Brighton boss Graham Potter addresses the key talking points after Tottenham triumph

Aaron Connolly capped a fine performance with two goals against Tottenham Hotspur on his first Premier League start to earn his team their first win at home since March.

Sunday, 6th October 2019, 11:16 pm
Graham Potter's Brighton and Hove Albion were the better team during their 3-0 victory against Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex Stadium last Saturday

A brace from the 19-year-old striker and an opener from Neal Maupay saw Albion outplay an already fragile Spurs outfit and piled further pressure on their manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Graham Potter’s men attacked with a cutting edge and after the match the head coach addressed the major talking points from their memorable triumph at the Amex.

Aaron Connolly

The striker was handed his first Premier League start and repaid the manager's faith in him by putting in a man-of-the-match performance.

Potter said, “Of course, as a young player making his debut, two goals in the Premier League is impressive. I thought Aaron gave us an extra dimension, that's what his qualities are. He wants to run towards goal, he wants to threaten the back of defenders and he wants to score. If you've got that threat then spaces open up in front of their back-line.

"I was aware he scored goals in Premier League 2, in the U23 league, he scored prolifically there. But from day one him and Steven (Alzate) have shown what they've got, their attributes, they're really useful so I'm delighted for them. He's got the same type of qualities (as Daniel James) in terms of the desire to run in behind, the desire to run into space. He wants to threaten the back of people, he's got pace and is a good finisher. (I'm) obviously pleased for him."

Connolly earned his first call-up to Mick McCarthy's Republic of Ireland squad off the back of this performance and his breakthrough season continues to fall into place for him.

First home win since March

This was the Albion's first home victory since the 1-0 win against relegated Huddersfield Town back in March. The fans needed something to get them going again after a few tough results to swallow at home so far this season, like the last gasp Jeff Hendrick equaliser for Burnley.

Potter said, "I think it helps to win at home. We haven't won at home for a while and our supporters, since I've been here, have been brilliant with us and we've been a little bit unlucky not to have won, so it's nice for them to go home happy and to see the team and what we're trying to do."

Albion's next home game is against Everton on October 26. Marco Silva's men are 17th in the league and will arrive desperately seeking a victory to ease pressure on their under-fire manager.

Team performance

Potter was quick to emphasise the quality team performance instead of focusing on any individuals.

"(I'm) delighted for the players, they've worked really hard and now they've got the results we feel we could have got with a bit more luck, but that's life in the Premier League. The margins are small. Today we had luck and a really good performance as well.

"Overall really, really, happy with the performance, great personality on the pitch. I thought we attacked well, defended well, when we made mistakes we recovered, we covered for each other. We played on the front foot as much as we could.

"As a collective unit I thought we were magnificent. It was a really focused performance.

"It's our third season (in the Premier League) and we have to keep fighting for every point. I think it helps that there's a really good team dynamic here, a good spirit, a good mentality amongst the group. That's a foundation that we've inherited."

On Match of the Day, Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy praised Aaron Mooy and Pascal Gross who, they said, played in the number 10 roles and found copious amounts of space against a lacklustre Spurs midfield of Dier and Ndombele. The pundits also praised manager Potter for finding and exploiting this weakness.

Watching from the stands, Brighton were magnificent. They played Spurs off the park. Brighton's midfield were superb, defence was solid and the full-backs bombed forward. The strikers look like an energetic, direct pairing. It was almost like having two Jamie Vardys on the pitch up front, they chased down lost causes, ran in behind and showed they know where the goal is. This 4-4-2 formation and the starting 11 looked like a real prospect, it will be interesting to see if Potter continues with the same set-up and personnel away at Aston Villa on October 19.

Luck in the Premier League

Results so far this season have been frustrating at times and not matched the performances the Albion have put in: Southampton at home saw Florin Andone sent off early on, a tight 1-1 against West Ham, a last minute equaliser for Burnley at the Amex, a good performance at Man City only to leave as 4-0 losers and a 0-0 draw at Newcastle after an exceptional clearance off the line from Fabian Schar to deny Connolly.

Potter said, "I've said before, the hardest thing in football is to score. In the Premier League it's not so easy to create chances. You still need luck, which we got with the first goal. It's obviously a really unfortunate action for the first goal, but like I said you need that bit of luck for us as a winning team. The margins are small. Today we had luck and a really good performance as well."

Brighton move up to 13th in the league and their next five fixtures are: Aston Villa (a), Everton (h), Norwich (h), Manchester United (a), Leicester (h).