After a lengthy break from club football for the World Cup, Tottenham Hotspur fans were hoping for something different but more similar at Brentford.
For Tottenham fans, the start of games is starting to feel like re-runs from a show you’ve seen a few too many times, making for a predictable plot. Spurs start lethargic, conceding the first goal, and have to fight to get back in the game. Before the break, Tottenham dramatically did this by coming from behind three times to beat Leeds 4-3; however, against Brentford, Spurs waited too long to turn it on and could only salvage a point in a 2-2 draw.
Spurs again took too long to get going
The first half was poor for Tottenham Hotspur, where the only thing worse than Spurs passing was most of the team’s first touch. A mixed line-up of World Cup participants and those left behind to train looked like a team meeting for the first time, wondering where the player next to him would be.
The tentative play had the expected results, with Brentford taking the lead less than a quarter-hour into the match. The poor defense left Eric Dier one-on-one with Bryan Mbeumo after Ivan Toney beat Japhet Tanganga with a flick. Dier could not close down Mbeumo, who could pick out Mathias Jensen, uncovered at the back post.
Jensen’s volley was not great, but it deflected off Clement Lenglet and then goalkeeper Fraser Forster. Vitaly Janelt was the first to react to the ball bouncing off Forster and tapped in for the 1-0 Brentford lead.
Unfortunately for Tottenham, falling behind did not have the effect it usually does, as Spurs stayed in first gear the rest of the half and came out equally flat in the second half.
Less than 10 minutes into the second 45, Spurs were down two after another defensive miscue.
Dier had what should have been an easy left-footed clearance but shanked the ball so poorly that it went back more than 20 yards and out for a corner kick. From the corner, Brentford predictably scored, as the Tottenham defenders all stood watching Christian Norgaard win the near post header and Toney finish the sitter at the back post.
Tottenham suddenly woke up down 2-0.
Tottenham come alive for 30 minutes, but still not enough to beat Brentford
The first goal came out of nothing as Lenglet lofted a long ball into the box. Having been tackled previously by Ben Mee, Harry Kane would not be denied. Kane lept high above Mee and headed the ball back to the far corner to give Spurs hope, down 2-1.
Spurs kept up the pressure, and only five minutes later, a little Matt Doherty and Dejan Kulusevski give-and-go on the edge of the box had Dekki around the defense at the endline. A little touch back to Pierre Hojbjerg in the box led to a simple touch and finish from the Dane and a 2-2 score.
Tottenham kept pushing after tying the score, and Kane even had another Lenglet cross bounce off the crossbar, but neither team had what it took to find a winner.
It was an intense 30 minutes from Spurs. Unfortunately, the game is 90 minutes, and as a result, it is two dropped points more than one saved. The good news is football is back; unfortunately, so is the same old Tottenham.