Tottenham 2, Brighton 0: Albion's winless run extends to six games despite improved display at Wembley
Brighton & Hove Albion were left without a win in six Premier League matches as goals from Serge Aurier and Heung-Min Son gave Tottenham Hotspurs victory at Wembley this evening.
The Seagulls defended well throughout against a lively Spurs attack and it was a fortuitous cross from full-back Aurier that separated the sides at half-time as it nestled in the far side netting five minutes before half-time.
Spurs then made the points safe late in the second half when Son was allowed too much space in the box and he crouched to head home a free kick at the near post.
It was an unhappy return for Albion in what was their first game at the home of English football since a 1991 play-off defeat and their very first at the new stadium.
It continues a miserable record of never winning at the ground, although after poor showings in consecutive defeats to Liverpool and Huddersfield, it was at least an improved display.
Chris Hughton - facing a side he made two shy of 400 appearances for and then 14 years as a coach and latterly assistant manager - however, saw his side fall to score against a team above them in the table for the sixth away game this season.
The Albion manager made five changes to the side that were beat at Huddersfield as captain Bruno, Markus Suttner, Izzy Brown, Pascal Gross and Glenn Murray all made way.
Coming in for his first start of the season was Beram Kayal, the recalled Anthony Knockaert, Jose Izquierdo and Tomer Hemed. Lewis Dunk captained the side.
For Spurs, Erik Lamela made his first start for 14 months after an operation on both hips. He was one of four changes for the hosts as Danny Rose, Aurier and Moussa Sissoko all came into the starting XI.
The first chance went the home side's way as Son put Ezquiel Schelotto under pressure, won the ball and drove into the box, but his low shot was blocked away by Shane Duffy.At the other end, Izquierdo hooked over the bar after Schelotto headed the ball down to him in the penalty area.
The next real effort came on 20 minutes when Harry Kane's skewed effort required a Duffy block on the line, before Dunk got in the way of the striker's follow-up effort. Soon after, Son somehow put over a teasing ball to the back post.
The one-way traffic continued and the Albion defence made their first error in clearing their lines after a blocked Kane shot and Lamela took the ball and whistled a fierce shot narrowly over.
Spurs' pressure told in somewhat fortuitous fashion just five minutes before half-time as Aurier netted his first goal for the club with a deep cross that evaded everyone and nestled in the side netting.
The home side continued where they left off in the second half and should have doubled their lead when Kane was denied by Ryan from ten yards, before Duffy cleared Son's close-range shot but the Spurs man was offside anyway.
Moments later, the lively Lamela saw his deflected shot from 23 yards come off the outside of Mathew Ryan's right-hand post.
Albion almost leveled on 70 minutes as their best chance fell to Hemed in the box but his fierce strike was kept out by the legs of Hugo Lloris and then gathered. That was to be the striker's final act as he was replaced by Murray to join Solly March who had come of shortly beforehand.
Spurs almost made the points safe with four minutes left to play as Kane's low free kick appeared to be missed by Ryan, but it came back off the base post and was hooked away.
A minute later, however, and it was all over it was all to easy for Son, who was left by Davy Propper, to crouch low at the near post and nod in an Christian Eriksen free kick
That meant Spurs continued their rich record against the Seagulls, making it five wins in the last six meetings in all competitions.
Albion: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Kayal (Gross 77), Stephens, Propper; Knockaert, Hemed (Murray 71), Izquierdo (March 62). Unused subs: Krul, Bruno, Goldson, Brown.
Spurs: Lloris; Aurier, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks (Dembele 67); Lamela (Alli 74), Eriksen, Son (Davies 90); Kane. Unused subs: Vorm, Trippier, Llorente, Foyth.
Referee: Robert Madley.