- Albion are beaten 1-0 by Tottenham Hotspur
- Christian Eriksen scores the winning goal
- Albion remain three points clear of the relegation zone with three games left
- The Seagulls are next in action at home to Newcastle United on Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion fell to a cruel 1-0 defeat against Spurs, as Christian Eriksen’s 88th-minute strike claimed a narrow win for the hosts at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Dane’s strike in the final minutes of normal time gave the north Londoners a slender victory over a Seagulls side that put in a gutsy display against Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Chris Hughton made six changes to the team that drew 0-0 with Wolves on Saturday, as Albion faced their second match in the space of four days.
Spurs created their first chance of note when Eriksen took aim from distance and his shot bounced in front of Dele Alli before going wide.
Albion worked their first opening when Pascal Gross played an enticing free kick into the box, and Victor Wanyama’s clearance sailed over the crossbar.
Eriksen was involved in the thick of the action down the other end when his free kick caused a scramble inside the Albion penalty area; Jan Vertonghen’s effort was blocked by Lewis Dunk, before Maty Ryan clawed the ball away from Wanyama, allowing Bernardo to clear the danger.
Bernardo was called into action again moments later, as the Brazilian made a fine block to deny his compatriot Lucas Moura after Heung-Min Son caught out the Albion defence with a short free kick.
Hughton’s men continued to defend resolutely, as Dunk produced a brilliant sliding clearance to keep out Moura’s angled strike after the Brazilian was teed up by Eriksen.
Andone had an opportunity to give Albion the lead, after the Romanian made a surging run down the pitch only to be thwarted at the last moment inside the box.
The Seagulls frontman was then almost picked out by Alireza Jahanbakhsh inside the box, but the former’s cross was just too strong.
Alli almost broke the deadlock for Spurs in first-half stoppage time when he brought the ball down inside the box, but was denied thanks to some superb defensive team work from Shane Duffy and Maty Ryan.
Duffy could have broken the deadlock soon after the re-start, as the Irishman ghosted in at the far post to meet a Gross cross, but the defender headed straight at Hugo Lloris.
Spurs were kept at arm’s length by a defensively disciplined Seagulls backline, with the hosts largely reduced to efforts from distance by Wanyama, Eriksen and Son.
One of those long-range efforts almost did the trick for Spurs, as Danny Rose’s fierce left-footed strike was palmed into the air by Ryan before the Seagulls shot-stopper claimed the ball at the second attempt.
Dunk marshalled the defence excellently on the night and threw his body to the ground to block Son’s effort, with Tottenham continuing to pepper the ball around Albion’s box.
Toby Alderweireld was next to come close after being allowed to take a touch and turn inside the area, and his shot clipped off the inside of the post before rolling across the goal line and going behind.
Chances were few and far between for the Seagulls, as second-half substitute Glenn Murray tried his luck with a speculative shot from distance that sailed high over the bar.
The hosts pressed forward once again and Ryan pushed away Eriksen’s strike from distance before Dunk brilliantly cleared away the loose ball.
But just when Albion thought they would hold on for a precious point, Eriksen provided a sucker punch in the closing stages, as his left-footed strike from distance beat Ryan at his near post.
Albion now turn their attention to Saturday's match against Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium.
ALBION: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Stephens, Bissouma (Kayal 86), Gross; Jahanbakhsh (March 73), Andone (Murray 64), Locadia.
SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Bong, Balogun, Burn.