The Football Association announced last Friday that an Independent Regulatory Commission “determined that on the balance of probabilities the allegation was not proven” against Rodriguez, who criticised Bong for choosing “to publicly condemn” him.
It was on this day last year that Brighton ensured their promotion from the Championship. On Tuesday night at the Amex Stadium they took a small step towards retaining their Premier League status for another season.
The fiendish nature of their run-in has been well-documented and Chris Hughton’s team must still face the Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Burnley in their final matches. They needed something, anything, to allow them to breathe a little easily after a worrying run of one point from an available 15. This was it.
Thanks for your company there – it was a game whose drama distilled itself into those two minutes right after half-time, and never quite caught light before or after that despite a few flickers at either end. A draw was, for my money, fair and probably means Brighton will stay up. For Spurs, it’s all eyes on the FA Cup. Keep an eye out for David Hytner’s match report on these here pages, in the meantime. Take care, and see you all again soon!
A very good point for Brighton, as the fans’ reaction shows. A “meh” point for Spurs.
90+3 min: There’s anger now from Brighton, because Ryan clears brilliantly and sets them off on the attack but Kevin Friend has already blown for a free-kick after a foul from that corner.
90+2 min: Davies’ cross is headed behind and it’s a late, late corner for Tottenham. Ryan catches it, to hearty cheers.
90+1 min: We’re in the first of three added minutes, by the way.
90 min: Ulloa chases a long ball after some brilliant defensive work from Knockaert, and Lloris sets hearts aflutter by slipping as he comes out for it ... but still has time to correct himself and clear.
90 min: One corner leads to a second, which is punched away well by Lloris.
88 min: A sight for Lamela, who seizes onto a Dunk error and surges into the box. In the end his shot is a decent height for Ryan, who dives in mid-air and catches too, which is always an impressive sight. Something low and crossways might have paid off rather more for Lamela. At the other end Brighton win a corner, as the game finally looks stretched ...
86 min: Ulloa lays off a throw-in to Gross, who leans back and goes for a spectacular volley but it soars over and isn’t really as close as the “oooohhhs” suggest. Good effort all the same.
85 min: Kane tries for a second goal but it’s well wide. That’s all from him for tonight – he’s not looked near his best but still snaffled a goal. On comes Llorente.
83 min: Eriksen dances down the left tramline after some swift distribution from Lloris, and you wonder if he has some magic planned, but in common with his wider evening he seems to run out of ideas and ends up dribbling the ball behind. Lamela, to his right, felt he might have received a pass.
82 min: It’s the 82nd minute but Brighton are still launching themselves into everything – to the extent that Kayal and Stephens pretty much tackle each other in midfield.
80 min: I suspect this will now be 10 minutes, plus added time, of Spurs probing away – but they’re showing few signs of success thus far.
78 min: Aurier beats March immediately but floats a really wasteful cross out of play.
77 min: Now a second Brighton change. Izquierdo is off and March will now take that left-sided perch.
@NickAmes82 lot's of people don't look like footballers, but none more so than Dale Stephens. Ex-public school boy. August evening. Four pints of cider and an impromptu game of cricket
I shall look out for this.
74 min: A sub for the hosts and two for Spurs. Ulloa replaces Murray; Lamela and Dembele replace Moura and Sissoko.
73 min: A lengthy spell of Spurs possession around the box now, ending in a vicious Eriksen cross-shot from the right that clips an outstretched Duffy’s foot and *somehow* flies wide of the far post with most of the goal unguarded. Duffy is a lucky boy! From the corner, Alderweireld shoots into the side netting.
71 min: Brief excitement as Izquierdo, for a split second, seems to have a chance of latching onto an Aurier header back but it transpires that the right-back did well.
69 min: Aurier goes on a run, continues it and almost, rather inadvertently, is found by a Son miskick. But Brighton clear the danger.
67 min: Knockaert gets on his first real run of the half but has to wait for Murray to get in the box and eventually fires the cross way over his head.
