Tottenham scored for a 36th successive Premier League game in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brighton to equal the second-longest run in Premier League history.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how they have done it and the record run still in front of them.

Scoring for fun

After losing 1-0 to Wolves in March, Tottenham scored in their final 12 games of last season – even as they sacked manager Antonio Conte and then caretaker Cristian Stellini, the latter following a shambolic 6-1 defeat to Newcastle.

They finished the season with Ryan Mason in charge and have not let up this term under a fourth manager in Ange Postecoglou, netting at least once in every game so far – 51 goals in 24 games, to add to their 24 in last season’s portion of the scoring run for a total of 75.

They have also conceded 63 at the other end and have kept only six clean sheets along the way as they rival Saturday’s opponents Brighton as the Premier League’s great entertainers – Albion’s own sequences of 32 consecutive games without being shut out and 20 in which both teams had scored were ended by December’s 2-0 loss to Arsenal.

Postecoglou’s side have matched Manchester United’s run from December 2007 to November 2008, and Liverpool from March 2019 to February 2020.

Spurs would need to score in every game for the rest of this season and the first five of next term to equal the record of 55, set by rivals Arsenal from May 2001 to November 2002.

Son shines in scoring streak

Captain Son Heung-min is Spurs’ top scorer in those games with 17 goals, joined in double figures by the departed Harry Kane with 12 and Richarlison on 11.

They have had 19 different scorers in all, in addition to own goals by opponents Lisandro Martinez, Joel Matip and Joel Ward. Pedro Porro has made the most appearances, featuring in 34 of the 36 games.

Their stand-out performances in front of goal saw them beat Burnley 5-2 in September as well as 4-1 wins over Newcastle this season and Leeds last.

They have scored three goals on six occasions, netting twice 17 times and once on 10 occasions, averaging 2.08 goals per game.

That compares to 2.13 for Arsenal on their 55-game run, which encompassed the last game of 2000-01, their entire 2001-02 title win and the first 16 games of the following campaign. The Gunners, though, conceded barely a goal a game (56) compared to 1.75 for Spurs.

Arsene Wenger’s side surprisingly had only 15 different scorers, plus four opposition own goals. Thierry Henry racked up 31 of their 117 goals, with Sylvain Wiltord on 18, Freddie Ljungberg 15 and 10 apiece for Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp.

Brennan Johnson is excited about what Tottenham can achieve this season with their improved squad depth.

Spurs were able to welcome captain Son Heung-min and Yves Bissouma back into the fold for Saturday’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Brighton after their recent international commitments.

It was Son who set up fellow substitute Johnson for a last-gasp winner, which keeps Tottenham firmly in the hunt for Champions League qualification and as a big outsider in the title race.

Boss Ange Postecoglou has not had a fully-fit squad to pick from since November due to injuries, suspensions and national-team duty, but does now and has used options off his bench during the last fortnight to inspire home wins over Brentford and Brighton.

“You don’t play that well or with that togetherness if everyone isn’t on board. Everyone is firmly on board with how the manager plays,” Johnson insisted.

“At half-time he was so frustrated because we came away from the way we want to play and when we score goals like that, it is stuff we work on day-in, day-out so it’s a nice feeling because it is the rewards paying off.

“It is just excitement (in the squad). Everyone is back and we’ve missed some really key players. As the manager said, now in training we’ll be doing the starters against the sub team and most times you won’t be able to tell who is starting because the quality is so high.

“We have that competition in training, there is never any bad blood, everyone gets on so well in training and we just want to push ourselves.

“It shows like (here) and against Brentford, when people aren’t at it for one reason or another, it’s not down to them, but it shows the squad and the players coming on can make such a good impact.”

 

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The 96th-minute winner was Johnson’s latest encouraging moment after a mixed start to life with the north London club.

After struggling for form earlier this season, his third goal for Tottenham makes it four goal involvements in his last seven Premier League appearances.

Johnson told SpursPlay: “Moments like that are what you dream of as a player.

“Even when I was on the bench, I knew when we come on there is such good quality in the team. Coming on with a player as good as Sonny, when he gets the ball down the left-hand side, his crossing is unbelievable, especially off both feet.

“It was just about making sure I got it in. It felt like it was coming in slow motion but to get the ball in the back of the goal is a special feeling.”

Brighton were without boss Roberto De Zerbi at Tottenham with the Italian back in his home country recovering from invasive dental surgery.

De Zerbi also had a one-match touchline ban to serve, but his number two revealed he was in contact with his staff during the match.

