Football Features

Spurs 2-1 Brighton: Every player rated as Winks struggles to provide midfield answers

By Steve Jennings

Published: 14:33, 26 December 2019

Tottenham came from behind to beat Brighton in the opening game of the Premier League Boxing Day fixture list.

Adam Webster nodded the visitors ahead in the first half as Spurs struggled to get going, but Jose Mourinho rallied the troops at half-time ahead of a spirited comeback.

Goals from Harry Kane and Dele Alli perhaps masked a mostly disappointing display from Tottenham, though the Londoners will be pleased to have taken all three points after such a disappointing start.

Here’s how the players rated at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

Tottenham

Paulo Gazzaniga – 6 – Could do nothing about the goal. Made some simple saves and didn’t come close to make any errors like his one against Chelsea.

Serge Aurier – 6 – AaronMooy dominated his side but perhaps that was because of Aurier’s high starting position. Better going forward than at the back, as usual, creating the winner with a tidy pass.

Davinson Sanchez – 6 – Aaron Connolly got the better of him once and it resulted in a booking. But other than that he dealt with his counterpart quite well throughout.

Toby Alderweireld – 5 – Out-leaped for the goal. Tasked with playing long balls but often there was nothing on and he had to go sideways – perhaps could have taken more risks in that regard.

Jan Vertonghen – 5 – Didn’t need to get forward with Ryan Sessegnon on the left. Tucked inside and wasn’t threatened much down that left-centre avenue. A little sloppy with his passing.

Moussa Sissoko – 5 – His first touch and dribbling was erratic but he was often the catalyst of Spurs attacks with his driving runs. Just needed some more composure at times.

Harry Winks – 3 – A little bit all over the place. Played the best pass of the game for Harry Kane’s offside goal but was mostly inaccurate and looked edgy in possession.

Lucas Moura – 6 – Admirably came deep to try to get Spurs moving but held onto the ball for too longer over and over. Better when he moved out to the left in the second half, looking far more determined to turn things around.

Dele Alli – 5 – His revival has stalled somewhat over the festive period. Poor against Chelsea and struggled again here until his perfectly executed finish put the hosts ahead – a rating-saving moment, for sure.

Ryan Sessegnon – 5 – Looked a real threat early on down the left but Brighton took him out of the game after that and he barely touched the ball. Missed a good chance to open the scoring despite an incisive run.

Harry Kane – 7 – Received very little service, which continues to be a problem. But he came alive in the second half, scoring the equaliser and working incredibly hard to retain the lead, rushing back to defend despite looking zapped of energy.

Substitutes:

Giovani Lo Cleso (for Sessegnon 56) – 6 – Added some creativity and intensity at a vital moment, even if he went quiet after that.

Christian Eriksen (for Harry Winks 68) – 6 – Produced a perfect pass in the build-up to the winner.

Eric Dier (for Lucas Moura 76) – N/A – Introduced to protect the lead and did fine.

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Brighton

Mathew Ryan – 6 – Perhaps lucky to see Kane’s goal ruled out as he rushed out at the wrong time. In contrast he was unfortunate with the equaliser, saving well before Kane converted the rebound.

Ezequiel Schelotto – 6 – Got Brighton up the pitch with his galloping runs down the right. Won his battle with Sessegnon. Struggled a bit more in tracking Moura but wasn’t exactly at fault.

Adam Webster – 6 – Opened the scoring with a cracking header, out-jumping Alderweireld in the process. Worth noting, though, that it was in his defensive zone that Kane started finding room in the second half.

Shane Duffy – 6 – Part of a back five that was disciplined for a good hour before tiring and leaving too many gaps. He remained pretty secure, though, and he made some crucial interceptions.

Dan Burn – 5 – Showed his versatility by switching to the left of a back four when Brighton were chasing the game, although Aurier started having more luck down the right after that happened.

Bernardo – 5 – A little erratic on the ball and struggled to get past Sissoko and Aurier down Brighton’s left flank. Substituted with the score at 2-1 as he wasn’t threatening enough going forward.

Dale Stephens – 5 – Could have been a bit more adventurous with his passing when Tottenham looked to be there for the taking on the counter. That said, he was no less accurate than any of the hosts’ midfielders.

Steven Alzate – 6 – Didn’t stop running until the end. Struggled to protect the defence as the game went on but his industry in midfield gave Brighton a foothold, and his attitude was summed up by a last-ditch block to prevent Spurs adding another in stoppage time.

Pascal Gross – 6 – Perfect delivery for the opening goal. Looked the most likely to score another for Brighton with a couple of long-range efforts but just couldn’t beat Gazzaniga.

Aaron Connolly – 4 – Did his best to get in behind Sanchez but just didn’t have the required strength. Missed a really good chance to make it 2-0 with a header that came off his shoulder.

Aaron Mooy – 7 – Continues to go under the radar as one of the best players outside the ‘big six’. Pressed high, showed excellent composure on the ball and gave Brighton some attacking drive.

Substitutes:

Neal Maupay (for Connolly 68) – 5 – Barely touched the ball as Spurs had gained more control by then.

Leandro Trossard (for Bernardo 76) – N/A – Not enough time to make an impact for the winger.

Yves Bissouma (for Schelotto 83) – N/A – Did his best to drive forward in a short cameo.

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