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Premier League | Gameweek 19
Dec 28, 2023 at 7.30pm UK
The American Express Community Stadium

4 - 2

Hinshelwood (11'), Pedro (23' pen., 75' pen.), Estupinan (63')
Buonanotte (43'), Moder (70'), Dunk (82')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Veliz (81'), Davies (85')
Kulusevski (23'), Richarlison (57')

Brighton & Hove Albion triumph in six-goal thriller despite late Tottenham Hotspur fightback

:Headline: Brighton & Hove Albion triumph in six-goal thriller despite late Tottenham Hotspur fightback:
Brighton & Hove Albion conclude 2023 with a thrilling 4-2 home win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
Sports Mole

Brighton & Hove Albion have concluded 2023 on an impressive high after they secured a 4-2 home victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Thursday night.

Jack Hinshelwood's early opener as well as two Joao Pedro penalties either side of a stunning long-range strike from Pervis Estupinan put the Seagulls into a comfortable four-goal lead with 15 minutes remaining, but two late goals from Spurs duo Alejo Veliz and Ben Davies set up an intriguing finish on the South coast.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg rattled the post in stoppage time, but Tottenham's last-ditch efforts were ultimately in vain as Roberto De Zerbi's side held on to claim maximum points and climb to eighth in the Premier League table.

Ange Postecoglou's men missed the chance to climb to as high as third in the top-flight standings and they will instead enter the weekend in fifth place, one point behind the top four and six points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Both teams made a lively start to proceedings, but it Guglielmo Vicario who was the busier of the two goalkeepers and was forced to deny Danny Welbeck with two superb saves inside the first six minutes.

Shortly after palming away an effort at the near post, Vicario produced an excellent diving save to his left to keep out Welbeck's side-footed strike from around 10 yards out.

However, the Italian shot-stopper was unable to keep out Hinshelwood on the 11-minute mark, as the 18-year-old smacked his emphatic right-footed shot into the roof of the net to give Brighton the lead following a surging run and neat footwork inside the area from Pedro.

The Seagulls were then awarded a penalty following a VAR review after Dejan Kulusevski clumsily pulled the back of Welbeck's shirt during a corner, and Pedro stepped up and sent Vicario the wrong way to double the hosts' advantage.

Spurs responded with a decent chance just before the half-hour mark when Brennan Johnson whipped a low delivery across the face of goal, but it was just beyond Richarlison at the back post.

Brighton midfielder James Milner, making his 35th career appearance against Spurs, was inches away from adding a third for Brighton when he curled a stunning 20-yard strike against the post, before Facundo Buonanotte was ruled offside after side-footing a sweet half-volley beyond Vicario.

Shortly before half time, a misplaced back-pass from Spurs right-back Pedro Porro played Brighton's No.9 clean through on goal, but the Brazilian's dinked effort was tipped narrowly wide by Vicario, before Richarlison whipped a right-footed shot against the outside of the post at the other end.

Despite boasting more possession and having more touches in the opposition box, Spurs failed to register a single shot on target in the first half and required a rousing second-half performance to somehow thwart the impressive collective efforts of Brighton.

Richarlison was heavily involved in the opening exchanges of the second 45 and had the ball in the back of the net just 33 seconds after the restart when he raced through on goal and buried a finish into the bottom corner, but the Spurs striker was ruled offside.

The Brazilian then dragged a shot on the turn narrowly wide before poking another effort straight at Jason Steele, who also made himself big to keep out Destiny Udogie from close range.

Luck was certainly not on Richarlison's side, as he was booked for raising his hand into the neck of Pedro before having another goal disallowed for offside, and Tottenham's night then went from bad to worse when they found themselves on the receiving end of a goal-of-the-season contender from substitute Estupinan just after the hour mark.

Milner astutely picked out Estupinan from a quickly-taken corner and the Ecuadorian left-back unleashed an exquisite 30-yard strike that dipped with pace and power over the outstretched Vicario into the top corner.

Brighton rubbed salt into Tottenham's wounds 15 minutes from time when Pedro netted his eighth penalty of the season and 13th goal in total across all competitions after substitute Evan Ferguson was bundled over by Giovani Lo Celso inside the area; only Nottingham Forest (19) have conceded as many goals as Spurs (also 19) in the Premier League since the start of November.

Postecoglou threw on 20-year-old striker Alejo Veliz to provide a fresh spark in the closing stages, and he managed to pull one back nine minutes from time, slotting a close-range finish beyond Steele after receiving a cross from Son Heung-min.

Davies then directed a header into the top corner at the back post just four minutes later, pouncing on a pinpoint delivery from Porro to provide a glimmer of hope for the travelling Spurs supporters entering the nine minutes of added time.

Hojbjerg curled a decent strike against the post shortly before Porro and Son failed to convert from inside the area, but the visitors eventually ran out of steam against an energetic Brighton outfit, who have extended their unbeaten home run to nine matches in all tournaments.

Tottenham will hope to finish the calendar year on a positive note when they play host to Bournemouth on New Year's Eve, while Brighton will travel to West Ham United for their first game of 2024 next Tuesday.

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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