“Yes, Roberto was the whole match in contact with us,” Seagulls assistant Andrea Maldera revealed.

“In the first half not too much because the match was easy to read, but in half-time I spoke with him and he gave to me and the team some suggestions.

“In the second half, the substitutions arrived from him because he is watching the match on TV.”

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou heaped praise on “world-class” Son Heung-min after he helped inspire a dramatic 2-1 victory over Brighton.

Spurs looked set to drop more points after they had been held to a 2-2 draw at Everton last weekend but Brennan Johnson struck in the sixth minute of stoppage time to fire them back into the Premier League top four.

Son created the winner with a wonderful delivery across the face of goal on his first appearance since he returned from the Asian Cup, where his nation South Korea suffered semi-final disappointment.

Postecoglou introduced Son and Johnson with 28 minutes left and the duo eventually helped the hosts earn all three points after Pape Sarr’s 61st-minute goal cancelled out Pascal Gross’ opener for the Seagulls from the penalty spot after 17 minutes.

“Obviously Brighton were doing really well but they were working really hard to stay in the game and you know they’re going to get tired,” Postecoglou explained.

“The fact we could bring on two attacking players who are going to be a threat, it maybe looks simple but that ball that Sonny plays, that’s a world-class player in a clutch moment.

“Even Brennan getting on the far post, we’ve helped him to do that.

“It’s not about confidence, I feel like with the squad we have for today and hopefully moving towards, we do have that ability irrespective of where the game’s at, to finish games strong.”

On Son, Postecoglou continued: “Maybe the nation he plays for works against him but I think he’s a world-class player.

“You look at his record in the Premier League, the toughest league in the world, his goal contributions irrespective of how the team’s gone through the time he’s been here have always been right up there.

“Even this year, before he left, I think he was probably the best attacking player in the competition, just my opinion obviously. Certainly he’d be up there.

“He’s a world-class player. I thought we did well to cover his absence.

“Richy (Richarlison) obviously stepped up in terms of goal threat, and a few other players, but to have a world-class player for the run-in is brilliant for us.”

Brighton were crestfallen at full-time and deserved more in the absence of Roberto De Zerbi, who was back in Italy recovering after he had invasive dental surgery this week.

Andrea Maldera patrolled the touchline in his absence and watched Brighton go ahead via a Gross penalty after Danny Welbeck had been fouled in the area by Micky van de Ven.

It could have been 2-0 before half-time but Guglielmo Vicario saved Kaoru Mitoma’s poked effort and Spurs finished strongly before Sarr equalised when he curled home after Lewis Dunk deflected his cross onto the post.

The points looked set to be shared after Welbeck fired wide with 14 minutes left but Richarlison sent Son away and he squared for Johnson to slam home with seconds of the six minutes of stoppage time remaining.

“Yes, to concede a goal in the 96th minute in transition away, it is very tough, but this is our mentality,” Maldera said.

“We want to score always the second goal. We don’t think to stay in our half.

“Yes, we can do better but the last pass, Son is a big player, but until that moment we played a big match, with big courage.”

Brennan Johnson struck the winner in the sixth minute of stoppage time to fire Tottenham into the top four after a dramatic 2-1 victory over Brighton.

Spurs looked to have lost more ground after they dropped points at Everton last weekend but Ange Postecoglou’s second-half substitutes did the trick.

Pascal Gross’ 17th-minute penalty had given Brighton a half-time lead in the absence of boss Roberto De Zerbi, who was recovering at home after invasive dental surgery this week.

The points looked set to be shared after Pape Sarr levelled for Tottenham in the 61st minute only for Son Heung-min, back again after Asian Cup duty, to tee up fellow substitute Johnson deep into stoppage time to earn a vital victory.

Brighton assistant Andrea Maldera patrolled the touchline in De Zerbi’s absence and should have watched his team take the lead inside 60 seconds.

Danny Welbeck won back possession from Micky van de Ven by the halfway line and dribbled into the area but Guglielmo Vicario clawed away his shot.

Spurs continued to be sloppy in possession and it was no surprise when Brighton took the lead in the 17th minute.

Gross tackled Rodrigo Bentancur and the ball worked its way to Welbeck, who was caught on the ankle by Van de Ven inside the penalty area.

Without the injured Joao Pedro, Gross took on spot-kick duties and sent Vicario the wrong way for his fifth goal of the season.

Postecoglou’s side did mount a response with Richarlison impressively denied by Jason Steele after a fine through ball by James Maddison, who himself curled wide from 18 yards soon after.

