Mauricio Pochettino breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday night (13 December) as Jan Vertonghen came through Tottenham Hotspur's victory over Brighton and Hove Albion without picking up a yellow card that would have ruled him out against Manchester City.

Having picked up four yellow cards this season, the Belgium international was walking a tight rope as Spurs hosted Chris Hughton's side at Wembley with goals from Serge Aurier and Son Heung-min sealing a second home win on the bounce for the north London side.

Spurs are already short of options at the back with Toby Alderweireld not expected to return until February due to a hamstring injury and Davinson Sanchez serving a three-match man for a red card shown against Watford. Losing Vertonghen for the visit to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening would have acted as a decisive blow to Tottenham's hopes of halting the Premier League leaders – who they hold a healthy record against in recent years

But Pochettino was pleased to see his defender avoid a booking, telling a press conference: "Yes [it was a bonus he didn't get booked]. But you are so worried about the things that can happen, and we are not worried.

"If it is not one it is another and that is why we believes in the squad. We have 24 players, a lot of young players in the academy that can play, I think of course always it is better to have [everyone] fit, no one suspended and have more possibility to select and pick what you believe is the best team to play."

Tottenham have not lost in their last four Premier League meetings against City, recording three wins on the bounce before coming from two goals behind to draw 2-2 at the Etihad Stadium last January.

A win over Brighton saw Spurs move back into fourth in the table but remain 18 points adrift of Pep Guardiola's side.

Jan Vertonghen
Vertonghen was on four yellow cards against Brighton but came through without picking up a fifth. Getty