Five things: Tottenham Hotspur

The key talking points from a memorable win at the Amex.

By Ciaran Wiseman • 06 October 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Connolly salutes the Amex crowd.

Albion recorded an emphatic 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex, and here are five things we have picked out from Saturday's game.

1. What a debut!

Aaron Connolly marked his full Premier League debut with two goals and a man-of-the-match performance. Having made four appearances off the bench in the top flight this season, 19-year-old Connolly showed just why Graham Potter has promoted the young striker to the first-team squad this term.


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Connolly: It hasn't sunk in yet!


The first of his two goals showcased his excellent movement to get ahead of his marker and flick Dan Burn’s cross towards goal, before snapping up the rebound after Paulo Gazzaniga had made the initial save. He then added a second after the break, gliding down the left before jinking inside and drilling the ball into the far corner. The standing ovation he received when he was substituted capped off a day that will live long in his memory.

2. Pass and Move

Graham Potter made it clear in the summer that he wanted his Albion side to play attractive football, keeping the ball instead of chasing the opposition. This approach has already been evident at times this season, notably away to Manchester City, and it was on display once again on Saturday.

The Seagulls kept possession comfortably all over the pitch, utilising triangles to move the ball around their opponents and enjoying good spells of prolonged possession. As the crowd began to chant ‘Ole!’ with every pass during the final 20 minutes, Albion almost scored a sublime goal with the ball going from back to front beautifully via some one and two-touch passing.

3. Defensive containment 

Having lined up with three centre-backs for most of the season so far, the idea of playing as a two could have been daunting for Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster, especially as they were up against England captain Harry Kane.

However, the pair contained the two-time Premier League golden boot winner throughout. The fact that they were able to limit Kane to just one attempt on goal is made even more impressive by the fact that Webster’s summer arrival means his partnership with Dunk is relatively untried.

4. On the overlap

By Paul Hazlewood
Dan Burn charges up the field against Tottenham Hotspur.

Despite the switch to a four-man defence, Potter’s full-backs Dan Burn and Martin Montoya showed excellent work rate to repeatedly overlap the midfield and provide a threat down the flanks, while also maintaining their defensive responsibilities.

In fact, it was Burn who whipped in the cross that led to Connolly’s first goal.

5. Front two press high

By Paul Hazlewood
Neal Maupay wheels away after opening the scoring against Tottenham Hotspur.

Not only did both centre forwards get on the scoresheet, but Aaron Connolly and Neal Maupay put in excellent shifts out of possession.

The high press employed by Brighton meant that Tottenham’s defence were not afforded a moment of rest, as they forced several misplaced passes as well as keeping the ball deep in the opposing final third. Meanwhile, their movement created plenty of space for teammates - especially attacking midfielders Aaron Mooy and Pascal Gross - as Albion overwhelmed their visitors at times.

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