Tottenham Hotspur survived VAR controversy to seal a vital 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon, with the Lilywhites moving to within just three points of fourth-placed Manchester United as a result of that narrow victory.
While there may be a sense that the Seagulls were “robbed” due to some “horrendous” officiating – as per pundit Chris Sutton – the home side held their nerve to snatch victory, with talisman Harry Kane netting his 23rd top flight goal of the season with a typically clinical finish late on.
The north London outfit had initially gone ahead through milestone man Heung-min Son – who became the first Asian player to reach 100 Premier League goals in the process – before Lewis Dunk headed home a bullet header just before the break, after Kaoru Mitoma had seen his earlier effort disallowed for handball.
The away side were again denied by handball after the interval as Danny Welbeck thought he had completed the comeback, while the aforementioned Mitoma saw his appeals for a penalty waved away despite a potential foul on the Japanese winger by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
The south coast side’s frustration was ultimately increased as that man Kane swept home, with the England skipper having warranted that strike as a result of his all-round display, notably winning eight duels and providing two key passes on the day.
The 29-year-old – who recorded a stellar 7.9 match rating, as per Sofascore – was not alone in having impressed earlier today, however, with January arrival Pedro Porro having also been something of a shining light at right wing-back.
How did Porro perform against Brighton?
The Spain international – who is currently on loan at Spurs with an option to buy of around £39m – is beginning to adjust to life in English football, having showcased real signs of his quality down the right flank against Roberto De Zerbi’s men.
The 23-year-old provided ‘lots of attacking intent‘ throughout the contest, according to 90min’s Jude Summerfield, having notably headed wide from an Ivan Perisic cross after showcasing a real desire and willingness to get involved in the final third.
That forward-thinking approach was also lauded by football.london’s Alasdair Gold, who awarded the Sporting CP loanee an 8/10 match rating, while also writing that: ‘A bright first half and sent a header on to the roof of the net at the end of it. Worked hard in the second half defensively down the right-hand side and little got past him.’
That hard-work ethic against the lively Mitoma was showcased by the fact that Porro won seven of his 11 duels and was not dribbled past at all in his 90-minute outing, having emerged from the battle with the in-form winger ‘without too many bruises‘, as per Summerfield.
While the one-time Manchester City asset did lose possession on 12 occasions from his 43 touches, he is clearly seeking to make his mark in his new surroundings, with the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick hailing him as looking ‘technically sound and impressive at attacking the back post.’
That promising performance should well be of encouragement to Cristian Stellini and co, with the hope being that Porro can continue to go from strength to strength over the coming games.