to turn into a slump.

The Premier League’s packed festive schedule™ regularly draws the ire of managers but the good news for fans is that matches of association football simply keep on coming. Tonight’s fixture between two progressive, positive teams promises to be fun viewing – and it kicks off at 7.30pm UK time.

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