THURSDAY 2ND DECEMBER, 2021
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(1) BRENTFORD 0(0)
Canos (o.g.), 12
Referee:- Jonathan Moss
Assistants:- Marc Perry, Timothy Wood
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
VAR:- Peter Bankes
Assistant VAR:- James Mainwaring
Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson Royal (sub Tanganga, 83), Skipp, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Lucas Moura (sub Winks, 77), Kane, Son (sub Bergwijn, 87)
Subs not used:- Gollini; Doherty, Sessegnon; Dele, Ndombele, Gil
Brentford (3-5-2):- Fernandez; Goode, Jansson (Capt.), Pinnock; Canos (sub Wissa, 70), Onyeka (sub Baptiste, 56), Norgaard, Janelt (sub Jensen, 70), Henry; Toney, Mbeumo
Subs not used:- Cox; Roerslev, Stevens; Maghoma; Forss, Ghoddos
Conte’s Spurs are on the up
It was an unremarkable game, but a competent and progressive performance by Antonio Conte’s Spurs, who scored a goal in each half against a somewhat subdued Brentford side who rarely worried Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal. It was a very cold night too, and perhaps that is what kept 7,000 Spurs fans away. Those present will have noted that Spurs sought to go forward more and played less of the pedantic football in their own half.
Brentford were set up more defensively than I anticipated. He didn’t get off the bench, but former Spurs Academy product Paris Maghoma was among the subs, and he would have been proud to have been in our stadium. He has his reasons, but Brentford striker Ivan Toney does not take the knee, standing respectfully in the same was as does Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
Brentford kicked off playing towards the South Stand. Within a minute Sergio Reguilon was haring down the line reaching a long ball by Davies. His cross was cleared. It wasn’t long before Spurs won a corner after another cross by our left wing-back. After 5 minutes we broke out from defence. Reguilon passed inside to Kane who switched the ball to Lucas Moura, advancing to the right of goal. Lucas’s shot was saved, and Spurs had another corner.
Oliver Skipp played to the right of Hojbjerg and had a good game with plenty of interceptions and passes. Both players got forward more, seeking to promote or support the attack. Harry Kane had a chance to the left after a Skipp pass, but his shot was blocked. A ball to Reguilon in the Brentford area led to a corner on the left, after which Son crossed into the danger zone. There seemed to be some headed ping-pong and the ball went in the net with Ben Davies being announced as the scorer, but the ball had gone in off the unfortunate Canos.
Spurs had a free kick on the left taken by Son and both Hojbjerg and Lucas Moura tried but failed to make contact. The ball ran to Fernandez in the Brentford goal. Brentford had a corner on the left side and Mbeumo hit a shot just outside the post. Mbeumo and Toney usually offer plenty of danger to Brentford’s opponents, but “The Bees” have suffered a dip in form losing 5 of their last 7 league games.
Spurs recovered from a Dier error in his own half and Hojbjerg led an attack which led to an Emerson cross and a header going wide by Reguilon. Both wing-backs were working very hard up and down the line. Brentford like a long throw, usually taken by Charlie Goode, and after one such occasion, Spurs countered with Son advancing down the left before hitting a left foot shot which Fernandez saved at the expense of a corner. Hojbjerg won another Spurs corner when his shot was blocked, after which Fernandez needed some treatment.
The long throw routine exercised the Spurs defence again before half-time, but the Brentford keeper had more of a problem with a Reguilon cross after Kane’s pass.
Spurs kicked off the second half and within four minutes Skipp sent Kane away to the left side of the area. It was a big chance for Kane to score, but Fernandez won the one-on-one. Kane still has just one league goal to his name this season. Spurs had a couple of headers in the box after a second corner. Kane had one blocked and Davies’ follow-up was saved by the keeper.
Brentford were starting to get forward more, but the most Hugo was being tested was to slap or punch clear high crosses. Skipp sent Kane away again, this time to the right of goal. Harry crossed and Hojbjerg’s shot hit the side netting. Emerson was one of those defending well under more Brentford pressure. He went down in the Brentford half after a challenge. Toney had a shot comfortably held by Lloris after taking a pass from Janelt.
Spurs doubled their lead with a stylish goal in the 65th minute. It was a fast move from their own half with Kane sending Reguilon forward with a good pass to his left. Reguilon’s cross was converted from 6 yards by “Sonny” for his fifth league goal of the season. Sonny had made an excellent run here and clearly indicated where he wanted the ball to be delivered.
Brentford coach Thomas Frank had used his three subs by the 70th minute. Conte started introducing fresh legs after 77 with Winks replacing Lucas Moura. It looked as if Conte was happy to now consolidate rather than extend our lead. Winks did show energy and made a few decent forward passes.
Lloris was tested by a Jensen corner and had to flap the ball well clear from another high ball into the box. Winks sent Son away with a good pass, but “Sonny” could not get a shot with Goode marking him closely. At the other end, Brentford tried to feed Toney, but Lloris intercepted the cross. Dier was strong at the back too and cleared another threat.
Spurs have moved up to sixth place and with Norwich at home on Sunday we hope for another three points before tougher games to come. Spurs are making progress with the ever enthusiastic Conte in the technical area (or near it at least!). The road is long, and we’ve only just begun!
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