Hope was one of Antonio Conte’s buzzwords in the build up to visiting Brighton and Tottenham still have it in the FA Cup. When the series winner discussed what is required for success, he stated that without a firm foundation and solid structure, hope is all that a club has left.
While it may not be the foundation for anything in the long run, as Conte intends to build it, in a knockout competition that’s not a bad thing. And that’s more than Brighton have after they shot themselves in the foot to give Spurs the fifth-round spot.
Brighton dominated large parts of this tie but had to pay after contributing to their own downfall.
Harry Kane scored twice in a comprehensive 3–1 Tottenham win over Brighton in the FA Cup
Emerson Royal forced Spurs’ second goal, which was deflected into an own goal for Solly March.
Yves Bissouma (left) was Brighton’s biggest threat and his deflected shot put them back in contention in the second half.
There were some strange goings-on before Spurs’ three goals. And it’s been a strange season for the scorer of two of them, Harry Kane.
In a campaign that has been disappointing for the Spurs talisman, his brace took his tally to a more than respectable 25 for the season for club and country. It’s the sky-high standards you’ve set.
His first came after an uncharacteristic error on the ball by Brighton’s Adam Webster, who compounded that by presenting Kane with his second after the break.
In between, a rare Solly March own goal led to Spur’s second.
Yves Bissouma struck a deflected shot as Brighton briefly made it 2-1, but it was Spurs who progressed, in relative comfort, and retained the all-important hope of reaching Wembley.
Conte said: ‘Winning in a major competition like the FA Cup is very important. We know that this trophy is important. It is a great competition, a great trophy, a historic trophy in England.
On Kane, he added: ‘Harry’s attitude and commitment to the team is the most important thing to us. For him, scoring two goals is important for him because he is a real number 9.”
Brighton manager Graham Potter said: ‘We weren’t at our best. We ourselves contributed to the things that happened. We need to be at our absolute best to win here, which we didn’t.”
Spurs manager Antonio Conte talked a lot about the importance of hope ahead of the Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Dejan Kulusevski made his first appearance for Tottenham since signing on loan from Juventus and had an impressive debut
Son Heung-min caused all sorts of problems for Brighton on his return to action after a month out with injury
Brighton started well, taking the initiative, but out of nowhere he got nervous. On the first occasion they got away with it. After the second, they were mercilessly punished.
It was a rare slip by goalkeeper Robert Sanchez that gave Spurs heart. With no pressure, he managed a pass attempt to his right, but was lucky Kane was on his heels. The England captain only had to wait a few seconds to open the scoring.
Sánchez then passed the ball to Adam Webster, who is usually so reliable on possession. But this time he couldn’t decide what to do with the ball and ended up giving it to the recovered Heung Min-Son.
He and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg combined and Kane beat Sanchez with a brilliant curling finish from long range. The previous pattern continued, but the Spurs threat at half-time was obvious and continued throughout the game.
The second came by the same route after Emerson Royal collected the ball in his own half and drove deep into Brighton territory down the right.
Tottenham striker Kane was in top form and scored a brace for the first time this season in domestic competition.
Spurs are through to the fifth round and will feel confident of hitting it off in their first FA Cup win since 1991.
Tottenham (3-4-3): You cry 7; Romero 8 (Rodon 76), Sanchez 7.5, Davies 7; Royal 7.5 (Doherty 87), Winks 7 (Bentancur 77), Hojbjerg 6, Reguilon 6; Luke 6 (Kulusevski 68, 6), Kane 7.5, Son 7 (Bergwijn 69, 6).
Unused subs: Gollini, Sessgnon, Blanco, Scarlett
Scorers: Kane 13, 66, March OG 24, Son
Manager: antonio conte 7
Brighton (4-3-1-2): Sanchez 6; Webster 6, Dunk 7, Cucurella 7; Lamptey 6.5 (Welbeck 70), Gross 5, Lallana 7 (Veltman 46, 6), Bissouma 6, March 6 (Caicedo 61, 6); Moder 6 (Ferguson 79), Maupay 6,
Unused subs: Steele, McGill, Alzate, Duffy, Offiah.
Goal scorer: Bissouma 63
Manager: graham potter 6
Referee: stuart attwell
Assistance: 54, 697
None of his teammates followed him and under normal circumstances his eventual cross would have been routine, with no pressure practice for Sanchez.
But instead, Solly March took a hit from him that sent the ball over the Brighton goalkeeper before landing perfectly into his far corner.
That turned into a March own goal and Royal should have had one of their own thanks to Son’s cut shortly after.
Neal Maupay and Jakub Moder, on either side of the break, went wide of goal for Brighton but their momentum was building and their goal, when it came, was no surprise.
Earlier, Lloris had to readjust sharply to avoid a deflected effort from Yves Bissouma, but he had no chance just after the hour when the Mali midfielder’s shot was deflected off the back by Hojbjerg.
That should have been Brighton’s cue to push for an equaliser, but instead they sent in a third three minutes later.
Son showed his sharpness on his return from injury with a devastating flurry between two Brighton defenders before a third, Lewis Dunk, held him up inside the area.
But, trying to salvage the situation, a recovering Webster could only lob the ball into his own goal and Kane slid in to score his second of the night.
Maupay squandered another opportunity to give Spurs something to worry about and the game was over, giving Conte the situation that gave Conte the chance to debut new signings Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur.
See how the action unfolded with SportsMaiIby Ricardo Martin