Phew, that was a close one, to say the least. Tottenham collected a crucial three points in their recent return to Premier League action, and there's a lot to unpack from the match before the team heads to Goodison Park tomorrow for their third game in eight days.
Going down 1-0 at the half, Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou made some key substitutions, replacing midfielders Rodrigo Betancur and Oliver Skipp with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Brennan Johnson. These moves led to three rapid goals for the Lilywhites within the first eleven minutes of the second half, with Destiny Udogie scoring in the 48th minute, Johnson a minute later, and striker Richarlison scoring the game winner in the 56th minute.
Brentford nearly notched a furious comeback, using an Ivan Toney goal in the 67th minutes to trim Spurs’ lead to 3-2, but that would end up being the final score as Big Ange and his squad slid into fourth place in the Premier League with the victory.
Perhaps the most notable event in the match, however, was the first goal. Neal Maupay kicked off the scoring, bouncing the ball past Vicario in the 15th minute. He followed that up with a celebration that mocked Tottenham star James Maddison’s darts throw. However, that would come back to bite both Maupay and the Bees, as Spurs had the last laugh at the end of more than 97 minutes of play.
Richarlison received the Man of the Match award from the Premier League for his game winner, but it can be argued that the best player on the pitch for Spurs was winger Timo Werner, the loan signing from RB Leipzig.
The former Chelsea man proved exactly why he’s a solid fit for Postecoglou’s system, assisting on the Johnson goal and nearly with the Udogie goal, while also collecting a couple of shots himself. Sooner or later, he'll gather his first goal in Lilywhite, and don’t be surprised if it is against Everton this upcoming Saturday. If Werner continues this form, look for Big Ange and technical director Johan Lange to make Werner’s deal a permanent one.
Tottenham led in almost every major statistical category against the Bees, including possession (68.1% to 31.9%), total shots (19 to 9) and touches (833 to 487), almost double that of Brentford’s numbers. Although Thomas Frank’s side has Toney back, they're not nearly as strong as they were in August, where they tied Spurs 2-2 in the opening match of the season.
In front of their home supporters, the day belonged to the Lilywhites, who continue to slowly make their way up the Premier League table. They are currently three points behind Manchester City and Arsenal (although City has a game in hand), and eight points behind league leaders Liverpool, who are sure to fight for every point in the hopes of providing departing manager Jurgen Klopp with one more league title before he leaves Anfield at season’s end. If Postecoglou and his squad have anything to say about that, then it will be Spurs lifting their first league trophy since 1960-61.