Dele Alli wondergoal returns Tottenham to winning ways against Brighton & Hove Albion

Kane cancels out Webster's opener before the England midfielder scores a delightful lob at the Tottenham Stadium

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - December 26, 2019  Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli celebrates scoring their second goal                      REUTERS/Hannah McKay  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.

A stunning Dele Alli goal ensured Tottenham Hotspur returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday.

Kicking off the Boxing Day fixtures, Spurs were aiming to bounce back from a 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea - a potentially damaging result for their top four hopes. However, after Harry Kane saw his opening goal ruled out by the slimmest of margins by VAR, it was Brighton who took an unlikely lead through Adam Webster to hold a half-time lead.

Tottenham fought back after the interval, first through Kane and his customary Boxing Day goal - the striker now has eight goals in five matches on December 26 - and then Alli's marvellous lofted winner.

"I am very happy with second half," Spurs manager Jose Mourinho told Amazon. "The first half was not a disaster, we were playing a good game. It’s hard after a defeat to have confidence and we started poorly, it affects the confidence. In the second half the players put all the negative aside and were very strong in their performance."

Avenging their defeat at Brighton in October, Tottenham, unbeaten in Boxing Day fixtures since 2003, have won three of their last four league games as they try to climb into the top four.

The Chelsea setback was completely overshadowed by the alleged racist abuse of Blues defender Antonio Rudiger by Tottenham fans after his role in Son Heung-min's red card.

Amid widespread calls for stronger action to stamp out racism in football, Tottenham fans appeared to behave better this time.

On the pitch, Kane thought he had opened the scoring when he fired home from Harry Winks' pass, but the goal went to a VAR review and was ruled out by the narrowest of offside decisions.

Brighton made the most of that let-off to take the lead in the 37th minute. Pascal Gross swung over a free-kick and Webster rose above Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez to plant a powerful header past Paulo Gazzaniga for his third goal of the season.

Jose Mourinho, standing rain-soaked on the touchline, revealed before the game that his Christmas was ruined by the death of his family's pet Yorkshire Terrier. But Kane put a smile back on his manager's face in the 53rd minute when he seized on a deflection off Lucas Moura after the Brazilian's run.

Kane's 16th club goal this season was not immediately a catalyst for a Tottenham surge, but Mourinho made a significant switch when he sent on Christian Eriksen for Winks, who moments before was lucky to escape a red card for a foul when he had already been booked.

Eriksen made an immediate impact in the 72nd minute when he floated a delicate pass to Serge Aurier who flicked the ball into the path of Alli, who guided a superb lofted finish over Ryan.

"Another goal and another incredible performance and effort," Mourinho said of matchwinner Alli. "The work rate was absolutely incredible from Dele. The little details are more important than what people look at. His attitude and fighting spirit was so good."

Defeat for Brighton stretches their winless run to four games - two draws and two losses - but manager Graham Potter said he was proud of his team's effort.

"The players gave everything. Lots of positives for us," he told Amazon. "I feel for them in terms of coming away from it without anything but that is the Premier League. Small margins. We will recover quickly and go again."

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS