Seagulls boss left heartbroken after last-gasp winner for Spurs
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Chris Hughton, who played over 350 times for Tottenham Hotspur, couldn’t hide his disappointment at Christian Eriksen’s wonder strike
Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton admitted his team were left heartbroken after conceding a late winner in the Premier League at Spurs on Tuesday.
It seemed the Seagulls would leave the capital with a hard-fought point, but the hosts’ grabbed the victory when Christian Eriksen fired home in the 88th minute.
The win boosted Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of finishing in the top four this season and got them back on track after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.
“Heartbreak is very much the feeling at the moment,” Spurs legend Hughton conceded at full time.
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“We got a little bit of fortune go our way – it hit the post and the defenders had to defend very well.
“But you get a feeling and sometimes you get a feeling it will come and they will break you down, but the longer it went I felt we would hold out.
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“I think had we managed the game a little bit better at the end, then we would have got the result we wanted.”
Mauricio Pochettino’s side ramped up the pressure in the final exchanges and finally got some reward with just two minutes to go in N17.
Dele Alli passed to Eriksen and he rifled into the corner from 25-yards to score his ninth club goal of the campaign.
It was a deserved success for Tottenham, but Brighton did defend outstandingly in front of 56,251 spectators.
Spurs started strongly and yet were struggling to break down the south coast outfit, who seemed happy to head away repeated balls into the area.
Hughton added: “One thing we knew was as a back four, we would be tested and particularly the centre halves (Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk) with what Tottenham have in wide areas.
“They get a lot of crosses in and they have a lot of shots, but I thought Duffy and Dunk were both excellent.”
Brighton did enjoy a few moments in the first half and Danny Rose received a standing ovation in the 37th minute for a superb sliding tackle on Florin Andone, who had dribbled into the area.
Pochettino’s team then almost found the opener in stoppage time, but Alli’s flick was blocked on the line by Duffy.
Tottenham were beginning to go through the gears now and Brighton custodian Mat Ryan needed a strong hand to deny Rose’s powerful effort in the 66th minute.
Six minutes later and Toby Alderweireld saw a shot hit the post and roll across the goal line and at this point it looked like being one of those nights for Spurs.
But Eriksen produced a bit of magic in the dying embers to inspire a much-needed 1-0 win which gives Tottenham a cushion in the top-four race.