Harry Kane and Dele Alli scored second-half goals to earn Tottenham a 2-1 comeback win at home to Brighton and Hove Albion in Thursday’s Premier League clash.
Jose Mourinho’s men lost 2-0 against Chelsea on Sunday and were again below par as they fell behind to Brighton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before fighting back.
Adam Webster profited from some slack defending to give Brighton a first-half lead, 13 minutes after Kane had a strike marginally ruled out for offside.
The England striker equalised early in the second half to continue his fine Boxing Day record, however, and compatriot Alli produced a deft winner 18 minutes from time to revive Tottenham’s top-four aspirations.
Kane got on the end of Harry Winks’ searching pass and tucked the ball past Mat Ryan, only for VAR to intervene and adjudge the striker was marginally offside.
That looked like being a big moment in the match as Webster – also on target against Arsenal in Brighton’s most recent win – climbed highest to head home Pascal Gross’ free-kick.
Aaron Connolly – who scored twice in Brighton’s 3-0 win over Spurs in October – made a mess of a glorious chance after 49 minutes, the youngster guiding Bernardo’s cross wide from close range as Spurs struggled for momentum.
From pretty much out of nowhere, though, Kane found a way past Ryan at the second time of asking to level things up after his first shot was repelled.
Tottenham pushed for a winner and found one through Alli, who lifted a first-time finish over Ryan after being teed up by Serge Aurier’s knock-back in a move started by substitute Christian Eriksen.
What does it mean? Tottenham regain momentum
After losing ground on the Champions League spots with last weekend’s defeat to fourth-place Chelsea, anything less than victory would have been seen as a huge setback for Tottenham.
Brighton won the reverse fixture comfortably and again for a while seemed to have their opponents’ number here, but Mourinho’s side managed to show a couple of moments of quality to pick up a win that moves them to within three points of Chelsea, who play Southampton in their game in hand later on Thursday.
Kane steps up again on Boxing Day
Having already had a goal ruled out, Kane stuck with the task and was rewarded with his equaliser early in the second half.
He has now scored eight goals in five Premier League games on Boxing Day – only Robbie Fowler (9) has scored more on December 26.
Static Spurs stunned by Webster
Webster’s opener made it 15 goals conceded by Tottenham in nine matches under Mourinho in all competitions – more than any other Premier League team in that period.
The centre-back now has three top-flight goals for the campaign, none easier than this one as he simply climbed higher than Toby Alderweireld to head in.
Key Opta Facts
– Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 14 Boxing Day league games (W11 D3), since losing 0-2 at Portsmouth in 2003 – extending their longest unbeaten run on December 26.
– Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has never lost in eight Premier League games on Boxing Day (W6 D2), managing more matches without defeat on the day than any other manager in the competition.
– Brighton and Hove Albion have lost five of their last six away league games played on Boxing Day (D1), including losing both such games in the Premier League (also 2-0 versus Chelsea in 2017).
– Dele Alli has been directly involved in more goals in all competitions under Mourinho than any other Tottenham player (five goals and three assists in eight appearances).
Tottenham are back in Premier League action with a trip to Norwich City on Saturday, the same day that Brighton host Bournemouth.
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