In between had been a flair-up between Cristian Romero and Adam Lallana, which referee Sam Barrott was happy to wave on despite protestations by the Brighton midfielder.

The Seagulls almost doubled their lead prior to the half-hour mark when Bentancur again lost possession but Kaoru Mitoma – back from Asian Cup duty – had a poked effort tipped wide by Vicario from a tight angle.

Spurs did finally start to click in attack towards the end of the first 45, with Richarlison flicking wide from a Timo Werner cross and Dejan Kulusevski forcing Steele into a low save.

Richarlison also squandered a promising position ahead of half-time with Maddison free to his left to ensure it remained 1-0 to Brighton at the break.

Tottenham maintained their momentum after the restart with a Maddison free-kick saved before Werner’s mazy run ended with his shot deflected wide.

It started three corners in quick succession for Spurs but after they failed to make the most of them Postecoglou turned to his bench.

Yves Bissouma, Johnson and Son were all ready to come on when the equaliser did arrive with 61 minutes played.

Kulusevski was the architect with a wonderful through ball releasing Sarr and while his cross was deflected onto the post by Lewis Dunk, the Senegal midfielder was on hand to curl home with his left foot to make it 1-1.

Postecoglou made his triple change immediately after but it failed to have the desired impact aside from Son teeing up Johnson for a snapshot straight at Steele.

Brighton were now in the ascendancy and should have gone back ahead with 14 minutes left when Mitoma got in behind Porro but Welbeck arrowed his cutback past the post.

A minute later and Van de Ven had to throw himself in the way of Facundo Buonanotte’s strike before Spurs had penalty appeals for a handball by Dunk turned away.

Hopes of a late goal were raised when six minutes were added on and with seconds left Richarlison played in Son, who crossed for Johnson to slam home a dramatic late winner.

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou has warned any proposal to introduce blue cards and sin bins will destroy football.

It was revealed on Thursday that a trial could commence soon where a blue card would be shown for dissent and professional fouls where the offenders would be sin binned for 10 minutes.

FIFA has since clarified the trial will not occur in elite football, while football’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board, will not publish plans for the sin bin trial until next month.

However, Postecoglou was unequivocal in his belief it would be a wrong move.

“One team being down to 10 men for 10 minutes, you know what it’s going to do to our game? It’s going to destroy it, mate,” Postecoglou insisted.

“You’re going to have one team just sitting there trying to waste time for 10 minutes waiting for a guy to come on.

“Every other sport is trying to declutter. All we’re trying to do is go the other way for some bizarre reason.”

Postecoglou talked at length about the laws of the game ahead of Saturday’s visit of Brighton.

The Spurs boss defended goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, who conceded from another corner during last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Everton.

Vicario failed to deal with Dwight McNeil’s delivery into his six-yard area while under pressure from Jack Harrison, which was also the case in the 1-0 loss to Manchester City last month.

Ruben Dias crowded round Vicario on that occasion from a Kevin De Bruyne corner and the Tottenham goalkeeper’s flap resulted in Nathan Ake scoring.

Spurs have written to Professional Game Match Officials Limited this week to get clarification over why both goals have not fallen under the bracket of encroachment.

“We have sent some stuff to get some clarification,” Postecoglou revealed.

“I’m going to get called out for this, but there was a thing that was quite evident in the game that the goalkeeper was a protected species. I don’t think that’s just me making that up.

“The reason people used to say that was that if you really impeded a goalkeeper in any way in the six-yard box, you are going to get a foul. I knew that as a player, I knew that as a manager.

“I think there’s been a shift there where now to me, it’s obstruction.

“If you’re standing in front of a goalkeeper stopping him before a ball has even arrived, in layman’s terms that’s obstruction.

“With the goalkeepers, what’s that going to do now? Well, it’s pretty much opened it up that you can surround the goalkeeper and crowd him and put balls on top of him and just wait for the scramble to finish and see what happens.

“I was really proud of Vic the other day. I think they had nine corners after we conceded and I think he dealt with just about every other one by coming out and actually having a crack at it

“I can’t praise him highly enough over the way he handled it.

“And the whole thing where people say, ‘you’ve got to be stronger’, well, what does that mean?

“If he pushes or does anything to a player, with VAR, you’ve got no chance. You’re going to get a penalty against you.”

Tottenham have captain Son Heung-min back for the visit of Brighton and Postecoglou will hope his presence can boost their unlikely title bid.

Opta Analyst this week claimed Spurs have a 0.1 per cent chance of winning the Premier League this season.

“What did it say, 0.1 per cent? So we (have) got a chance then. Let’s go for it. No problems, no issues with that. We’ve got a chance,” Postecoglou smiled.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes a proposal to introduce blue cards and sin-bins to football does not “sound like a fantastic idea” initially.

The PA news agency understands that blue cards will be shown to players sin-binned in new trials to try and improve participant behaviour.

It is understood that the initial trial phase will not feature top-level competitions to avoid players being in events with different rules concurrently.

PA understands that plans to publish details of these trials have been delayed until next month, but Klopp believes a blue card could present “more opportunities to fail”.

He told a press conference: “I think everything what the actual situation shows is we should keep it as simple as somehow possible, for the referees as well.

“It’s a difficult job, often quite emotional when we speak about it more so because it’s after the game, and I think the introduction of a blue card would just give more opportunities to fail as well because the discussion will be: ‘It was a blue card, should it have been a yellow card, now it’s 10 minutes off, in the good old times it would have been a red card or only a yellow’.

“These kind of things just make it more complicated. If they want to test it I have no problem with testing if that’s the first step to agreeing or it already being sure it will happen – I don’t know that.

“It doesn’t sound like a fantastic idea in the first moment but actually I can’t remember the last fantastic idea (which) came from these guys, if they ever had one. I am 56 and, pah, never.”

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou also remained unconvinced by the proposals, adding his “biggest issue” in football is VAR.

“I don’t think people will be surprised by my thoughts on it. I struggle to understand this urgency all of a sudden to bring in new things,” he said.

“I don’t know if there’s that much wrong with the game as I see it. My biggest issue with the game right now is that VAR has changed the experience, whether you’re a player, a manager or a supporter or whatever you are I think it’s changed the experience of football.

“I assume that’s a means to an end, that the introduction of technology is going to get us to a better place. I remain to be convinced about that.

“Beyond that, I don’t know why a different colour card is going to make any difference. I struggle with this whole taking from other sports.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hopes that the proposals would be “tested very well” if introduced.

“I don’t know when we’re going to get there,” he said.

“I think we’ve got a lot going on with decisions, with technology, with what is coming. I don’t know if we are ready for that yet.

“Who knows (if it is a good idea). Hopefully it’s going to be tested very well before they introduce it at this level.”

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe admitted he was “not a big fan” of the new proposals.

He said: “I’m not a big fan, to be honest. I think that’s what yellow cards are for. I think the current system works well, it’s just got to be applied right.

“I think adding a blue card would just add more confusion, in my opinion, so I’m against it.

“I think (sin-bins) would change it a lot, but again not, for me, in a good way because I think it will make it very bitty, more stop-start.

“I fear for the players who would have to go off for 10 minutes and then re-find the rhythm of a Premier League game after 10 minutes out, I’m just not sure it works, personally.”

Wolves boss Gary O’Neil believes blue cards could “damage” the stadium experience.

“I haven’t looked into it too much, it would damage the in-stadium experience, it would change the game drastically, to have to spend 10 minutes down to 10 men,” he said.

Ange Postecoglou hailed the professionalism of Tottenham captain Son Heung-min ahead of his club return for Saturday’s visit of Brighton.

Son suffered Asian Cup disappointment with South Korea on Tuesday as they lost 2-0 to Jordan at the semi-final stage.

The South Korea skipper cut a dejected figure at full-time, but was quickly back on a plane to the UK and trained on Friday to make himself available for Spurs’ fixture with Brighton.

Postecoglou said: “It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him be like that.

“He was very, very disappointed with Korea’s exit because they haven’t won it for quite a while and after they got past Australia, when you get to the semi-final stage, you feel so close.

“But anyone who watched the tournament (knows) he gave everything for his nation and didn’t leave anyone questioning his commitment to his country.

“He was spent by the end of it but I spoke to him not long after it and he was keen to come back, get amongst the boys again. He was keen to come back here.

“It didn’t surprise me that he wanted to train straight away and be available. That’s why he is the person he is.”

The return of 12-goal Son is the latest boost for Tottenham, who had Pape Sarr involved at Everton and will have Yves Bissouma available for this weekend’s clash with his old club.

Bissouma endured a mixed Africa Cup of Nations campaign with Mali after he struggled with illness, but Postecoglou provided an update on his fitness.

He explained: “Yves had a slight form of malaria before the tournament started, but it cleared up after the tournament started. He had no issues after that.”

Manor Solomon (knee) and Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) are the only players on the treatment table at Tottenham, but ex-Fulham attacker Solomon could return by the end of February.

