Brighton 3-0 Spurs
Goals: Aaron Connolly x 2 (£4.5m), Neal Maupay (£6.0m),
Assists: Lewis Dunk (£4.6m)
Bonus: Connolly x3, Dunk x2, Maupay x1
Just when Tottenham’s season appeared to have reached its lowest point, Brighton plunged Mauricio Pochettino’s men into further despair with a 3-0 win on Saturday afternoon.
Such a devastating result, so soon after 7-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich, may have all but ended Fantasy interest in Spurs’ assets moving forward.
However, we should take nothing away from Brighton who were comfortably the better side and will almost certainly be the source of Fantasy investment the other side of the upcoming international break.
The Seagulls have three more favourable fixtures on the horizon with a trip to Aston Villa in Gameweek 9 before Everton and Norwich visit the Amex Stadium.
Graham Potter’s side were quicker, sharper and hungrier than last season’s Champions League finalists with Neal Maupay (£6.0m) and budget striker Aaron Connolly (£4.5m), making his first Premier League start, both impressing.
However, it must be said that the game turned on an unfortunate chain of events in the opening minutes, which Spurs never really came back from.
Another huge error from Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) was pounced upon by Maupay who, after the goalkeeper had dropped an easy catch, only had to head the ball over the line from less than a yard out.
The Frenchman had to be stretchered off the pitch with a potential broken arm suffered in the awkward landing and needed to take on oxygen, and later morphine, before going to A&E.
Pochettino confirmed in his post-match comments that Lloris’ injury is potentially a serious blow.
“He’s in the hospital now. I think the club is going to communicate the problem but it’s not good news. We need to wait on communication because he suffered a big problem in the arm.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Although Spurs currently do not look like a team worthy of defensive investment, the potential emergence of Paulo Gazzaniga (£4.4m) as a starting option in a typically top-six Premier League side will be worth monitoring for managers looking to save money at the back.
Meanwhile, Maupay’s opening strike was his third league goal of the season, and although his opener in the lunch-time kick-off was fortunate, his positioning and desire to attack the final third mean the Frenchman is well and truly on the Fantasy radar.
However, this was an afternoon that belonged to youngster Connolly, whose exciting movement led to him grabbing his first and second Premier League goals in one afternoon.
Connolly was exceptional at the Amex, with the addition of three bonus points taking the £4.5m striker to a 13-point haul. The Irishman’s first of the afternoon was a well-taken flick after Gazzaniga had saved his initial shot.
His second goal demonstrated the striker’s raw ability as he charged through the Tottenham defence and curled a beautiful shot past the reach of the Spurs keeper. Playing an excellent ball out of defence, Lewis Dunk (£4.6m) registered the assist, ensuring the Brighton captain recorded a 10-point haul once the clean sheet had been banked.
It would be difficult for Potter to resist starting the 19-year-old again after such a sensational full league debut, although he is well-known for tinkering with his team from week-to-week.
Either way, Connolly’s manager was certainly full of praise after such an impressive full debut. The player did appear to come off injured at the end of the game but it did not look serious and should not prevent the youngster from being involved after the international break.
“He’s been knocking on the door, to be honest. He’s had some substitute appearances and been unlucky not to score. He just gives us an extra dimension as I said before the game. Obviously, I’m delighted we’ve got him with us. He took his goals well, the second one was a good piece of attacking play.” – Graham Potter
This was a strong team performance from Brighton, both offensively and defensively, that will give huge faith to those managers in ownership of their assets.
However, there can be no doubting that Pochettino’s side were bordering on dismal in their performance on the south coast and certainly aided Brighton’s cause.
While Spurs have had a number of poor results over the last few weeks – namely their 7-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in mid-week – this was a game that compounded the pressure on the manager and players alike.
Pochettino’s side were sluggish from the outset at the Amex, and the injury to Lloris seemed to set the tone for their performance in the lunch-time kick-off.
“To concede and lose your captain is a massive impact on not just emotionally but for the team as well. He is an important player for us as well. We tried to find a solution, a different way to play. It was impossible. We are in a difficult moment but we have to keep going.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Although the likes of Son Heung-min (£9.8m) and Harry Kane (£11.0m) possess unquestionable goalscoring potential, this is a Spurs side in a state of fragmentation who are seemingly lacking any form of coherence and confidence.
Pochettino did attempt to salvage a result from the game, with the Argentinian making changes to both Tottenham’s tactics and personnel after half-time.
Harry Winks (£5.4m) came on for Tanguy Ndombele (£6.0m), with Spurs also switching to a back-three of Eric Dier (£4.9m) Jan Vertonghen (£5.3m) and Toby Alderweireld (£5.5m). Ben Davies (£5.4m) and Moussa Sissoko (£5.0m) pushed further forward to assist in the final third as wing-backs.
This was, however, all in vain, as Connolly’s second put the game out of reach and Spurs were left to rue yet another disappointing result in the Premier League.
A one-match suspension for Serge Aurier (£4.9m) had led to Pochettino using Sissoko at right-back, but this was a game that pointed to wider issues in this Tottenham team that are deeper-rooted than individual performances or suspensions.
By contrast, this was a result that had seemingly evaded Brighton since the opening weekend victory over Watford, despite some decent performances in that time.
After such a clinical performance from Connolly in particular, Fantasy interest could once again be gravitating towards the Amex if Potter’s side can maintain their momentum after such an impressive victory – and he can stick with the same personnel from one week to the next.
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