Spurs 3 – 2 Brentford Match Review

Richarlison scores against Brentford

Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham side leapfrog Aston Villa into top four following win against the Bees on Wednesday evening at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Spurs are most certainly in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification come the end of the 2023/24 Premier League season, and ahead of welcoming Thomas Frank’s Brentford to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday, they were sat 5th with 40 points. Additionally, they knew that they could move into the top four with a win against the Bees should 4th place Aston Villa lose, which they did.

This will have given Ange Postecoglou’s side extra motivation going into a stern test in the form of a match against fellow London side Brentford. In the end, it was a tight and exciting game, where the Lilywhites secured a vital 3 – 2 win that saw them move up into fourth place after Villa lost 3 – 1 against Newcastle United the day before.

Tottenham had gone into this game off the back of some good form, with 2 wins and a draw in their last four matches before they welcomed the Bees to North London. This included a 2 – 1 win against Sean Dyche’s Everton before getting the better of an upwardly mobile AFC Bournemouth side led by Head Coach Andoni Iraola, beating them 3 – 1.

Now to the game against Brentford, and the home side had the first opportunity to strike the first blow in this Premier League contest. Lilywhites academy product Oliver Skipp had an effort on goal in the opening five minutes of the game, but the midfielder’s shot was well blocked by the Bees backline (4’).

The recently returned James Maddison then had an effort on goal a matter of minutes later, but he, too, saw his attempt blocked by an increasingly resilient Brentford defence. Thomas Frank’s Bees would be rewarded for their resilience soon after this Maddison opportunity.

After an Ivan Toney effort was saved, Brentford took the lead through Neal Maupay. The Frenchman found the bottom right corner following a swift and incisive counter attack from the visitors (15’).

Tottenham then needed to respond, and they almost did with an equalising goal just after 20 minutes had elapsed. January loan signing Timo Werner forced a great save from Dutch stopper Mark Flekken. The on loan RB Leipzig striker then missed a follow-up effort moments later (21’).

James Maddison then had another effort on goal, but his second shot on the night was also blocked by the Bees, who increasingly were frustrating Tottenham (23’). Richarlison then missed the target from just outside the penalty area after receiving the ball from fellow forward Dejan Kulusevski (25’).

Spurs went into half time behind, with Vicario keeping out an effort from Ivan Toney just before the break with a wonderful save (45’).

Spurs had the bit between their teeth early in the second half, with the equalising goal coming in the first couple of minutes thanks to left-back Destiny Udogie, who restored parity with a powerful close-range effort (48’).

Brentford did not even get a chance to breathe as Spurs completed the turnaround just a minute after their equalising goal. 2023/24 Summer signing Brennan Johnson found the bottom right corner of the net following a great pass into his feet from Timo Werner (49’). Spurs now led 2 – 1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham were now in ruthless form, and they went on to make it 3 – 1 with just over half an hour remaining. Richarlison got his goal when his powerful, well-placed shot with his left foot found the bottom right corner from close range (56’).

Dejan Kulusevski and Pedro Porro both then had chances to further extend the home side’s advantage to 4 – 1. However, Kulusevski’s shot was well blocked by the Bees before Porro saw his effort miss the target (59’).

Brentford to make it a nervy last 20 or so minutes of the contest when Ivan Toney found the bottom left corner of the net with a clinical and powerful finish from close range, which made it 3 – 2 in North London (67’).

Dejan Kulusevski and James Maddison both had further efforts on goal as they looked to help their side restore their lead to two goals (69’). Unfortunately for Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs, they, and no other Spurs player, found the net again with the game ending at 3 – 2 in what was a vital three points that saw them leapfrog Aston Villa into fourth place in the Premier League table.

Following this victory, Tottenham Hotspur is only 3 points behind Arsenal and Manchester City, in third and second place respectively. Albeit the Cityzens have a game in hand.

Spurs had superior possession with 68.2 % of the ball compared to Brentford’s 31.8%. The home side had 5 of their 19 shots on target, whilst the Bees had 5 of their 9 shots on target.

Following the final whistle confirming this victory, Spurs Head Coach Ange Postecoglou said (via Tottenham Hotspur’s Official Website): “I was a little frustrated with the first half, I thought we started well but then we got dragged into things that didn’t allow us to play our football. After they scored, we lost focus, some ill discipline that didn’t allow the game to flow. Brentford are good at stopping the game and forcing you to defend deep in your own half.

“The second half was better. We started really well, first 20, 25 minutes really good, scored three good goals, probably should have scored a couple more. Then we gave a goal away and even after that, there wasn’t a lot of football played, we had to defend a lot, which I think for the most part we handled okay.

“So, good character from the boys to get the three points, but there is a lot of improvement. We’re still a young side, trying to grow, trying to find our identity and within that context, opposition teams will test us in different ways. We didn’t handle it well in the first half but, as I said, good character from the boys to handle it better in the second half.”

Next is a trip to Goodison Park, where they will be coming face to face with an Everton side led by Sean Dyche on Saturday, 3rd February 2024, in a 12:30 kick-off. This will then be followed by three home Premier League games in a row for Spurs.

The first will see Ange Postecoglou’s side play against Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, 10th February 2024, in a 15:00 Kick-Off. The game after that is Wolves at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, 17th February in a 15:00 kick-off.

The final game of these three home games in a row is against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on Saturday, 2nd March 2024, in a 15:00 Kick-Off.

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