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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

What we learned about Spurs’ Champions League ambitions and the state of Brentford right now

By Alessandro Schiavone at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

What did we learn in Tottenham's 3-2 win over Brentford?

Who are you, two-faced Spurs?

Tottenham may have made a case for why they should be in next season's Champions League. Their attacking force, along with their ability to strike while the iron's hot and never-say-die spirit, as the three goals in the space of eight minutes, reflected that.

But why do Ange Postecoglou's men always need to fall behind in games before they start throwing punches of their own? It was not the first and it will definitely not be the last time. Their habit of defending high up the pitch leaves them vulnerable on the break and against players who excel in open space such as Ivan Toney and Neal Maupay.

In the first half captain Christian Romero and his teammates Van De Ven, Porro and Udogie didn't defend as a unit but individually which cannot happen at this level. And it also becomes harder and harder to establish how good the four really are when pressed with kamikaze intensity and without the midfield's protection. The return of Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr can't come soon enough while Pierre Emile Hojbjerg should start ahead of Oliver Skipp any day of the week.

Having said that, it's hard to get anywhere if the difference of personality and performance on show in either half is so unalike.

Vicario is a worthy Lloris heir

When Guglielmo Vicario spectacularly tipped Baptiste's injury-time shot over he exorcised the 62 thousand fans inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium's Hugo Lloris ghosts. The Italian will have been disappointed to parry Toney's effort into Maupay's path for he Bees' opener. But he was equally outstanding when he killed Brentford's hopes of a late revival. Six months into his Spurs spell, he's been a hit. Mistakes have few and far between and vital saves have come as regular as clockwork. There are no doubts anymore that he has definitely replaced prime Lloris and has perhaps the same innate ability to bounce back from a howler. The ex-Empoli man is set to defend the North Londoners' goal for many years.

Werner so frustrating yet so vital

The hit-and-miss former Chelsea man will always split opinion. There are many who wonder how on earth such a profligate player always lands on his feet in that he always gets moves to big clubs. And in classic Werner style, he alternated great runs with poor finishes yesterday again. Yet just when the critics were on his back after a so-so first period in which he headed wide with the goal gaping, he came up trumps by serving up two delicious assists for Destiny Udogie and Brennan Johnson. Rarely fit for purpose in front of goal but so good when it comes to all the rest.

Hothead Maupay is Brentford's past, present and future

Neal Maupay's cantankerous attitude may not go down well with many football fans. But for Brentford, a club and side with plenty of Mister Nice Guys, his unique way of p****** off the opposition gives them the psychological edge at certain moments of the game. After controversially emulating James Maddison's darts celebration, some fired up Spurs were looking to take him out instead of focusing on his Brentford colleagues. This shows that he can distract an entire squad and live rent free in their minds. On loan from Everton until June, Thomas Frank should look to tie him down. Because his vital goals, personality and furore will be crucial for Brentford's future.


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