Eriksen the hero for Tottenham, Watford claim late equaliser

LONDON – Christian Eriksen’s 88th-minute goal finally broke Brighton and Hove Albion’s brave resistance to give Tottenham Hotspur a precious 1-0 victory in their quest for a top-four finish in the Premier League on Tuesday.

It had been a night of grinding frustration for the hosts as they laid siege to relegation-threatened Brighton’s goal, but were denied by a combination of last-ditch defending, poor finishing and the woodwork.

Then, as the home fans began to despair that their side were about to throw away a chance to apply real pressure to the sides immediately below them, Danish playmaker Eriksen drilled a shot low past Mat Ryan and inside the post.

The win maintained third-placed Tottenham’s 100 percent record at their new stadium and took them to 70 points with three games to go, three more than Chelsea and four ahead of north London rivals Arsenal in fifth.

After a superb rearguard action, Brighton were left flattened and are still in real danger of the drop, just three points above third-from-bottom Cardiff City.

* Southampton striker Shane Long struck the fastest goal in Premier League history, inside seven seconds, but his team conceded a last-minute equaliser as they drew 1-1 at Watford on Tuesday.

The draw leaves the Saints still with work to do to ensure their Premier League survival.

Southampton are on 37 points, six ahead of 18th-placed Cardiff City, who occupy the final relegation slot with three games remaining.

Irish striker Long wrote his name in the record books when he charged down a Craig Cathcart clearance, before running through on goal and lobbing the ball calmly over goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Long snatched the record from former Tottenham defender Ledley King, who scored after 9.9 seconds against Bradford in 2000.

Watford’s Andre Gray had gone close twice only to be foiled by Saints keeper Angus Gunn, but in the final minute of normal time, he found the net from close range.

Southampton’s remaining fixtures are at home to Bournemouth, away to West Ham United and at home to already-relegated Huddersfield.

Reuters

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