Two-goal Kane gives superior Tottenham safe FA Cup passage at Brighton's expense
FA Cup 4th round
Tottenham (2) 3 Kane 13, 66, March OG 24
Brighton (0) 1 Bissouma 63
A double from Harry Kane guided Tottenham into the last 16 of the FA Cup after an entertaining all-Premier League affair.
The England striker scored the first and nailed down the coffin lid with the third moments after Brighton had pegged a goal back after trailing 2-0 at the interval.
Spurs may be a fragile entity when it comes to matches against the elite, but they are still capable of putting away most of the top flight’s underclass on home soil and their overall control of the tie was only very briefly threatened.
Brighton are no pushovers these days, of course, and are an impressive unit under Graham Potter. But Antonio Conte’s men fancied their chances and the value of the FA Cup to them this season has been magnified by that unseemly exit from Europe.
Spurs got a big helping hand to open the scoring. Adam Webster lost the ball to Heung-Min Son on the right touchline with a clumsy touch, and the South Korean fed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who then played a simple ball up to Kane in space 20 yards out, inviting an inevitable outcome.
Harry did not disappoint, bending the ball perfectly, above and beyond keeper Robert Sanchez.
The lead was doubled in spectacular fashion by Emerson Royal when his dash from half way ended with a cross which freakishly ballooned off the boot of a tracking Solly March to dip into the far corner from the acutest of angles.
It would have been his first for the club but the goal was officially logged as an own goal.
Spurs were flying now and nearly made it three when Hojbjerg fed Kane for a chip up to Son at the far post, with the keeper stranded. His strike partner could not quite reach it.
There was a bit of a response from the Seagulls, with Neal Maupay off target on the turn and Jakub Moder blazing just over twice from the edge of the area, either side of the break.
There was also a deflected effort from Yves Bissouma, which had Hugo Lloris scrambling to palm away and Brighton were eventually rewarded for a far more enterprising second half just past the hour when Bissouma cut in from the left edge of the area before firing a shot which cannoned off Hojbjerg and past a wrong-footed Lloris.
Yet no sooner had they raised the hopes of away fans, than they found themselves trailing by two again when a lightning burst of acceleration from Son panicked the Brighton defence. And although Webster toed the ball away from the Spurs No7, Kane was on hand to prod the loose ball home from a yard.
This was ultimately a comfortable evening’s work for the hosts, who were able to bring on January Juventus signings Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur for their debuts in the last quarter.
Kulusevski almost had an assist to celebrate too. After Brighton had again carelessly given the ball away, the Swede rolled the ball to Sub Steven Bergwijn, who hoisted a shot into the south stand with the goal at his mercy.
Spurs will await the fifth-round draw with relish. Just as long as they are not paired with Chelsea once more.
Spurs: (3-4-3) Lloris – Romero (Rodon 77), D Sanchez, Davies – Emerson Royal (Doherty 87), Winks (Bentancur 78), Hojbjerg, Reguilon – Lucas Moura (Kulusevski 68), Kane, Son (Bergwijn 68). Subs not used: R Sessegnon, Gollini, White, Scarlett
Seagulls: (4-3-1-2) R Sanchez – Lamptey (Welbeck 70), Webster, Dunk, Cucurella – Gross, Lallana (Veltman h/t), Bissouma – March (Caicedo 61) – Maupay, Moder (Ferguson 79). Subs not used: Alzate, Steele, Duffy, McGill, Offiah