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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham embrace the chaos as three-goal salvo overturns Brentford's sure-footed start




Tottenham (0) 3 Udogie 48, Johnson 49, Richarlison 56

Brentford (1) 2 Maupay 15, Toney 67


Spurs were transformed from a distracted, chaotic entity into a team with punch and purpose as they overturned a half-time deficit to tear Brentford apart.


Ange Postecoglou's team were unrecognisable from the insipid first-half team we saw and three goals in the opening eight minutes after the break saw them seize control.


It seemed to be all about the power of positivity and front-foot football. First Destiny Udogie was rewarded for a burst into the area and exchange with Timo Werner and when the ball bounced back kindly to him, he swept home.


Within a minute, Spurs were in front when Brennan Johnson - brought on at the interval along with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, swept in a Werner cross at the far post. Then, with the Bees now at sixes and sevens, Richarlison lashed in from close range after a Maddison shot had been charged down.


"You should have cashed out!" taunted home fans at Ivan Toney.


Taunting was very much the order of the day in the first half, as Neal Maupay's opener for the Bees prompted dart throwing celebrations mocking James Maddison's usual goalscoring routine.


It led to much bad blood between the teams and Spurs taking their eyes collectively off the ball as Maupay's wind-ups seemed to adversely affect them.


It should have been all over at 3-1, but a stray backpass from Udogie gifted Toney a free pot at goal and it was game on again with a quarter of the match still to play. And it still needed a Vicario tip-over to ensure a volley in injury time from sub Shandon Baptiste did not find the net.


The Bees stunned Spurs by taking the lead after a quarter of an hour.


A quick break from half way from Toney carried the striker all the way towards Guglielmo Vicario and although the Italian parried, the ball ran out for Maupay to scuff home - Cristian Romero unable to prevent the Frenchman from applying the finishing touch.


Spurs had started well, now they were behind. And to rub salt into the wound, Maupay and Toney indulged in a little mockery of Maddison, sending imaginary darts into the South Stand.


Only a tight offside ruled out a strike from Mads Roerslev just before the opener - hinting at a vulnerability in that high line of theirs.


That vulnerability was also evident in terms of mentality, with Spurs getting wound up too easily by Maupay's gamesmanship. They also looked rattled by the visitors' deliberate slowing down of the game.


Werner almost responded with a low shot that Mark Flekken saved down by his right hand post and Richarlison's lovely strike looked in as it curled back off the rear stanchion.

But they lost focus again and Ethan Pinnock almost added to their woes with a backheel that went just wide and Toney headed another decent chance at Vicario.


From that unpromising base, Spurs rose up to save themselves - their three-goal burst settling a wild, frenetic match.


Spurs: (4-2-3-1) Vicario - Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie - Skipp (Hojbjerg h/t), Bentancur (Johnson h/t)- Kulusevski, Maddison (Dragusin 88), Werner (Donley 90+2) - Richarlison


Bees: (3-5-2) Flekken - Collins (Ajer 78), Pinnock, Mee - Roerslev (Dasilva 78) Jensen Yarmoliuk 57), Norgaard, Janelt (Baptiste 88), Lewis-Potter (Damsgaard 88) - Maupay, Toney


Attendance: 61,210

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