Brighton 0-1 Tottenham: Player ratings as Kane strike sees off Seagulls

Kane's strike proved enough for victory for Spurs
Kane's strike proved enough for victory for Spurs / Steve Bardens/GettyImages

From the Amex Stadium - Harry Kane's first-half header proved enough for Tottenham to bounce back from recent disappointments in the Premier League and Europe to beat Brighton 1-0 at the AMEX on Saturday night.

England captain Kane contorted his body to connect with strike partner Son Heung-min's cross before a stout defensive performance littered with some poor Albion finishing saw Antonio Conte's side over the line.

Tottenham remain in third but have now stretched their lead over fourth-placed Brighton to four points, though the Seagulls have played a game fewer at this early stage.

The two sides paid tribute to former Spurs fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, who passed away earlier this week, with a moment's applause before kick off.

Tottenham switched to a 3-5-2 formation with Yves Bissouma starting against his old side and Matt Doherty replacing the suspended Emerson Royal at right wing back, while Brighton were unchanged from their 3-3 draw at Liverpool.

The visitors started brightly, with a Son free kick testing Robert Sanchez before Matt Doherty nearly got in behind Brighton's backline, just failing to sort his feet out in time.

The switch to 3-5-2 worked in Spurs' favour early on, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg driving forward before Doherty sent a half-volley just over from Ryan Sessegnon's cross.

Brighton still threatened, with Danny Welbeck stretching Tottenham's back three before shooting wide of Hugo Lloris' far post.

However, the visitors got just rewards for their dominance as Kane - booked moments earlier for a sly handball - got on the scoresheet. Brighton failed to clear their lines from a corner and Son crossed for Kane, who did exceptionally well to divert his header beyond Sanchez.

The Seagulls responded with their own period of pressure, with Moises Caicedo drawing a stop from Lloris with a strike from distance. Lewis Dunk rose highest to meet a Pascal Gross corner, but his effort just nestled on the top of the net, while some lovely build-up play saw Solly March played into space on the edge of the area, but the winger's shot just scraped past the post.

The ascendancy had turned to Brighton in the build-up to half time and the opening of the second half as they continued to press their visitors, though it was Kane with the next big sight of goal as he turned Adam Webster and screwed just wide of the far post.

However, despite the incessant home pressure the final ball just never came for Roberto De Zerbi's side, who failed to show the cutting edge they so wonderfully displayed against Liverpool last week, as Spurs left the south coast with a slender but important victory.

Brighton vs Tottenham player ratings - Premier League

1. Brighton (3-4-2-1)

GK: Robert Sanchez - 6/10 - Saved comfortably from Son's free kick but little chance for Kane's header.

CB: Joel Veltman - 7/10 - One slip nearly allowed Tottenham in on goal but he recovered adequately. Booked for sliding in on Son and complaining.

CB: Lewis Dunk - 6/10 - Went charging out from the box like a headless chicken and was out of position when Kane headed in. Read the game well oherwise to make a handful of interceptions.

CB: Adam Webster - 6/10 - Pushed high up the pitch in possession and showed good recovery pace when Tottenham tried to go long.

RWB: Solly March - 7/10 - Frequently got the better of Sessegnon and often found himself in space on the right. Dragged a shot just wide from the edge of the box.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister - 6/10 - Wasn't allowed to settle by Tottenham's midfield three. Dictated more in the second half, but his creativity and threat was not present as it has been recently.

CM: Moises Caicedo - 5/10 - Shot from distance brought a stretching save from Lloris. Lacked composure in a few promising scenarios.

LWB: Pervis Estupinan - 5/10 - Was a danger arriving at the back stick on occasion. Didn't give Doherty as much grief as he might have hoped.

RF: Pascal Gross - 5/10 - His early season form has just waned slightly. Couldn't pick the lock Spurs put in front of him.

LF: Leandro Trossard - 5/10 - Wrongfooted by Son in defence before Kane's header. Dispossessed a little too easily - three times in total - during the first half and offered little threat.

ST: Danny Welbeck - 6/10 - Dragged one decent chance wide after getting in behind. Fired another effort wide later but his influence waned as Dier got to grips with him.

SUB: Kaoru Mitoma (66' for Estupinan) - 7/10 - Added some drive from out wide and looked threatening.

SUB: Adam Lallana (81' for Gross) - N/A

SUB: Billy Gilmour (88' for Caicedo) - N/A

Manager: Robert De Zerbi - 6/10 - Made no changes from the side that drew at Liverpool. Frustrated by the lack of cutting edge but his changes perhaps came a little too late.

2. Tottenham (3-5-2)

GK: Hugo Lloris - 7/10 - Kept on his toes by Caicedo and Welbeck in the first half.

CB: Cristian Romero - 7/10 - Looked to snap into challenges and harass Brighton's attackers. Always confrontational.

CB: Eric Dier - 8/10 - Lack of pace was exposed by Welbeck on occasion but showed his calm to step up and make a few important tackles. Got tighter to Welbeck in the second half and stopped the striker from getting involved in build-up play.

CB: Ben Davies - 6/10 - Drifted forward well into the left channel when Spurs switched play.

RWB: Matt Doherty - 7/10 - In for the suspended Emerson Royal. Threatening in the opening 15, getting in behind and shooting just wide. Certainly understands the role a lot more than any of his right wing back competitors and looked more than ready to return.

CM: Rodrigo Bentancur - 7/10 - Tested Sanchez with a decent hit from distance. Played higher up on the right and had some nice moments of interplay with Doherty.

CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - 7/10 - Looked to drive forward early on. Clever ball to Son before Kane's header. A few cheap giveaways but a mainly competent showing.

CM: Yves Bissouma - 6/10 - Made his second Premier League start returning to his old club. Awkward challenge on Mac Allister got him booked.

LWB: Ryan Sessegnon - 5/10 - Got frustrated and lucky not to get booked with two fouls just before half time.

ST: Son Heung-min - 7/10 - Brought the first save out of Sanchez with a free kick. Crossed well for Kane to open the scoring. Butchered a brilliant counter-attacking opening in the second half. Still not looking totally fluid but made a vital contribution.

ST: Harry Kane - 7/10 - Booked for handball when trying to run through on goal. Gave Spurs the lead by cleverly heading in Son's whipped cross. Couldn't make the ball stick as Spurs faced attack after attack.

SUB: Richarlison (70' for Bissouma) - 6/10 - Helped Spurs run the clock down with his array of tricks and flicks.

SUB: Ian Perisic (80' for Son) - N/A

SUB: Oliver Skipp (89' for Kane) - N/A

Manager: Antonio Conte - 7/10 - Switched to a 3-5-2 to accommodate Bissouma and Spurs looked much more comfortable. A horrible week for Conte with the passing of Ventrone but this trademark backs-to-the-wall performance would have encouraged him.

Player of the Match - Eric Dier