Tottenham Hotspur

Ange Postecoglou has sympathy for his ‘tired’ Spurs players

Ange Postecoglou defended his “tired” Tottenham team after they were blown away in a six-goal thriller at Brighton.

Roberto De Zerbi’s team won 4-2, which was well deserved. Joao Pedro scored 2 penalties, while Jack Hinshelwood and Pervis Estupinan all scored excellently.

Spurs lost their sixth Premier League game of the season despite having the better of the game for the majority of the evening, despite goals from Alejo Veliz and Ben Davies in the last ten minutes.

Due to the high number of injuries that both teams have had in recent months—Brighton will start this match with eight players out and Tottenham with nine—Postecoglou has chosen to adopt a philosophical stance.

Postecoglou stated: “It’s fair to say that, particularly early in the game, we appeared a little worn out and lacking in our customary alertness. We’ve had good game starts lately.

“I guess that’s understandable, we’ve been on this run for a while now and asking players to perform at levels. It’s very demanding the way we play, physically, and today we kind of looked like a team that wasn’t at its sharpest.

“Brighton are a good side and they took advantage of that. Ultimately what I do know is the players, everything they had they gave and that’s all I can ask for.”

Pedro found the unmarked Hinshelwood to fire beyond Guglielmo Vicario, who had twice denied Danny Welbeck early on, and the Brazilian then rolled home a spot-kick after Dejan Kulusevski was penalised for pulling Welbeck.

James Milner also struck the crossbar, forcing Vicario into additional action, and Estupinan completed his comeback appearance with a 25-yard goal.

Richarlison had been denied twice by the offside flag, but Giovani Lo Celso, a substitute, hauled down Evan Ferguson, and Pedro tapped home to make it 4-0, adding insult to injury for Spurs.

With nine minutes remaining, Veliz scored his first goal in English football, and Ben Davies headed the rebound at the back post, but Tottenham rallied and won 4-2.

Postecoglou took issue with VAR’s decision to spare Brighton captain Lewis Dunk for a shoddy tackle on Kulusevski that preceded Veliz’s goal, but he had no issues with either of the penalty calls.

“It was obviously clear and obvious because it only took him [Jarred Gillett] three minutes to see it on the screen, and VAR picked up everything today except the one tackle which nearly cost me another player,” Postecoglou added.

“It’s been difficult this whole run. We’ve been stretched for a very long time and we’ve just tried to play on through it.

“The players’ tremendous efforts to perform tasks that are typically outside of their scope of work have put us in this situation; they give their best and do so voluntarily. Although we didn’t try our hardest, we didn’t succeed today.”

De Zerbi celebrated an incredible year in which Brighton advanced to the Europa League last 16, finished sixth in the FA Cup, and reached the semifinals of the competition.

“Yes, the best way to finish the year,” he continued.

“We demonstrated extraordinary bravery by playing men-to-men defense for ninety minutes and by playing with that bravery, that quality, and that style, which is why we played a tremendous game.

“I apologize for our two goals conceded and our lack of clean sheet.

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