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Subs deliver for Tottenham as Son sets up Johnson for late winner against Brighton

Brennan Johnson Brennan Johnson - The Canadian Press

LONDON (AP) — Brennan Johnson grabbed the winner in the sixth minute of stoppage time to lead Tottenham into the Premier League's top four with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Brighton on Saturday.

Spurs looked to have lost more ground, after dropping points with a draw at Everton last weekend, but Ange Postecoglou’s second-half substitutes did the trick.

Pascal Gross’ 17th-minute penalty gave Brighton a halftime lead in the absence of manager Roberto De Zerbi, who was recovering at home after invasive dental surgery this week.

The points looked set to be shared after Pape Sarr leveled for Tottenham in the 61st only for Son Heung-min, back after Asian Cup duty with South Korea, to cross for fellow substitute Johnson to crash in a close-range finish deep in the final allotted minute of added-on time.

Tottenham jumped a point above Aston Villa, which plays Manchester United on Sunday.

Brighton assistant Andrea Maldera patrolled the touchline in De Zerbi’s absence and should have watched his team take the lead inside 60 seconds. Danny Welbeck won back possession from Micky van de Ven by the halfway line and dribbled into the area but Guglielmo Vicario clawed away his shot.

Spurs continued to be sloppy in possession and it was no surprise when Brighton took the lead.

Gross tackled Rodrigo Bentancur and the ball worked its way to Welbeck, who was caught on the ankle by Van de Ven inside the penalty area.

Without the injured Joao Pedro, Gross took spot-kick duties and sent Vicario the wrong way for his fifth goal of the season.

Postecoglou’s side did mount a response with Richarlison impressively denied by Jason Steele after a fine through ball by James Maddison.

Inbetween was a flare-up between Cristian Romero and Adam Lallana, which referee Sam Barrott was happy to wave on despite protestations by the Brighton midfielder.

The Seagulls almost doubled their lead prior to the half-hour mark when Bentancur again lost possession but Kaoru Mitoma, also back from Asian Cup duty with Japan, had a poked effort tipped wide by Vicario from a tight angle.

Tottenham had the momentum after the restart, with Maddison's free kick saved before Werner’s mazy run ended with his shot deflected wide.

It started three corners in quick succession for Spurs but after they failed to make the most of them, Postecoglou turned to his bench.

Yves Bissouma, Johnson and Son were all ready to come on when the equalizer arrived after 61 minutes.

Dejan Kulusevski was the architect with a wonderful through ball releasing Sarr and while his cross was deflected onto the post by Lewis Dunk, the Senegal midfielder was on hand to curl home with his left foot to make it 1-1.

Postecoglou made his triple change immediately after but it failed to have the desired impact aside from Son teeing up Johnson for a snapshot straight at Steele.

Brighton got in the ascendancy and should have gone back ahead with 14 minutes left when Mitoma got in behind Porro but Welbeck arrowed his cutback past the post.

A minute later, Van de Ven had to throw himself in the way of Facundo Buonanotte’s strike before Spurs had penalty appeals for a handball by Dunk turned away.

Hopes of a late goal were raised when six minutes were added on and with seconds left, Richarlison played in Son, who crossed for Johnson to slam home.


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