Don't forget we are still Brighton, says De Zerbi after win over Spurs



Fri, 29 Dec 2023 - 08:06 GMT


Fri, 29 Dec 2023 - 08:06 GMT

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi during the match REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi during the match REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

(Reuters) - Brighton & Hove Albion moved into eighth place in the Premier League with a 4-2 mauling of Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday to end a superb year under Italian manager Roberto De Zerbi.


The south-coast club may not have the spending power of the teams around them, and regularly sell key players to their rivals, but they have continued on an upward trajectory after qualifying for Europe for the first time last season.


After his side's first win in four Premier League games, De Zerbi, now one of the most respected coaches in Europe, was at pains to point out the size of the club's achievements.


"I am really lucky to be this coach of this team with these players. I am very pleased with the passion they have, they have everything," he said.


"You can't forget we are Brighton. Sometimes they forget we are Brighton. We are not Manchester United, Manchester City, Newcastle or Arsenal, we are still Brighton.


"The other eight or nine big teams in the Premier League they do not sell their big players."


Brighton sold Moises Caicedo to Chelsea and World Cup-winning midfielder Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool in the close season while goalkeeper Robert Sanchez also joined Chelsea.


But they continually find high-quality replacements including Joao Pedro who scored two penalties on Thursday.


The ex-Watford player was man of the match against Tottenham as Brighton made light of a lengthy injury list to run riot against the Londoners and lead 4-0 before being pegged back.


"His performance was incredible and he played a great game. He played with incredible quality and attacked the space every time. I am happy for him," De Zerbi said of the Brazilian.


De Zerbi added that his team had played fantastic football against Tottenham but suffered in the closing stages.


"We have to accept the last 20 minutes. We suffered because Tottenham are one of the best in the Premier League," he said.


"We were leading 4-0 but after the first goal back we accepted this from Tottenham. We felt like a lion and for that I am happy with the first 70 minutes and for the last 20 minutes as well."



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