Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski left a lot to be desired as Tottenham Hotspur suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Tottenham seemed to have started the game brightly, as they forced Robert Sanchez into action early in the proceedings. But that was as good as it got for the hosts in a drab first half where clear-cut chances came few and far between. Spurs’ output was so poor that Brighton & Hove Albion had more shots on target than their total efforts on goal.

All in all, the opening period was a dull affair, with the game’s tempo being too slow. Things did not improve for Tottenham after the break, as they continued moving the ball forward too leisurely. Brighton again looked the likelier of the two teams to break the deadlock, which is what happened.

While Tottenham attempted a few hopeful shots, Brighton broke the deadlock in the 90th minute. Leandro Trossard pounced on a stray ball on the edge of the Tottenham box before opening up space with a brilliant feint and unleashing a precise finish to beat Hugo Lloris.

That goal was the only goalmouth action in the match, meaning Tottenham’s top-four hopes have suffered a big blow ahead of Arsenal’s game against Southampton later on Saturday, with the Gunners lurking closely behind. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Antonio Conte’s men.

Hugo Lloris: 6/10

Lloris could not have done anything to deny Leandro Trossard, whose finish was out of the top drawer. But the Tottenham skipper made a few stops to keep his team in the game, although that did not matter much in the end.

Cristian Romero: 5/10

Romero was not directly at fault when Trossard scored Brighton’s goal, but he was caught out of position because he was busy keeping track of Danny Welbeck. Otherwise, the Argentine defender essayed his role well, making several crunching tackles while winning 11 duels.

Eric Dier: 5/10

Dier had his part to play in the defeat as Trossard bamboozled him with the brilliant feint, opening up enough space to score the match-winner. Other than that moment, the English international was solid enough and kept Alexis Mac Allister in check.

Ben Davies: 6/10

Davies was largely solid in his display, as he kept a lid on Enock Mwepu while winning eight duels in the game. The Welshman showed superb awareness to block a blistering effort by Mwepu and made a few crucial clearances.

Emerson Royal: 4/10

With Matt Doherty out for the season, Emerson got the chance to impress. But the Brazilian wing-back’s performance showed just what Tottenham will miss for the remainder of the campaign, as he hardly carried a threat while looking suspect off the ball. And he lost track of Trossard in the build-up to the game’s only goal.

Rodrigo Bentancur: 6/10

Bentancur produced one of his poorer performances since joining Tottenham, as he failed to move the ball forward quickly enough to catch Brighton off guard. But while he was slow in possession, the Uruguayan international was solid off the ball, completing some crucial interventions in the first half.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 7/10

Hojbjerg was the only positive for Tottenham against Brighton, even though he failed to carve out the openings on his forays into the final third. The Danish international was strong in making challenges while looking to be precise when linking up with the Tottenham attackers. Alas, his efforts were not enough on the day.

Sergio Reguilon: 5/10

Reguilon endured a forgettable game against Brighton, as he was confined to his half for most of the game due to Tariq Lamptey’s presence on his flank. But his output on the ball left a lot to be desired, as he completed just 62 per cent of his attempted passes while losing possession carelessly several times. He needs to do better.

Dejan Kulusevski: 4/10

Kulusevski has been in an imperious run of form since joining Tottenham, but the performance on Saturday left a lot to be desired. But the Swede hardly saw action in the hour he spent on the pitch, meaning he needed to be efficient with his utilisation of the ball.

But the youngster was sloppy in crucial situations, and his last act summed his afternoon up perfectly, as he gave away possession to kick-start a Brighton counter-attack. He was also lucky not to get sent off for a wild swing of the arm on Marc Cucurella in the first half.

Harry Kane: 5/10

Kane was inarguably the best of the three Tottenham attackers, but that hardly says much. The England captain was the only player who looked like he could make things happen, playing a team-high two key passes. But Tottenham’s attack lacked bite in his absence inside the Brighton box, as he spent most of the game dropping deep to link up play.

Son Heung-min: 5/10

Son was the Player to Watch in our preview, but he failed to get close to Mohamed Salah’s tally in the Premier League Golden Boot race. The South Korean ace did not see the ball as much as he would have liked, but he tried to keep the play alive by completing all his attempted passes. Son managed only two shots in the game, which were blocked.

SUBSTITUTES

Lucas Moura: 5/10

Lucas Moura was lively off the bench, and his directness added a new element to Tottenham’s gameplay. But after a bright start, the Brazilian petered out horribly, completing only one pass during his stay on the pitch.

Harry Winks: 6/10

Winks was a bundle of energy after replacing Bentancur and tried to move the ball quicker in the game’s final quarter. The Englishman hardly misplaced a pass, doing all he could to tip the scales in Tottenham’s favour.

Steven Bergwijn: N/A

A late introduction, Bergwijn hardly got any time to make a meaningful difference.

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