65 min: Brighton remain compact, disciplined, quick to the interception and diligent at retaining their shape. That Bong error for the goal apart, they’ve not done a lot wrong and are yet to really get stretched.
63 min: Spurs knocking it around to little effect. Will Pochettino opt for a change or two soon, I wonder ...
60 min: Lucas half-heartedly shouts for a penalty after Bruno ushers him away from an Eriksen cross but he’s not getting that.
59 min: And again Eriksen, not at his best so far, clatters it into the wall. Kayal takes a blow from Davies’ follow-up and takes time to get up – that was a bit of a whack to the ribs.
57 min: Kane wins a handball from Kayal, seemingly more by appealing for it than anything else, although the midfielder did slide into it with his arms out. It’s a free-kick 25 yards out ...
56 min: It’s Moura, though, who shoots a little wastefully wide of the near post after finding himself in space on the left – his new position as of half-time.
55 min: Brighton’s tails have been up since the penalty. Unsurprisingly so; you wouldn’t have fancied them without a smart response but now it’s wide open again ...
53 min: “Like I said, starting Kane was a gutsy and brilliant call by Poch. What a soldier!” laughs Evan Crocker. Other correspondents are noting archly that Bruno, who got the final touch to Kane’s goalbound shot, may insist on claiming that as an own goal.
51 min: Phew! I didn’t get a great glimpse of the foul on Izquierdo, who danced in from the left pretty much straight after the restart – 18 seconds in fact – but the consensus is it was fairly clear.
Not the best pen but who cares – Gross goes low to the right of Lloris, who gets a hand to it but can’t keep out. Brighton’s celebrations show just how important a quick response was there. What a start to the half!
Aurier fouls Izquierdo and parity is close!
Maybe he was onto something with that golden boot thing! It’s awful defending from Brighton, Bong turning into trouble just outside his own area and being dispossessed by Wanyama. Son takes possession, wriggles along the byline, outfoxes a limp Dunk challenge, cuts back to Kane and he blasts it in via a defender! But then ...
Spurs get us going.
OK, we’re nearly ready for the second half ... will Spurs sharpen up?
“Kane is clearly not 100% and with the FA Cup semi-final this weekend, starting him seems nothing short of criminal. He could easily have aggravated his injury on that last foul and just agggggh no one gives a sh** about a golden boot,” says Evan Crocker, whose point I certainly see.
Fairly watchable but not the best if we’re honest, despite that late excitement. Spurs look a bit off-key; Brighton have defended excellently on the whole and have had a couple of threatening periods, led by Knockaert in particular, without really looking like scoring. I’m sure this one will open up – stick with us! Send your emails!
45+4 min: From the half’s last action, the half’s best chance – and it’s a super save from Ryan, who gets a firm hand on a whipped 12-yard effort from Son, who’d been set up by Kane. Brighton weren’t happy at the amount of time added on there, but can at least reflect that their goalkeeper has made an outstanding stop there. It was heading for the corner.
45+3 min: Oh dear. Eriksen makes to shoot but taps to Kane, who slips as he runs up and dribbles an easy shot straight at Ryan. What’s with all this slipping, eh ...
45+1 min: A slack Knockaert pass presents Kane with the ball 20 yards out. Kane, who looks short of his best today, can’t get away and make the chance but is fouled by – I think – Stephens in another Eriksen-favouring position. This would be a blow for Brighton after such a lot of hard work ...
43 min: The veteran Bruno, recalled today, wins a one-on-one with Son thanks to an excellently-timed tackle. Brighton are snappy and switched-on all over the pitch.
41 min: And Son again goes for the line, again finding three defenders quickly around him. He reverts to Davies but the left-back’s cross is dealt with.
39 min: Davies almost contrives a chance for Son but the Korean, and then Kane, and then Eriksen, are all squeezed out by diligent defending. Spurs aren’t at their slickest.
37 min: It’s an almost-good game, this, Brighton playing well and Spurs looking a bit like a team with six changes. There are bits and pieces going on but not too many big chances yet.
