Kulusevski and Bentancur cameos as Kane leads Spurs past Brighton

Tottenham Hotspur's Emerson Royal celebrates his side's second goal against Brighton and Hove Albion

Tottenham Hotspur's Emerson Royal celebrates his side's second goal against Brighton and Hove Albion, given as an own goal due to a nasty deflection off Solly March - Credit: PA/Adam Davy

Harry Kane inspired a comfortable 3-1 win for Tottenham against Brighton Saturday, taking them through to the FA Cup fifth round.

The striker scored twice, proving to be the difference against a team playing well but lacking a natural goalscorer.

There were cameos for Spurs new boys Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, both of whom arrived from Juventus on transfer deadline day.


Kane's opening goal came after 13 minutes, when he was given too much space at the corner of the box and curled a beautiful shot into the top right.

Just a minute earlier, he had wasted a chance, presented the ball through an error at the back. But after the goal he was playing with a smile. 

For Spurs, space was always to be found on the flanks, with Sergio Reguilón, on the left, looking classier every game he plays. 

On the right, Emerson Royal has looked less convincing, but here he broke through and made his way almost to the touchline, his cross looping in from a cruel deflection off Solly March.

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At 2-0 it was all looking incredibly comfortable until, an hour in, a deflected shot by Yves Bissouma, by far Brighton's best player, created a few nerves. Those were settled a few minutes later, when Son burst through and Kane bundled in at the post.

The second half was not without Brighton chances, with both Neal Maupay and Jakub Moder unable to convert. Signing a striker has to be there priority in the summer.  

Dejan Kulusevski

There is a palpable excitement about the arrival of the Swedish attacking midfielder, who made his name in Italy at Atalanta and Juventus, but it may take some time for him to adapt to the league and to Antonio Conte's approach.

 Here he came on after 68 minutes and looked willing but nervous.

It was only five days since his arrival in London and on the pitch he took constant instructions about positioning from both Conte and Kane.

Twice he received the ball on the break and could only feed Steven Bergwijn wide, playing it behind him on one occasion.

He won a corner when fed in by Kane and managed to get a couple of left-footed shot off. 

Though the theme was one of uncertainty and slowing the attack down, these are early days and a player of his class will adapt.

Rodrigo Bentancur

The midfielder has perhaps arrived with less fanfare, but he played 133 times for Juventus and has 47 caps for Uruguay.

Coming on after 77 minutes, he settled into the game quickly, showing strength and control up and down the pitch.

One lovely bit of skill wriggled the ball free for a break and he showed enough to suggest he will introduce an extra dynamism to a midfield that has looked stodgy at times.

A wrestle with the excellent Bissouma earned him a yellow card eight minutes into his Spurs career.

Smiling Kane

Obvious perhaps, but strikers are happy when they're scoring and Kane looked like he was having fun.

The first goal was sublime, and the second looked easy but showed the anticipation and determination that a great striker needs.

Elsewhere there were cheeky chips and cute touches as he led from the front.  

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane scores his second goal against Brighton

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane scores his second goal against Brighton - Credit: PA/Adam Davy

Danger man Reguilón 

It may have been Royal who created the second goal, but it was Reguilón carrying most of the threat on the flanks.

He has a great understanding with his strikers, and with Ben Davies behind him.

He has the feel of a player with goals in him, and it will be a huge shame if rumours of Real Madrid activating a by-back clause proved well founded.

Centre back 

Cristian Romero returned from a hamstring injury with a statement performance at centre back.

A crowd-pleasing tackle on Tariq Lamptey could only be described in football parlance as "crunching".

But his positioning, control and decision making were a cut above.

Up to this point he has not lived up to his promise but more games like this and he will become the lynchpin that the three-man defence needs.

Brighton and Hove Albion's Tariq Lamptey is tackled by Tottenham Hotspur's Cristian Romero

Brighton and Hove Albion's Tariq Lamptey is tackled by Tottenham Hotspur's Cristian Romero - Credit: PA/Adam Davy

A tribute

There was a warm round of applause on 39 minutes for Spurs fan Ashley Savage, who died from cancer.