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Spurs in top four as Aurier's lucky strike clips Seagulls' wings

Tottenham 2-0 Brighton

By Tom Allnutt

Tottenham climbed back into the Premier League's top four as Serge Aurier's fluke-goal and a header from Son Heung-min sealed a 2-0 victory over Brighton.

Spurs dominated an uninspiring contest at Wembley and needed a slice of luck as Aurier's cross dropped into the top corner. Son added a second late on.

Tomer Hemed could have pulled Brighton level with a rare second-half chance, but Tottenham were worthy winners and move back into the Champions League spots after Liverpool slipped up against West Brom.

Brighton stay 13th, three points above the relegation zone.

Mauricio Pochettino will now turn his side's attention to an altogether different challenge on Saturday when they visit unbeaten run-away leaders Manchester City, who they trail by 18 points.

Brighton, meanwhile, have now failed to score in six away games against sides above them in the league and, but for Hemed's opening, they never looked likely at Wembley as they suffered a third consecutive league defeat.

Erik Lamela was another plus for Pochettino. After a year-long problem with his hips this was the Argentinian's first start since October 22, 2016 and he looked bright before going off late on.

It was also November last year that Dele Alli was last left on the bench for a Premier League fixture, but the 21-year-old was a sub here, presumably rested for City.

Spurs' recent woes at Wembley have begun with slow starts but they raced out of the blocks as Son robbed Ezequiel Schelotto of the ball out wide before firing off an early shot.

Brighton's lack of attacking intent was summed up by Jose Izquierdo passing up a promising break by lashing the ball downfield to Hugo Lloris, but their plan to frustrate Spurs was working until Aurier's fortuitous strike.

He earned the opening with a quick touch past Izquierdo and, as the Brighton winger hustled back, Aurier unleashed his cross off-balance. The ball ballooned over goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and dropped in the far corner.

Harry Kane's close-range shot was deflected and then saved while another Lamela effort caught the outside of the post.

But with Spurs failing to land a knock-out blow, their opponents made their move and Hemed should have equalised when the ball fell kindly in the box.

Lamela was replaced by Alli with 17 minutes left and Kane almost added a late second when his driven free-kick was palmed on to the post by Ryan.

Son, however, did the honours moments later as his flicked header from Christian Eriksen's cross flew in off Davy Propper.

TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Aurier, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Sissoko, Winks (Dembele 67), Lamela (Alli 74), Eriksen, Son Heung-min (Davies 90), Kane.

Subs not used: Trippier, Vorm, Llorente, Foyth.

BRIGHTON: Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Propper, Stephens, Knockaert, Kayal (Groß 78), Izquierdo Mena (March 62), Hemed (Murray 72). Subs not used: Bruno, Goldson, Krul, Brown.

Man of the match: Son Heung-min

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Robert Madley

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