Gareth Bale’s first goal since re-signing for Tottenham helped his side beat Brighton to go second in the Premier League table. In an action-packed game, Harry Kane put Spurs ahead from the penalty spot, his 149th Premier League goal, after a video assistant referee check deemed Adam Lallana had fouled the England captain.
Tariq Lamptey scored a controversial equaliser, the exciting 20-year-old sweeping home after Solly March appeared to foul Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the build-up.
Referee Graham Scott consulted the pitchside monitor before allowing the goal to stand, much to Tottenham’s disbelief, before substitute Bale had the final say.
The Wales forward powered home a cross by Sergio Reguilon past debutant Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez, his first Spurs goal since May 2013.
Bale celebrated his first Spurs goal in seven years and 166 days as though he had won the Champions League again, wheeling away to celebrate with his jubilant team-mates.
Jose Mourinho turned the clock back in an attempt to get his Tottenham tenure moving into the future when he brought Bale back to the club he left in 2013 for Real Madrid.
Bale was derided in Spain as more golfer than footballer after being marginalised by coach Zinedine Zidane but he played a key role as Spurs climbed two points behind leaders Liverpool.
Mourinho demanded a reaction following his side’s surprise Europa League defeat at Royal Antwerp on Thursday, a game in which he made four changes at half-time.
He got one although his side were made to battle hard against Brighton, who cancelled out Kane’s opener in highly contentious circumstances before Bale stole the headlines.
Erik Lamela hit the post and Kane missed a great chance from close range to score his landmark 150th top-flight goal, yet this was not vintage Spurs.
But for the second successive league game they dug deep to come away with three points.