Postecoglou is excited to have his options in midfield and attack boosted ahead of the final three months of the season.

Spurs start a run of three consecutive home matches when Brighton visit, but the away side will be without manager Roberto De Zerbi, who has a touchline ban to serve following his third yellow card of the campaign in last weekend’s win over Crystal Palace.

“It’s disappointing that Roberto won’t be there because I’ve got a lot of time for him and a great respect for him,” Postecoglou added.

“It’s the existence we have as managers these days. I think I’m one card away from sitting in the stands, so I shouldn’t cast judgement on others.

“So disappointed he won’t be on the touchline but hopefully I’ll get to say hello to him at some point.”

Ex-Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe had contemplated giving up on his managerial dream, but remains determined to follow in the footsteps of Chris Hughton and become a trailblazer for black coaches.

Former England international Defoe called time on his distinguished playing career in 2022 and has spent the past 18 months coaching in the Spurs academy.

Defoe is well aware of potential hurdles and the low number of black and ethnic minority managers in English football, which has been further hit by the January sackings of Darren Moore and Troy Deeney by Huddersfield and Forest Green respectively.

Deeney’s maiden managerial tenure lasted 29 days but Defoe will draw inspiration from Hughton’s three decades as a coach when he does eventually take his first steps into the dugout.

“For me going into management and hopefully getting an opportunity, it can show the next generation that if you do want to become a coach, look I’ve done it,” Defoe told the PA news agency.

“I look at someone like Chris Hughton, who has had a long career in the game. I was with Chris at Tottenham when he was assistant and he’s managed Newcastle and Brighton, big clubs.

“He’s had a fantastic career so I look at that and I know there has not been many. Troy Deeney recently lost his job, Darren Moore too and Patrick Vieira was obviously at Palace.

“At one point I did think, ‘what is the point of going into it? Am I going to get an opportunity’?

“Because there are people I speak to with fantastic careers, icons of the game that I looked up to but these ex-players talk about not getting an interview or a call back.

“You do think about it but I just love football.

“For my journey, with what I am doing at Spurs, the badges I have got, I would like to believe I will get an opportunity.

“I don’t want a job because I am black and it ticks boxes, I want to get a job because I am good enough and I’ve done the hard work I needed to do.

“I am more than confident that when the opportunity comes, I will do well.”

Defoe, who was at St George’s Park last week for the launch of McDonald’s Fun Football free grassroots football coaching development and education programme, enjoyed an excellent first season as a coach at Tottenham.

He played his part as Stuart Lewis’ Under-18s claimed success in two Premier League Cup competitions, while this term they have reached the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals and Jamie Donley and Alfie Dorrington have been promoted into Ange Postecoglou’s first team.

“It is an exciting group. Last year was brilliant when we won two trophies,” Defoe admitted.

“We have some really exciting players and I would love to see them go on and have a career in the game.”

Defoe’s current focus is helping Spurs’ academy stars, but he has received interest from clubs over his managerial ambitions and already knows the make-up of his coaching staff when he does ultimately become a head coach.

The 20-goal England striker has also regularly watched back clips of Tottenham first-team training and praised Postecoglou for getting the club buzzing again.

Defoe added: “I’ve been at the club a long time now. Nine years as a player, second year as a coach, so I know what it feels like when the place is buzzing and the stadium is rocking at the minute.

“Of course the results are the most important thing, but the performances and how the team is playing under Ange, it has been fantastic.”

:: Jermain Defoe was supporting McDonald’s Fun Football’s new coaching qualification in partnership with Kick it Out, British Blind Sport, and England Futsal to make Fun Football the most inclusive grassroots programme in the UK. Register for your local session here – mcdonalds.co.uk/football

Son Heung-min will return to Tottenham’s training ground on Thursday after South Korea’s Asian Cup exit.

Son suffered disappointment with his nation on Tuesday after they lost 2-0 to Jordan in the semi-finals.

While the majority of the South Korea squad have returned to their home country along with manager Jurgen Klinsmann, Son headed straight to the UK and will link up with his Spurs team-mates again on Thursday.

It raises the prospect of Tottenham captain Son being available for Saturday’s visit of Brighton.

Spurs have been without Son for four matches over the past month, claiming only one victory during that period without their 12-goal attacker.

Ange Postecoglou could have Yves Bissouma in contention for the clash with Brighton after Mali were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday, but the midfielder will be assessed after struggling with illness during the tournament.