34 min: Clever, carved cross by Gross, who sees Izquierdo’s far-post run and waits long enough for him to have a fighter’s chance of getting onto it. He slides in and can’t, quite, but it was a superb delivery.
32 min: Nice try by Moura, whose effort from a fairly unfriendly angle on the right is flipped over the top by Ryan.
31 min: A first sight for Harry Kane, who is up against Dunk after a sweet leave from Eriksen as Moura passes from the right. He can’t quite work the angle and blazes over with his left foot. He’d have claimed that one, eh!
29 min: Yes, you’d have to say Brighton have really grown in confidence now. They’re seeing a lot more of the ball and popping it about pleasingly.
27 min: Gross turns brilliantly to lose Wanyama and gets to the bvline. Stephens tries to backheel his fizzed cutback towards goal but it’s deflected harmlessly away. When Brighton do counter, though, they ooze menace.
25 min: Brighton mount a little pressure, again led by Knockaert, which ends with the left-back Bong cracking in a shot that takes a snick off someone and, once more, is pretty comfortably saved.
23 min: It’s Son again, this time finding space to shoot straight at Ryan. He slipped there just like Vertonghen, I wonder if it’s the surface.
21 min: Son’s trickery on the left has, for Spurs’ part, been their most significant threat and a low cutback for Kane is urgently spirited away. Seconds later it’s Davies, down that same side, in all kinds of space but crossing beyond everybody.
20 min: Vertonghen sizes up a dig from range but slips and scuffs it. Brighton get a chance to counter and Knockaert, their biggest threat so far, cuts inside Wanyama and forces a diving clutch from Lloris with a heavily deflected 20-yarder.
18 min: Better from Brighton on the ball, a Murray surge winning a corner on the right. Gross with the outswinger ... and Dunk with the towering header that Lloris almost fumbles at Knockaert’s feet, frantically gathering at the second attempt!
16 min: It’s a very compact setup from Brighton here, getting out quickly to challenge and crowd Spurs out when the ball enters their half. They do need to see some possession themselves though – only 27% so far.
14 min: Wanyama makes a much better challenge on Murray in midfield, winning the ball, but this time finds himself penalised.
12 min: Eriksen’s free-kick is, after a full minute of setup, drilled low into the wall.
11 min: Now this is a very dangerous Spurs set-piece. Kayal plays a hideous, blind pass backwards towards Dunk and Moura beats the defender to the ball. He’s sliced down 20 yards out, so it’s a yellow and a free-kick. I actually think Moura would have been clean through on goal if he hasn’t been fouled there, but there were enough others around to ensure no steeper punishment.
9 min: After that early Knockaert foray, and the bashing he took for his troubles, it’s been wall-to-wall Spurs possession. The tempo isn’t especially high.
7 min: Davies almost seizes onto a poor Bruno header but can’t quite get it under control as it bounces up in the box. Brighton survive.
6 min: Tottenham threaten now, putting a couple of crosses in from the right before Son, on the other flank, makes for the line and wins a corner from Bruno. Eriksen’s delivery is quite flat, and allowed to bounce in what could be a dangerous area, but there is nobody lurking to inflict harm.
4 min: Knockaert will be ok – that was quite a hefty welcome to the game though!
2 min: Knockaert appeals for a free-kick after a smooth Brighton move down the right – and on a replay it looks as if Wanyama blocked him pretty cynically, probably with an arm. He’s down taking treatment; Brighton should have had a threatening set-piece there, but currently have to sweat on their star winger ...
Here. We. Go.
No Dele Alli today, of course – he’s just been given a straight-up rest. Think we know where Pochettino’s priorities are here.
They’re out on the pitch in Sussex By The Sea! It’s almost time ...
Hughton: “We’re very conscious of the quality we’re up against but we’re at home. Our supporters will want to see a Brighton team that’s having a go. They’re the sorts of performances you can maybe take into the next game.”
Pochettino: “We have a very good squad and I think it’s a good moment to rotate and give some fresh legs to the team. It’s been a difficult process for [Alderweireld] after the injury he got and it wasn’t easy for him but I think today is a great opportunity.”
