BRIGHTON, England (AP) — Tottenham struggled without the creativity and cutting edge of injured striker Harry Kane in a 1-0 loss at Brighton on Sunday, leaving Jose Mourinho’s team six points off the Premier League’s top four.
Leandro Trossard scored the winner for fourth-from-last Brighton in the 17th minute, side-footing home a finish from inside the area after a cut-back from the right by Pascal Gross. It was Brighton’s first home win in 15 league games dating back to June 2020.
Kane was missing after injuring both ankles in the 3-1 loss to Liverpool on Thursday and his absence — for a “few weeks,” according to Mourinho — could be crucial in Tottenham’s bid to keep in touch with its rivals for Champions League qualification.
“In the first half, I felt the team was probably too sad with the goal conceded and the situation,” Mourinho said. “There was a lack of energy. In the last 25, 30 minutes they gave everything but, of course, with some limitations.
“The boys showed great spirit in the second half and the boys showed they are suffering and they tried to fight against that sadness.”
Gareth Bale replaced Kane in the Spurs attack for his first start in 12 weeks, but the on-loan Real Madrid forward squandered possession regularly and looked off the pace before being substituted in the 61st minute.
Tottenham has won only three of its last 13 league games without Kane.
Brighton was the likelier scorer of a second goal at Amex Stadium, with Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld needing to produce a sliding block near his goal line to clear a goal-bound shot from substitute Aaron Connolly in the final minutes.
Argentine midfielder Alexis Mac Allister also hit the post in the first half for Brighton, which moved seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Tottenham stayed sixth, ahead of Chelsea and Everton on goal difference. Chelsea travels to Tottenham for a league match on Thursday.
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