Spurs leave it late as Eriksen strike helps them edge Brighton

Christian Eriksen’s stunning late winner finally ended Brighton’s resistance to boost Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Brighton were on course to gain a point in their battle to avoid relegation before the Denmark playmaker – Spurs’ most effective attacking player throughout – shot low into the corner from 25 yards in the 88th minute.

Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld had earlier hit the post while his team-mates Lucas Moura and Dele Alli both had efforts cleared off the goalline.

Brighton, without a goal in seven matches, were restricted to counter attacks and set pieces, with the impressive central defensive pairing of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy both heading off target.

Third-placed Tottenham are now three points ahead of Chelsea and four clear of Arsenal in fifth, although the Gunners have a game in hand.

Brighton – who have to play both Arsenal and title-chasing Manchester City – remain 17th, three points clear of third-bottom Cardiff with three matches of the season remaining.

Spurs take victory in “must win” game

Before the match Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino described the game as a “must win” so will be relieved his side eventually converted their 78% possession into a decisive moment with their 29th effort at goal.

It was always likely to be Eriksen who unlocked Brighton’s well-organised defence given he had created his side’s best chances.

His early cross was headed over by Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen then minutes later England’s Dele Alli narrowly failed to get a touch on another Eriksen delivery.

Brazil forward Moura was also played in by Eriksen and although his shot evaded Seagulls keeper Mat Ryan, it was cleared off the line by Dunk – whose centre-back partner Duffy denied Alli in similar fashion soon after.

Spurs continued to create chances in the second half with Eriksen and Son Heung-min both shooting over before Danny Rose forced a fine one-handed save from Ryan.

Alderweireld’s shot on the turn from the edge of the penalty area hit the inside of the post and bounced out and Spurs were so desperate for a goal that they turned to striker Vincent Janssen for his first Spurs appearance since August 2017.

There looked to be minimal danger when Alli slid a pass to Eriksen 40 yards out but his fine strike from outside the area defeated Ryan to earn his side three points.

PHOTO/COURTESY

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