“Poch looks to have worked out that if Spurs are going to have the best possible chance of winning the FA Cup he has to get Alderweireld back in the team pronto,” opines Cian O’Mahony. “Had Toby been playing with Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez in a central back three with Wanyama screening in front of them in the formation which made them such a formidable defensive unit last season then Tottenham wouldn’t have been so wide open at Wembley against Juventus and Man. City. It will be more of the same if Alderweireld and Wanyama don’t play against Man. Utd next Saturday.”
“Nice photo of Brighton’s stadium in the misty distance,” writes Peter Oh. “It looks otherworldly. The Spurs lineup is also otherwordly, or should I say, Alderweireldly. Has Harry Kane preemptively claimed Spurs’ goals today?”
To address point one – it’s a very nice walk up along the Downs with the stadium in view, Peter, I’ve done it with friends once or twice. Pubs at reasonably regular intervals; lovely way to spend a weekend day. Who needs the footy?
While we wait for some pre-match pearls from the managers, make sure you catch up on David Squires’ latest piece of brilliance – celebrating Man City’s title win:
Brighton fans – do you *feel* safe? This run-in is a brute, isn’t it, but you’ve done brilliantly to ensure it’ll probably all be OK. Hughton has evolved that team so nicely; he’s one of the best managers around at the moment and presumably there’s enough confidence on the south coast that he’ll steer them home ...
Yes, yes that is *the* Toby Alderweireld. It’s his first league start since 28 October. Lucas Moura starts a Premier League game for the first time, meanwhile, and their are four more Spurs changes – Aurier, Sissoko, Wanyama and Son come in too.
Brighton make two changes from their 3-2 defeat at Palace – Bruno and Knockaert in for Schelotto and Locadia.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Sissoko, Wanyama, Lucas Moura, Eriksen, Son, Kane. Subs: Trippier, Lamela, Vorm, Dier, Llorente, Dembele, Foyth.
Not much time to relax at this stage of the season, is there? It’s slightly weird, perhaps, because the final few weeks are threatening to be the least climactic in recent memory – yet the Premier League’s all-smothering embrace is as thick as ever. By next Monday we’ll have seen eee peee elll action on nine days out of 10 – this Friday night being your chance to snatch a few hours with loved ones – and I’d probably wager that, between now and then, not a lot will be very different.
Brighton and Spurs certainly seem fairly entrenched – Spurs in that corridor of do-we-feel-happy-or-sad between second and fourth, Brighton in that clutch of teams that should be in danger of going down but aren’t, really. They could probably do with a result to make sure of safety though, given that this is the first in a fiendish quintet of season-ending fixtures that also includes Burnley, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. It’s still hard to make a case for the seven-point gap between them and Southampton being bridged, but who’d want to put it to chance?
• Trip to Brighton on Tuesday is followed by an FA Cup semi-final • Spurs manager also keen to start next season strongly
Mauricio Pochettino has passed on his congratulations to Manchester City on becoming Premier League champions and immediately turned his thoughts to how he and Tottenham might get the better of them next season.
Spurs have work to do to guarantee a place in the top four, a job that continues at Brighton on Tuesday night, before the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on Saturday.
Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:38:04 +0000: Baldock signs new Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton striker Sam Baldock agrees a new three-year contract with the club to run until the summer of 2020.
Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:34:52 +0000: Keeper Ryan joins Brighton in club record - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton and Hove Albion sign Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan from Valencia for an undisclosed club-record fee.
Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:00:05 +0000: Premier League fixtures in full - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Find out your club's full fixture list for the 2017-18 Premier League season.
Wed, 07 Jun 2017 12:30:04 +0000: Sidwell signs new Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton midfielder Steve Sidwell signs a new one-year contract with the newly-promoted Premier League club.
Tue, 30 May 2017 14:02:01 +0000: Bong agrees one-year Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Defender Gaetan Bong agrees a new one-year contact with Brighton who were promoted to the Premier League this season.