October 5, 2019 / 2:04 PM / 12 days ago

Seagulls soar as two-goal Connolly humbles Spurs

(Reuters) - Teenage striker Aaron Connolly scored twice on his first Premier League start as Brighton & Hove Albion humbled Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 to ensure the visitors’ nightmare week ended on the worst possible note.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - October 5, 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion's Neal Maupay celebrates after Aaron Connolly scores their third goal as Tottenham Hotspur's Paulo Gazzaniga looks dejected REUTERS/Toby Melville

Defeat at the Amex stadium was compounded by a bad injury to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who was stretchered off after falling heavily on his arm in conceding Brighton’s third-minute opener to Neal Maupay.

Under no obvious pressure, the Frenchman, who had gifted Southampton a goal last weekend and then conceded seven to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, dropped Pascal Gross’s cross straight into the path of the striker who scored from a yard out. In his desperation, Lloris landed badly and was carried off, receiving oxygen.

The keeper’s replacement Paulo Gazzaniga was himself beaten on 32 minutes by the 19-year-old Connolly, who reacted to the keeper’s parry to score neatly — the eighth goal that Spurs had conceded in 78 minutes of competitive action.

A shellshocked Mauricio Pochettino responded by bringing on Harry Winks at halftime for his £63m ($77.69 million) summer signing Tanguy Ndombele but Connolly was again on hand with an even better goal on 65 minutes.

This time the Irishman picked up a long ball down the left, easily cut inside Toby Alderweireld on his right foot and curled a shot past Gazzaniga’s outstretched hand as Brighton recorded their first win over Spurs since 1983.

“I can’t quite believe it,” said Connolly, who scored his first goal for Brighton against Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup this season.

“I’ve been watching the Premier League since I was four or five, so to be playing in it now and then to score and to win 3-0, it really is a dream come true. I love getting goals, I love being able to make my debut. It’s not really sunk in.”

The result piles more pressure on Pochettino, who is struggling to counter Spurs’ dip in form this season. His side are in sixth place in the table, with three wins from eight games this season.

Against Brighton, he made four changes from the team thumped 7-2 at home by Bayern but with no obvious improvement. Spurs have now conceded 10 goals in two matches for the first time since 1997.

($1 = 0.8109 pounds)

Reporting by Neil Robinson; editing by Tony Lawrence

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