What the papers say

Raphael Varane is reportedly the latest big name attracting a wealth of interest from Saudi Arabia. The Daily Star says Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr are hoping to reunite the Manchester United defender with his former Real Madrid and Red Devils team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, with an offer believed to be in the region of £50million a year.

The Independent reports Kylian Mbappe‘s contract negotiations with Real Madrid have hit a stumbling block. According to the paper, the two parties are yet to come to terms on the 25-year-old striker’s wage package, with an agreement believed to be a way off. However, there is belief amongst all involved – including Mbappe’s current club Paris St Germain – that a deal to take the France captain to Spain will eventually be made.

And The Telegraph reports Aston Villa has reached a verbal agreement on a new long-term contract for Jamaica winger Leon Bailey.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Raphinha: Journalist Paul O’Keefe says on X the Barcelona attacker is being carefully monitored by Tottenham.

Hwang Ui-jo: The Nottingham Forest striker has agreed terms to spend the rest of the season on loan at Turkish side Alanyaspor, reports Turkish outlet Sports Digitale.

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou felt goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario deserved more protection from referee Michael Oliver after Everton earned a last-gasp 2-2 draw.

The Italian, having endured a similar problem in their FA Cup exit to Manchester City last week, failed to deal with Dwight McNeil’s inswinging corner under his own crossbar which allowed Jack Harrison to equalise to initially make it 1-1.

And while the Spurs boss was reluctant to criticise the officials, he felt there could have been more intervention as Spurs missed the chance to move level on points with second-placed City.

“It just seems to be in general referees are reluctant to call these now and leave to VAR,” said Postecoglou on the first goal.

“At the moment any contact in the box referees seem reluctant to call.

“It is disappointing to concede any goal. There were about 30 set-pieces. It is stuff you have to deal with.

“It is obviously a difficult place to come and play and dominate and for the most part I thought we handled it OK.

“We started the game really well, lost a bit of our composure, the second half was OK and we created some good chances and probably needed a third to kill the game off.

“In the last 10 minutes it is almost inevitable you will be put under pressure here. We have to take it on the chin and move on.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche denied they had deliberately targeted Vicario.

“No, not necessarily. We want to be competitive on set-pieces all over the pitch. Delivery is massively important as is the intent and desire to score a goal,” he said.

“That is a large part of what we drill into the players. We do look a threat. There is no story there, it is just what we work on.

“Some weeks you give more time on (working on) the opposition but it is mostly what we work on.”

Jarrad Branthwaite’s first goal of the season deep into added time snatched a morale-boosting draw, with ex-Toffee Richarlison having scored twice for Spurs.

“Very pleased from top to bottom,” was Dyche’s assessment of the performance.

“The commitment is evident and some of the quality. They (Tottenham) started well and scored a very good goal from their point of view and then we went on the front foot and took the game on and played very well.

“At half-time I just said to the players ‘that is a very good half so we have to keep that going’. We kept our levels extremely high and deserved at least an equaliser, if not to take all three points.”

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite’s added-time header snatched a 2-2 draw against Tottenham to spoil two-goal Richarlison’s return to Goodison Park.

The visitors appeared on course to make it six wins in seven after quality strikes from the Brazil international, only for the Toffees’ 21-year-old centre-back, one of their players of the season, to pop up at the far post with his first goal of the campaign.

A point was as much a reward for Sean Dyche’s side’s determination as it was a punishment for Spurs not finishing off their opponents when they had the chance.

Richarlison chose not to celebrate his eighth and ninth goals in the last eight league matches in deference to fans who less than two years ago adored him for the part he played in their first escape against relegation.

But there were wild scenes in the fourth minute of additional time when Tottenham defender Cristian Romero could only flick on James Garner’s inswinging free-kick and Branthwaite ghosted in to nod past Guglielmo Vicario, who endured a difficult afternoon dealing with Everton’s set-pieces.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s struggles also continued as he thought he had ended a 17-game drought extending back to October by nodding in from close range for the Toffees’ first equaliser only for the goal to be credited to Jack Harrison just before the start of the second half.

There were no such doubts about Richarlison’s well-taken goals; the first after four minutes when he swept home a volley after Idrissa Gana Gueye – injuries meaning he went came straight back in the side following Senegal’s African Nations Cup exit – had allowed Destiny Udogie to run beyond him to collect Timo Werner’s pass.

But instead of pressing home their early advantage Spurs were pushed back, with Harrison’s embarrassment at missing from a couple of yards spared by an offside flag.

