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Tottenham’s habit of conceding late goals has them closing in on unwanted record

Ange Postecoglou’s reign at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been a success, although it’s been far from flawless.

Following the best managerial start in Premier League history, a long-standing injury crisis and occasional lapses of concentration have plagued the Australian’s track record.

Tottenham came minutes away from taking all three points from Goodison Park last weekend, only for Jarrad Branthwaite’s 94th-minute equaliser to hand Everton a well-deserved 2-2 draw.

Left to rue another late heartache, Spurs surrendered a coveted fourth place to Aston Villa, sliding to fifth in the standings, two points adrift of the last Champions League qualification spot.

Branthwaite’s strike started a debate over the London side’s ominous habit of dropping points from leading positions. That has been a common theme during Postecoglou’s early tenure.

It was the eighth Premier League goal Tottenham have conceded beyond the 90th minute this season, making them only the 12th side in the competition’s history to achieve that unwanted feat.

All 11 previous teams to have capitulated as many times in injury time had either suffered relegation or failed to secure a top-half finish, with Burnley’s 14th-placed rank in 2018/19 emerging as the best result.

While Tottenham are far from the lower reaches, let alone the bottom three, there’s a potential risk of setting an unwanted Premier League record if this trend continues.

Burnley’s haul of 11 added-time goals conceded five years ago stands as the division’s worst, but since we’re still in early February, there’s still plenty of time for Spurs to surpass that milestone.

If it’s any consolation, the only other instance to see Tottenham lose points to goals conceded beyond regulation time was a 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers in November.

Stoppage-time goals from Mario Lemina and Pablo Sarabia overturned Brennan Johnson’s first-half opener to catapult Gary O’Neil’s side to a nail-biting triumph at Molineux.

All other late goals Spurs have conceded this season had no impact on the outcome until Everton’s last-gasp equaliser, but that’s hardly an excuse for their unfathomable late slip-ups.

For a side bidding for high positions, that’s a glaring deficiency that must be addressed urgently to maintain their competitive edge.

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