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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 24 October, 2018

Aurier fluke helps Spurs leapfrog into fourth as Gunners held by West Ham

Tottenham overcame Brighton 2-0, but North London rivals Arsenal could only manage a draw against David Moyes’ side.

Aurier's cross beats Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
Aurier's cross beats Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

TOTTENHAM TOOK ADVANTAGE of Liverpool and Arsenal dropping points to move into fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Serge Aurier’s miscued cross and Son Heung-min’s late effort proved enough to lift Mauricio Pochettino’s men back above Burnley.

Though Spurs were far from the five-star best they had shown against Stoke City at the weekend, Liverpool and Arsenal’s goalless draws against West Brom and West Ham respectively leave the result with a brighter look.

Erik Lamela’s return to the Spurs XI for the first time in over a year ruined by hip injuries was a further boost for the home fans at Wembley.

Tomer Hemed had Brighton’s clearest chance after 70 minutes, but his effort on the turn failed to stretch Hugo Lloris, who spent most of the contest as a spectator.

Brighton have collected just two points from their last six league games and are beginning to look over their shoulder, with just a three-point cushion over the relegation zone.

Making his first start in almost 14 months, Lamela was charged with replacing the creativity of Dele Alli, but the Argentine blazed over as finding a way through the well-drilled Brighton defence proved difficult, with Harry Kane barely given a sniff.

Lloris went untested until Shane Duffy forced him into a comfortable save after 35 minutes with a towering header from Anthony Knockaert’s corner.

It was a fleeting attacking moment for the visitors and Spurs finally found a way through five minutes before the break, albeit with a huge slice of fortune.

Aurier – under a challenge from Jose Izquierdo – mishit a deep cross into the penalty area that caught Mat Ryan out, the ball looping over the goalkeeper to give the Ivorian his first Spurs goal.

Tottenham’s dominance continued after the restart and Kane was denied by Ryan, stretching out his left boot to deny the England international’s deflected shot.

With 20 minutes remaining the hosts’ frustrations were beginning to grow and Hemed almost snatched a point, but his snapshot was straight at Lloris, much to the relief of the Spurs captain.

Pochettino introduced Alli for Lamela after 74 minutes and he almost had an immediate impact, setting up Kane for a curling shot that Ryan got down well to save.

Kane’s personal duel with Ryan had one final chapter as the striker’s low free-kick was superbly pushed onto the upright, but the Australian could do nothing to stop Son’s front-post header that deflected off Davy Propper on its way in as Spurs finally earned the sheen their supremacy deserved.

West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League - London Stadium Hammers boss David Moyes with Arsene Wenger looking on. Source: John Walton

Over at the London Stadium, Arsenal dropped points for a third Premier League game in a row as they were held to a 0-0 draw at West Ham in a wasteful showing.

Arsene Wenger’s men were the better side for most of the match and pushed the opposing defence to their limits at times, but in the end they were not clinical enough to take all three points — leaving them in seventh behind Burnley.

The Gunners did not fall into the trap which snared Chelsea at London Stadium on Saturday, avoiding an early concession and swiftly establishing themselves as the superior force. Chances were by no means a regular occurrence, though, with Alex Iwobi’s 27th-minute effort which hit the post the only clear-cut opportunity of the first half.

Arsenal became even more dominant after the break and they looked more threatening in attack as a result, but they remained wasteful, with Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere – who was otherwise lively – particularly culpable.

Javier Hernandez almost paid them pay for their profligacy when he struck the crossbar a minute from time, but Arsenal survived that scare to leave with a point.

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