Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Harry Kane at the double after bizarre Tottenham goal proves pivotal in FA Cup thriller

Tottenham defender Emerson Royal

Harry Kane scored two goals at the opposite ends of the spectrum, while Emerson Royal forced a bizarre Brighton own goal as Tottenham progressed in the FA Cup.

Tottenham’s new signings Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur were named on the bench for the FA Cup clash with Brighton. Meanwhile, Lewis Dunk returned to Brighton’s starting eleven for the first time in two months.

The Seagulls looked unusually shaky early on, and rode their luck when goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was lucky to escape a glaring blunder. His mis-hit pass looped up to Harry Kane, but the striker’s finish on the stretch was tame.

Spurs were gifted a second golden opportunity minutes later, and this time they capitalised.

Indecision from Adam Webster saw Son Heung-min nip in. The ball was quickly fed to Kane who whipped a superb curling strike into the top corner from 20 yards out.

Spurs were in the ascendancy despite the possession stakes being split. Harry Winks sought to double the hosts advantage from distance, though his long-ranger was comfortably gathered by Sanchez

Yet the dye was cast, and less than two minutes later Tottenham were two up in extraordinary circumstances.

Tottenham double advantage in remarkable fashion

Emerson Royal broke at pace down the right wing and was tracked by Solly March all the way.

When the time came to cross, Royal’s speculative delivery took a critical flick off March and looped up and over Sanchez into the net from the acutest of angles.

Two should’ve become three when Kane’s chipped shot found Son at the far post. But barely a yard out, the South Korean remarkably guided his close-range header wide of the mark.

Brighton looked good between both boxes, but it was at the two ends of the pitch in which their problems came. Neal Maupay had a clear sight of goal after smart work from Pascal Gross and Yves Bissouma in the build-up.

But when Maupay pulled the trigger on the turn, he lacked composure when blazing high and wide.

Brighton had finally found their footing as half-time neared, with Gross increasingly influential. His eye for a pass helped tee up Jakub Moder, but the Poland international rifled over to ensure Spurs made the break two goals up.

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Graham Potter shuffled his deck at half-time when replacing Adam Lallana with Joel Veltman. The move prompted a formation change to a back five, allowing Tariq Lamptey greater license to maraud forward.

Both sides saw chances come and go in a contest that had the feel of an imminent twist of fate.

Hugo Lloris was on hand to palm a deflected shot to safety despite being wrong-footed. At the other end, Son failed to convert a two-v-one with Harry Kane when firing too close to Sanchez.

Nevertheless, the twist soon followed when Bissouma clawed Brighton back within one.

The midfielder drove inside from the left and saw a deflected strike halve the deficit with Lloris rooted to the spot. The inability of Tottenham’s defenders to close Bissouma down will not have pleased Antonio Conte.

Spurs quickly restored their two-goal advantage when Kane bundled the ball home from on the line. Webster was again at fault after finding himself in a tangle for the second time on the night. Kane took the spoils when making it 3-1, but the goal was thanks in large part to a mesmeric 40-yard run from Son.

The third goal prompted the introductions of Steven Bergwijn and new boy Dejan Kulusevski for Lucas and Son. Rodrigo Bentancur soon followed, and Kulusevski would’ve grabbed an assist but for a wasteful Bergwijn finish.

The combative Bentancur wasted little time in picking up his first Spurs booking. But it mattered not, as Tottenham saw out the final minutes to secure safe passage to the FA Cup Fifth Round.

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