Dele Alli's sumptuous strike earned Tottenham a 2-1 victory over a stubborn Brighton side as the hosts came from behind at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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Adam Webster headed Brighton into a deserved 37th-minute lead, the centre-back's third Premier League goal of the season.
However, Spurs were level eight minutes after half-time when, at the second attempt, Harry Kane - who had earlier had a goal ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for offside - lashed home his eighth goal in just five Boxing Day games.
Tottenham: Gazzaniga (6), Aurier (7), Sanchez (6), Alderweireld (6), Vertonghen (6), Winks (6), Sissoko (7), Moura (6), Alli (8), Sessegnon (6), Kane (9)
Subs: Lo Celso (6), Eriksen (7)
Brighton: Ryan (8), Schelotto (6), Webster (7), Duffy (7), Burn (6), Bernardo (6), Stephens (7), Mooy (8), Gross (8), Alzate (7), Connolly (7)
Subs: Bissouma (6), Maupay (6), Trossard (6)
Man of the match: Harry Kane
Then, with just 18 minutes left, Alli's deft touch gave Tottenham all three points, lifting them to fifth in the Premier League ahead of the afternoon matches, while Brighton stay 13th.
How Spurs turned it around against Brighton
After Sunday's hugely disappointing display at home to Chelsea, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho knew his side could not afford to drop more points, especially against an under-strength Brighton team.
The hosts nearly made the perfect start in rain-swept north London, only for Kane's well-timed run and finish to be correctly ruled out for offside by the VAR midway through the first half.
That tight call was brought even more into focus when the visitors broke the deadlock eight minutes before the interval after Harry Winks was harshly deemed to have fouled Ezequiel Schelotto on the right touchline, allowing Pascal Gross the chance to send in a dangerous cross which Webster met with a bullet header.
Spurs came out with renewed energy and belief in the second period, no doubt fired up by a half-time rollicking from their manager, with Kane equalising soon after the interval.
There was more than a little luck surrounding the goal as Webster's clearance cannoned off Dale Stephens and straight into Kane's path and, after the Spurs captain saw his initial drive repelled by Mat Ryan, the striker made no mistake by driving home the rebound.
Thereafter it was relentless Spurs pressure, which eventually told after a lovely sweeping move involving substitute Christian Eriksen, whose pass found Serge Aurier in the box.
Jose Mourinho handed Ryan Sessegnon his first Premier League start at Spurs as the Portuguese made two changes after the loss to Chelsea. Sessegnon replaced the suspended Heung-Min Son, with the other change seeing Harry Winks make his first start since the defeat at Man Utd in place of Eric Dier in midfield.
Graham Potter made five changes following the defeat to Sheffield United. In came Ezequiel Schelotto, Shane Duffy, Bernardo, Steven Alzate and Aaron Connolly as Martin Montoya, Davy Propper, Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay dropped down to a talent-packed bench. Lewis Dunk was not in the matchday squad.
And the right back then cushioned the ball into Alli, who lobbed Ryan with a moment of brilliance.
What the managers said...
Jose Mourinho: "The first half, I wouldn't say bad, I would say a performance that is not separate from the previous result and defeat. There is always a relation. We needed to start well, but we didn't. The boys felt it but in the second half it was different, they brought everything they had to bring. We spoke about tactics, principles and the emotional side of it, and the second half was really good. If we hadn't won the game I would have still had the feeling that the boys gave everything."
Graham Potter: "Disappointed to come away with nothing but there were lots of positives from the performance. It was an even game, we got into their box a few times and the intention, idea and effort was there. We have to take that frustration to Bournemouth in a few hours time."
- Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 14 Boxing Day league games (W11 D3), since losing 0-2 at Portsmouth in 2003 - extending their longest ever unbeaten run on December 26th
- Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has never lost in eight Premier League games on Boxing Day (W6 D2), managing more games without defeat on the day than any other manager in the competition
- Brighton have lost five of their last six away league games played on Boxing Day (D1), including losing both such games in the Premier League (also 0-2 vs Chelsea in 2017)
- Tottenham's Harry Kane has now scored 100 home goals in 172 appearances in all competitions at club level, with 90 of those coming for Spurs (5 for Millwall, 3 for Leyton Orient, 2 for Leicester City)
- Pascal Gross has provided 15 assists for Brighton in the Premier League, eight more than any other Seagulls player in the competition
- Brighton defender Adam Webster has scored as many goals in his 15 Premier League games this season (three) as he netted in 44 Championship matches for Bristol City last term
Man of the Match - Harry Kane
Where would Spurs be without their inspirational skipper one wonders? The England international was at it again on Boxing Day, rescuing his team from what looked to be a damaging home defeat in their bid to finish in the top four this season.
The striker had already seen one first-half effort correctly disallowed for a very tight offside call, not that he was deterred. And just as the home faithful were beginning to grumble, there was Kane to bring them level with his now customary Boxing Day strike.
And as his manager purred after the match: "If Harry Kane doesn't score, his performance is still good. He is fantastic, Harry's work was absolutely phenomenal."
Spurs take on struggling Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday (5.30pm), with that game live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Live Premier League
Meanwhile, Brighton face Bournemouth at the Amex on Saturday lunchtime, with that match also live on Sky Sports Premier League.