Brighton boss Graham Potter said the Seagulls produced their best performance for two years as they beat Tottenham to go seven points clear of the Premier League bottom three.
Leandro Trossard grabbed the game’s only goal, side-footing in Pascal Gross’ cutback after 17 minutes.
And the hosts comfortably held on at the Amex Stadium to earn their first home league win since June.
“It’s our best performance [from] this season and last,” Brighton boss Potter told BBC Sport.
“From start to finish we did what we needed to do, created some chances, scored a really good goal [and had a] good attitude around the pitch against a top opponent.”
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, whose side stay six points off the top four in sixth, admitted his players were “too unhappy” on the pitch.
“When you are too sad, you have no energy, enthusiasm or confidence, and that was what the team showed in the first half,” said Mourinho.
“[My squad] they feel too much the absence of a player like Harry [Kane].”
Flying Seagulls grab rare home win
Coming into this fixture, Potter’s team were the only side left in England’s top four divisions without a win at home this season.
“I’m delighted for the players and our supporters because it’s important we improve our home form,” the ex-Swansea manager added.
“It’s the best [performance] in terms of the opponent.”
The Seagulls were the better side throughout, with Gross striking the woodwork in the third minute.
Trossard’s second goal of the season deservedly put them ahead, before Gareth Bale headed a Lewis Dunk effort off the line on the stroke of half-time.
Albion’s Ben White saw his shot well-saved by Hugo Lloris after it deflected off Alderweirweld in the 55th minute.
And the Spurs defender was also on hand to clear an Aaron Connolly’s effort off the line in stoppage time when the Republic of Ireland international looked destined to score.
“I’m delighted with everything about the game tonight to be honest,” said Potter.
“There’s a lot of football to play – whatever points we have now is not enough. We have to keep fighting for everything until the last kick.”
A winless December may have had Brighton boss Potter looking over his shoulder.
But three wins in their past four games in all competitions – including three clean sheets – suggests the Seagulls are starting to find the form they need to pull away from the bottom three.
Sorry Spurs out of ideas
After losing to Liverpool on Thursday night, Spurs needed a response – the omens were not great, given when they lost to the champions in December they followed it up with a 2-0 defeat to Leicester.
A win would have put the visitors fifth in the table. Instead, they suffered back-to-back defeats for a second time this season.
“I can imagine that the team when it loses is a sad team,” Mourinho told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The reaction after that defeat was not phenomenal, the fact that you lose, I don’t like to speak on behalf of the players, but they feel too much the absence of a player like Harry [Kane].”
With Kane sidelined with injuries to both ankles, Real Madrid loanee Bale started just his second league game of the season.
But, like the rest of Spurs’ forward line, the four-time Champions League winner looked uninspired in the opening 45 minutes. The Welshman was subbed shortly after the hour mark.
Son Heung-min and Carlos Vinicius both tested Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez late on, Vinicius’ effort in particular worrying the Spanish keeper.
But without talisman Kane, Tottenham looked bereft of ideas, rarely threatening their 17th-placed opponents.
“It’s not about the players. I told them there is no replacement for Harry Kane,” added the Spurs boss.
“In the first half we tried to give the dynamic that [gave] us the success with a number of goals, which is the connection with Son.
“We changed in the second half to playing with a clear target man. That gave us more energy, more runs, more aggression, and in the second half we were much better.”
First home win in 225 days – the stats
- Brighton have kept three consecutive Premier League clean sheets for only the second time, and the first since October 2018.
- This was Brighton’s first home win in 15 Premier League games at the Amex Stadium (D7, L7) since beating Arsenal in June 2020, 225 days ago.
- Tottenham have won just three of their past 13 Premier League games in which Harry Kane has not featured (D4, L6), including none of their past four (D1, L3).
- Tottenham have lost four of their past eight league games (W2, D2), as many as in their previous 28 such matches beforehand.
- This was the 11th time a side managed by Jose Mourinho had one shot or fewer in the first half of a Premier League game; six of those occasions have come while in charge of Spurs.
- Mourinho has lost all three of his away league games at Brighton, the first time he has ever lost three consecutive away league visits to an opponent in his managerial career.
- Brighton’s Pascal Gross has assisted 18 Premier League goals; the only Germans with more assists in the competition’s history are Mesut Ozil (54), Leroy Sane (28) and Dietmar Hamann (22).
Brighton are next in action when they travel to Liverpool in the Premier League on Wednesday, 3 February (20:15 GMT).
Tottenham host Chelsea in a London derby in their next match on Thursday, 4 February (20:00 GMT).
Brighton & Hove Albion
- 34VeltmanSubstituted forBurnat 72′minutesBooked at 86mins
- 10Mac Allister
- 9MaupayBooked at 71minsSubstituted forLallanaat 79′minutes
- 11TrossardSubstituted forConnollyat 79′minutes
- 6D SánchezSubstituted forAlves Moraisat 45′minutes
- 4AlderweireldBooked at 66mins
- 28NdombeleSubstituted forLamelaat 74′minutes
- 9BaleSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 61′minutes
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 27Lucas Moura
- 45Alves Morais
Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0.
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Toby Alderweireld.
Foul by Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur).
Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Son Heung-Min.
Foul by Steven Bergwijn (Tottenham Hotspur).
Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Ben Davies.
Attempt saved. Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Dan Burn (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Dan Burn (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Toby Alderweireld.
Attempt blocked. Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Pascal Groß.
Attempt blocked. Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Carlos Vinicius.
Foul by Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur).
Adam Lallana (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.