Everton’s best opportunities came from set-pieces, particularly with Dwight McNeil targeting Vicario with inswinging corners from the right.

It was one of those which eventually paid off as Vicario, under pressure from Garner, failed to deal with a corner under his own crossbar and James Tarkowski headed back across goal for Calvert-Lewin to nod in.

Or so he thought until intervention from the Premier League’s goal accreditation panel.

Blissfully unaware the Everton striker now had a spring in his step and only just failed to get on the end of a Harrison cross having been crowded out by centre-backs Cristian Romero and Micky van der Ven.

Everton were actually in the ascendency when Richarlison put Spurs ahead again; James Maddison and Werner combined down the left with the latter teeing up the Brazilian who, with Harrison slow to react, had time to curl a shot across and beyond Jordan Pickford.

Vicario’s legs blocked Ben Godfrey’s header and Vitalii Mykolenko’s volley was parried late in the half but Tottenham’s momentum continued after the break with Werner denied by Pickford in a one-on-one only to be flagged offside.

Pickford made a better save when it mattered to deny Richarlison his hat-trick and the visitors should have put the game beyond doubt.

That they did not should have seen Youssef Chermiti make them pay only for him to stab a shot straight at Vicario and, after fellow substitute Beto had two penalty claims turned down, up stepped Branthwaite to deliver the painful blow.

Everton are still without a league win since mid-December but the manner in which they secured a point should do wonders for morale. However, a trip to Manchester City now awaits.

Ange Postecoglou feels there is even more to come from in-form Tottenham forward Richarlison.

Richarlison made it seven goals in as many Premier League matches with the crucial third goal in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Brentford.

Spurs have been without captain Son Heung-min for the last month due to his Asian Cup commitments, but the Brazil international has filled the void and started to repay his £60million price tag following a difficult debut campaign.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton, Postecoglou said: “For me, it’s about trying to get players to fulfil their potential and with Richy, I still think there is growth there.

“If he keeps growing, well we the football club will be the beneficiaries of it.

“The goals are obviously important because that’s everyone’s measure, but I think his general game is improving and that’s the main thing for me. That’s what I’ve seen.

“The way we play and the kind of player Richy is, I was always confident he would score goals but we need more than that. I think his work rate now defensively, which was really important when we had Sonny up there hasn’t dropped off with Richy there.

“He’s working really hard for the team and the Ks (kilometres) he did the other night was right up there. Then his link up and hold up play is improving all the time. See I love that.

“I love when players still want to improve and do improve rather than say he’s played for his national team and been here quite a while. I can see him developing further and that’s what you want as a manager and coach. For us, he’s becoming a really important player.”

Minor groin surgery in November has been cited as a key reason behind Richarlison’s improvement, but Postecoglou has also fostered an environment at Tottenham that has allowed several players to flourish after previously mixed spells at the club or elsewhere.

He placed the credit firmly with the squad, adding: “I think the team has helped, but not just Richy, it’s a really strong dressing room in terms of the guys being really supportive of each other.

“We’ve had a number of guys coming back from long-term injuries or missed football and I think the reason they’ve come back and never felt disconnected is because of the dressing room we’ve created.

“For that, you need good leaders. Sonny is definitely that and (Cristian) Romero now, over the last few weeks, has grown even more. He’s a positive influence over everyone in the group and I’m sure Richy.

 

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“I see it on a daily basis, others don’t, but if you watch Emerson Royal train every day, you’d think he plays every game.

“He’s just outstanding with his attitude and demeanour around the place.

“There’s no time for anyone to feel down.

“When you see a guy like Emerson and like Fraser (Forster) or Ben (Davies), they train so hard every day, always have the greatest disposition, it doesn’t give anyone else an excuse to not feel up for it.”

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou admitted he was left disappointed with one failed move on transfer deadline day – missing out on Lewis Hamilton!

Spurs were one of the most active clubs in the winter window, signing Radu Dragusin during the first half of January in a deal that could rise to £25million and bringing in Timo Werner on loan.

The Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules contributed towards a largely drama-free deadline day, which was overshadowed by news that seven-time Formula One champion Hamilton would join Ferrari from 2025.

It allowed Postecoglou the chance to have some fun at the start of his press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton.

“Probably the only disappointing one was yesterday I thought there was a really good opportunity for us but the club just didn’t feel it was the right move for us so disappointed with that,” Postecoglou explained.

“But he ended up at Ferrari so we just have to cop it… look at you all! You were ready to type away.

“I was going to pause just to let his (press officer’s) phone blow up, but it was a good one, mate, a good one.

