Weekend review: Late heroics lead to 2-1 win for Spurs over Brighton

A trio of substitutions made by Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou helped lead Spurs to a stoppage time victory over visiting Brighton.
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

It came from the bench. After an equalizing goal from midfielder Pape Matar Sarr in the 60th minute, Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou made three big substitutions, installing the returning Son Heung-min, Yves Bissouma and forward Brennan Johnson. For the next half hour, momentum continued to build in favor of the Lilywhites, as numerous chances came close to breaking through a Brighton defense that had held strong for most of the match. Nevertheless, the persistence and pace of Big Ange's attack paid off, as Son, Richarlison and Johnson combined to put Spurs ahead with a late goal from Johnson in the 96th minute of the contest.

The substitutions of Son and Bissouma (both of whom had just returned from international duty in the last week) and Johnson, plus the later placements of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Ben Davies, helped Spurs keep pace with a Brighton squad that desperately needed a win to try and move closer to the top four.

The Seagulls were without manager Roberto de Zerbi, who was serving a one game touchline ban. Nevertheless, the Italian gaffer's presence was definitely felt, as Brighton continued to frustrate the Lilywhites in front of their home fans.

A first half penalty from Pascal Gross gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at halftime, while the Seagulls also held an advantage in possession at the break (53 to 47). Postecoglou opted to not make any changes at the time, running back his starting XI to begin the second half.

However, following Sarr's equalizer, Spurs would capitalize on the aforementioned trio of substitutions. The bench at Big Ange's disposal might have been the strongest one he's had all season, with the club nearly back to full strength. Only a couple of players remain out on injury. Once everyone is back, playing time for the fringe starters and bench may be even tougher to come by.

The win ensured that Tottenham remain in fourth place, now five points behind arch rival Arsenal and seven points behind league leaders Liverpool. If Arsenal lose their next two matches, however, then Spurs have an opportunity to leap into third with a home win against Wolves.

Earlier this week, during a press conference, Postecoglou was told that Spurs currently have a 0.1% chance to win the Premier League, according to a supercomputer from Opta. His response? The manager said what's he's consistently reiterated in previous interviews: "What did it say, 0.1 percent? So we got a chance then. Let's go for it. No problems, no issues with that, we've got a chance!"

Across his managerial history prior to Tottenham, Ange has won his share of titles. He's right when he says that 0.1 percent is still a chance. Don't count the gaffer and his squad out just yet. They pulled out a win today when few thought they would. Wouldn't it be just like Postecoglou to pull out a league title win when the rest of the world thinks that Spurs don't have a snowball's chance in summer? Safe to say, the team are looking forward to hosting Wolves when they come to town next Saturday.