Spurs win to extend perfect run at new ground

Christian Eriksen celebrating with Tottenham teammates, including Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente, after breaking the deadlock late in their home Premier League game against Brighton on Tuesday night. Spurs are third while the Seagulls stay thr
Christian Eriksen celebrating with Tottenham teammates, including Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente, after breaking the deadlock late in their home Premier League game against Brighton on Tuesday night. Spurs are third while the Seagulls stay three points above the drop zone.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Amid all of the excitement at Tottenham's upcoming Champions League semi-final against Ajax, their target for this season still remains a top-four finish in the Premier League.

And they remained on course for a fourth consecutive year in European football's premier club competition after a 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Brighton on Tuesday, ensuring their record at their new stadium remains unblemished, with four wins in as many games and no goals conceded.

They left it late though, with just two minutes remaining on the clock when Christian Eriksen got on the ball, while probing for the solution, as he had done all evening.

But on this occasion he arrowed a low drive that ripped past 17th-placed Brighton's defensive shackles before finding the bottom corner.

Despite not having scored in the league since March 9, this looked like being a night when what Brighton did at the back would fire their survival hopes until Eriksen's breakthrough.

So post-game, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino appeared keen not to be drawn into a discussion about his contract extension.

Come the summer, the 27-year-old Denmark midfielder will have only one more season left on his deal, with Real Madrid said to among his many suitors.

Praising his match-winner as a "special person", he said: "It's a very special situation, we're all different. Timing for him and the club, and agreeing something are maybe different to other players. I hope he will be here in the future.

"Christian and us are so close, and it's not long until the end of the season. Now it's about being focused on the end of the season."

The Argentinian also praised his side's maturity in difficult circumstances, adding: "The team are not as fresh as we wanted, not just legs, but minds, so we have to congratulate the players.

"I'm so proud of them. Brighton were a really brave opponent. The most important thing is we believed, we didn't give up and we tried different ways to score. It is three very important points and to be in a good position in the table."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2019, with the headline 'Spurs win to extend perfect run at new ground'. Print Edition | Subscribe