Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 Brentford: Spurs turn on style in second half to edge past Bees

A London derby took centre stage at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday evening. Both sides came into this on the back of contrasting results last time out, with Spurs suffering late heartbreak against Manchester City in the FA Cup, while Brentford edged to a huge 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

TOT: Vicario; Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie; Bentancur, Skipp; Maddison, Kulusevski, Werner; Richarlison

BRE: Flekken; Collins, Pinnock, Mee; Roerslev, Norgaard, Janelt, Jensen, Lewis-Potter; Maupay, Toney

Ange Postecoglou’s hosts came into this needing to forget their late defeat to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City last Friday, and as a result, Spurs started brightly against Thomas Frank’s visitors with Oliver Skipp’s half-volley from close-range testing Mark Flekken early on. 

Brentford, however, weren’t shy of making Tottenham look vulnerable on the counter, as Keane Lewis-Potter was sent through on goal by Neal Maupay. The winger then cut the ball back to Maupay, who saw a potential strike at goal blocked at the last minute by Oliver Skipp. 

Mads Roerslev thought he had put the Bees in front with just 12 minutes gone as he smashed the ball home past Guglielmo Vicario following a layoff by Mathias Jensen, but the linesman’s flag was already up.

Brentford were clearly the side in the ascendency at this point, and their persistence was rewarded when they took the lead inside the 15th minute. Ivan Toney was released through on goal and fired towards the far corner. But while Guglielmo Vicario was equal to Toney’s shot, he then palmed the ball out to Neal Maupay, who slotted home the rebound to give the visitors the advantage.

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Spurs knew they needed to respond quickly, and they were unlucky not to find the equaliser through Timo Werner’s low strike, which was saved well by Mark Flekken. The RB Leipzig loanee then saw a header go wide from the following corner. 

Richarlison was next to test the Brentford goalkeeper with a brilliant strike that was destined for the top corner, but the Brazilian’s effort drifted just wide instead.

Down the other end, Ethan Pinnock was unfortunate not to double Brentford’s lead with a audacious back heel effort, but instead, it bobbled wide of the far post. Ivan Toney then saw a close-range header kept out by Guglielmo Vicario from a free kick just minutes after.

With the second half just minutes old, Tottenham did drag themselves back back into this all-London clash with the equalising goal. Destiny Udogie made a run down the left hand side and played the ball out wide to Timo Werner. The German then returned the ball to Udogie who danced past the defence – with some good fortune – and slotted the ball home past Flekken.

Remarkably, Ange Postecoglou’s side completed the turnaround just two minutes after. Timo Werner was released again down the left hand side, and with some brilliant vision, sent a great ball in towards half-time substitute Brennan Johnson, who steered the ball into a virtually empty net. 

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Spurs’ rampant start to the second half saw them strike for the third time in the space of eight minutes. Destiny Udogie raced forward towards goal before laying the ball off to James Maddison, whose close-range effort was deflected into the path of Richarlison, who guided the ball past Mark Flekken – albeit with the help of a deflection off the Brentford goalkeeper.

Pedro Porro could have added a fourth for Spurs just moments after, but the Spanish right-back blazed his first-time effort over the bar.

Ivan Toney had two successive opportunities to give Brentford a foothold in the game again. His first chance: an absolute rocket of a strike from just outside the box which travelled just wide of the top corner; and his second: a shot that somehow whistled wide from six yards out.

However, it would be Toney who dragged Brentford back into this contest, as the ball was given away by Destiny Udogie. The Spurs’ left-back’s mistake then allowed the England international to race towards goal and inevitably slot the ball past an on-running Guglielmo Vicario to give the Bees a foothold – in front of a very interested spectator in England boss Gareth Southgate.

As the second half ticked into stoppage time, Brentford substitute Shandon Baptiste met a wonderful cross from fellow substitute Josh DaSilva, but his header was tipped away wonderfully by Guglielmo Vicario.

Both sides are in league action again this weekend. Spurs travel up north to take on Everton on Saturday at 12:30pm, while Brentford host reigning champions Manchester City two days later at 8pm.