top of page
  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Gtech Community Stadium

Bees and Spurs serve up thrilling opener to offset absence of Kane and Toney

Brentford (2) 2 Mbeumo pen 26, Wissa 36

Tottenham (2) 2 Romero 11, Emerson Royal 45+5

It finished all-square at the Gtech after an exciting opener in which the players who weren't here were as much a part of the narrative as the ones on the pitch.

For Tottenham, a world without Harry Kane may take more getting used to than Brentford's world without Ivan Toney.

The Bees proved last season that they could cope well in the absence of their star striker when he got injured, although that is not to say they badly miss his hold-up play as well as his goals. And he will return in due course in any case after serving time for flouting betting relegations.

But Tottenham have been so steeped in their great leader that they are going to arguably have more trouble plugging the gap.

On today's evidence, they will struggle to be the force they often were when he was in Spurs white and firing on all cylinders.

Richarlison is a different kind of forward and lacks the mobility and vision of passes that Bayern Munich's new signing could bring and will never be a like-for-like replacement.

The Brazilian got little change out of Ethan Pinnock and for all the possession Spurs enjoyed, there seemed often to be the final ingredient missing. Their two goals came from defenders.

Cristian Romero got the Ange Postecoglou era (or should that be the post-Harry Kane era?) off to the ideal start when he stole in to send a stooping header past Mark Flekken from an inswinging James Maddison free-kick.

It took several minutes of VAR checking by official Tony Harrington before it was decided the Argentinian had not strayed marginally offside before making contact.

In scoring, the Argentinian picked up a slight head injury and although he protested that he was fine to continue, Postecoglou waved him off the field, with Davinson Sanchez being ushered on in his place.

The Bees hit back strongly, with Bryan Mbeumo stinging the palms of Guglielmo Vicario with a fierce near-post drive and Yoane Wissa further testing the new Spurs keeper with an overhead kick.

Soon after, VAR alerted ref Robert Jones to a trip by Heung-Min Son on Mathias Jensen that had been missed a good minute and half earlier and Mbeumo - now the go-to man in the absence of Toney - calmly put the kick away in a technique that much-resembled the banned striker's approach, with a stuttering run-up and final skip ahead of the kick.

And the tables were turned when Rico Henry scampered around Emerson Royal and played in a ball which Wissa swept in with the aid of a deflection off Micky Van de Ven, the new £34.5m Dutch defender signed from Wolfsburg in the summer.

But Spurs were level before the break when Emerson Royal pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the area to slam a low shot into the bottom corner to Flekken's right.

That goal came in the fifth extra minute of 11 added at the end of a frenetic half that was delayed by six because of a water-shortage emergency (go figure) and the VAR checks, though it still seemed grossly excessive.

We were well past 3pm when play was finally halted, by which time Mbeumo had missed a sitter to restore the lead after more good work from the excellent Henry.

Maddison was a target for the Bees boo-boys but he began to orchestrate a better tempo after the break as Spurs improved. It needed fine saves from £11m Freiburg-recruit Flekken to deny Son at the far post and Richarlion. But a draw was about right.

Bees: (5-3-2) Flekken - Hickey (Roerslev 72), Collins, Pinnock, Ajer (Zanka 84), Henry - Janelt, Norgaard (Baptiste 72), Jensen (Damsgaard 49) - Mbeumo, Wissa (Schade 72)

Spurs: (4-2-3-1) Vicario - Emerson Royal, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie - Bissouma, Skipp (Sarr 75) - Kulusevski, Maddison, Son (Perisic 75) - Richarlison

Attendance: 17,066


Join our mailing list

bottom of page