Gareth Bale scored his first goal since returning to Tottenham as Jose Mourinho’s side bounced back from their Europa League disappointment with a 2-1 Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion.
Spurs suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Royal Antwerp on Thursday and Mourinho demonstrated his dissatisfaction with that result by making nine changes for the visit of Graham Potter’s side, with Bale demoted to the substitutes’ bench and Dele Alli dropped from the squad altogether.
Mourinho’s new-look starting XI went ahead with a 13th-minute penalty from Harry Kane before Tariq Lamptey’s first professional goal pulled Brighton level shortly before the hour mark.
Bale came off the bench to head home in the 73rd minute, though, to help Tottenham move up to second place, two points behind leaders Liverpool. The Seagulls, meanwhile, remain in 16th having won just once so far this season.
Tottenham were rewarded for a bright start with their early spot-kick after a VAR review determined Adam Lallana’s clumsy jump into the back of Kane had taken place just inside the penalty area.
Kane kept his focus to slam home his 149th Premier League goal for the club.
Brighton responded well to that early setback but struggled to break down Tottenham’s defence, Potter’s side ultimately ending the first half without a shot on target.
The Seagulls pulled level shortly before the hour mark when Lamptey slotted into Hugo Lloris’ bottom-right corner from 10 yards, the goal eventually given after referee Graham Scott had undertaken a lengthy pitchside video review to assess if there had been a foul on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the build-up.
Erik Lamela then struck the right-hand post with a low drive from distance before Kane hit the opposite upright after a corner had fallen kindly to him.
Those misses were soon forgotten about when Bale scored his first Premier League goal since May 2013, just three minutes after being introduced for Lamela.
The Wales international found space in the area to meet his former Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Reguilon’s cross from the left with a thumping header from eight yards to seal all three points for his side.
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