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Thursday 23 January 2020

Kane and Alli combine to sink Seagulls

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Brighton 1

Mathew Ryan can do little to stop Dele Alli's effort hitting the back of the net at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. PA Photo
Mathew Ryan can do little to stop Dele Alli's effort hitting the back of the net at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. PA Photo

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho revealed record signing Tanguy Ndombele did not want to be selected in yesterday's win over Brighton.

The France international, who has recovered from a recent groin injury, was a surprise omission as Spurs came from behind to take the points.

Adam Webster put the Seagulls ahead before goals from Harry Kane and Dele Alli extended Spurs' unbeaten St Stephen's Day record to 14 games.

But Ndombele's absence was the big talking point and the Portuguese was happy to clear the situation up.

"I cannot say he is injured. In five minutes we start a training session and you can go to the stands and watch it, he is going to be training normally so I cannot say he is injured," Mourinho said.

"I can say that yesterday he told me he was not feeling in condition to play the game. Not based on injuries, based on fears of previous injuries that he has had since the beginning of the season.

"Feeling not ready to start the game, but I cannot say he is injured, I can say he is not in condition to start the game, which is different."

Spurs certainly looked to be missing Ndombele's creativity and mobility in the first half as, minutes after Kane's goal was ruled out by VAR, they fell behind to Webster's header.

They were much better after the break and Kane's 10th league goal of the campaign - the sixth successive season he has reached the landmark - and Alli's fifth goal in eight games under Mourinho saw Spurs earn a big three points in the race for the top four.

"We didn't start well and you could even say that we were a bit unlucky," added Mourinho, "because in one minute we are winning 1-0, then the VAR correctly disallowed the goal, so the next minute you are 0-0 and a couple of minutes later you are losing 1-0.

"So I think the boys felt it. The second half was different, second half they brought everything they have to bring.

"We spoke about tactical details, we spoke about principles, the emotional side of it and the second half was really, really good and even if we were not winning this game I would have the feeling the boys have everything."

Brighton produced an impressive first-half performance, but they couldn't cope with a strong second-half response.

"We are disappointed because we have come away with nothing, so clearly that is a frustration for us," boss Graham Potter said.

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