“You had a flat day so I’m trying to spark you.”

When Postecoglou did reflect on Spurs’ business over the past month, he deemed it a job well done, especially with Dragusin and Werner signing early enough to feature in matches with Manchester United, Manchester City and Brentford.

Tottenham also sent young prospects Ash Phillips and Alfie Devine to Plymouth, while Alejo Veliz completed a loan switch to Sevilla on deadline day.

Postecoglou added: “From our perspective we had some clear objectives. One was we had a real gap at centre-back, especially after letting Davinson Sanchez go, and getting Radu in early was great and getting Timo in early was also excellent for us.

“With the absences from injury we’ve had and particularly having (Son Heung-min) away (with South Korea at the Asian Cup), the beauty of getting them in early is they’ve already made a contribution.

“If you leave it until the last day it still takes guys time to settle, but they’ve both settled in really well.

“Even in terms of outgoings, we got some good loans. Alejo was developing well with us but great for him to get some game-time in a good league at a good club. Ashley Phillips, Alfie Devine too.”

Spurs were able to move towards one important deal on Thursday after they convinced Swedish teenager Lucas Bergvall to join the club over Barcelona, the PA news agency understands.

Bergvall had been set to sign for Barca, but the 18-year-old has now agreed to put pen to paper on a long-term deal at Tottenham with the transfer set to be finalised in the coming days.

Postecoglou would not be drawn on the midfielder, although did admit Spurs’ academy is an area where they must improve.

“I think we’ve got a lot of work to do in our academy and (academy director) Simon Davies is certainly one that is putting a lot of emphasis and priority there,” he said.

“I don’t think we have the production line other top clubs have, certainly not. Even currently that’s why we’re investing in some younger players, even for the first team. For us as a football club that’s definitely the way forward.”

James Maddison insists Tottenham can still do something special this season after he got the last laugh over Neal Maupay following a chaotic 3-2 home win over Brentford.

A fiery clash between the London rivals appeared to be sparked by Maupay mocking Maddison with his own darts celebration after he put the visitors ahead in the 15th minute.

Referee David Coote struggled to control both players in the first half, but Spurs regained focus after the break and scored three times in eight minutes through Destiny Udogie, Brennan Johnson and Richarlison.

It ensured Ivan Toney’s late strike was mere consolation and Maddison was happy to poke fun at Maupay during his post-match interview before the pair traded blows on Instagram.

 

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Maddison started the war of words with the caption “a short story” beneath three pictures – one of Maupay celebrating, one of Maddison with his arms aloft and one of the final score – before the Frenchman hit back, writing: “Went a bit early with that one. Gutted we couldn’t get the win. More goals and less relegations in my career than James Maddison. We go again Monday bees.”

Asked about Maupay, Maddison told TNT Sports: “I said to him, he probably hasn’t scored enough goals of his own in the last few years to have his own celebration, so he had to copy mine. A short story and it ended well for us.”

He added: “I feel really positive. We’ve had a very stop-start season with injuries and suspensions. We started really well and had the same XI for 10 or 11 games in a row, which is very rare in the Premier League. That Chelsea game (which Spurs lost 4-1) was a crazy game.

“The main question I get asked is, ‘What’s the aim for Tottenham this year?’ I don’t think the gaffer wants to put a limit on it.

“There’s no ceiling because there’s more chance of something special happening. We’re three points behind second place, so let’s not put a ceiling on it. Let’s take it game by game.

“We could go on a run. If you don’t believe something special can happen, then nothing can ever happen.”

The Chelsea game was the match in which Maddison suffered ankle ligament damage, which ruled him out for the best part of three months.

Spurs lost four of their first five matches without him, but look well placed for a strong finish to the Premier League season.

Maddison said: “It’s lovely to be back. When you’re starved doing what you love, that reminded me why I love football.

“The first half was stop-start, a lot of stoppages, which is how they have been successful.

“Second half we created a lot of chances, scored some goals, but it’s never simple – there’s always a lot of goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.”

 

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Brentford were able to leave north London with plenty of positives, with Toney on target again in his second match since he returned from a betting ban.

Toney scored under the watchful eye of England boss Gareth Southgate and has been backed to get even better.

“He has been working very hard to come back to the level,” Bees boss Thomas Frank said.

“The first game he played 90 plus 15 against Nottingham (Forest) and today also. Hopefully with a little bit more rhythm, he will come even sharper, but it is five or 10 per cent maximum.

“I think his touches look good and he is a threat.”

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