Tottenham began life after Harry Kane with a 2-2 draw at Brentford in Ange Postecoglou’s first Premier League game in charge of Spurs.
The result came just a day after Tottenham’s all-time leading scorer completed his £100m move to Bayern Munich.
Emerson Royal’s first-half stoppage-time equaliser ensured Spurs avoided losing without Kane after Brentford had come from behind to lead 2-1.
Brentford: Flekken (7); Hickey (6), Collins (6), Pinnock (6), Ajer (6), Henry (7); Janelt (6), Norgaard (6), Jensen (6); Wissa (7), Mbeumo (7).
Subs: Damsgaard (6), Schade (6), Baptiste (6), Roerslev (6)
Tottenham: Vicario (6); Royal (7), Van de Ven (7), Romero (7), Udogie (6); Bissouma (9), Skipp (6); Kulusevski (6), Maddison (8), Son (6); Richarlison (5).
Subs: Sanchez (7), Sarr (6), Perisic (6).
Player of the match: Yves Bissouma.
Cristian Romero scored the first goal of the Postecoglou era with an 11th-minute headed opener.
But new Spurs captain Heung-Min Son fouled Mathias Jensen inside the box to allow Bryan Mbeumo to equalise from the spot in the 26th minute.
The Bees completed the turnaround 10 minutes later as Yoane Wissa’s deflected shot put the home side ahead, before Royal got Spurs back level in the fourth minute of first-half added time.
Son and Richarlison both had good second-half chances to win it for Spurs but Postecoglou’s side had to settle for a point.
- New Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou handed out full debuts to four players with Guglielmo Vicario, Destiny Udogie, Micky van de Ven and James Maddison all included.
- Brentford, without the banned Ivan Toney, also gave debuts to goalkeeper Mark Flekken and defender Nathan Collins with Ben Mee absent.
How Spurs moved on without Kane
The new Postecoglou era was delayed temporarily due to sanitation issues at the ground with no running water available, but after a seven-minute wait the game finally got under way – and the action was flowing.
Tottenham’s two new vice-captains – James Maddison and Romero – combined in the 11th minute to give the visitors the lead as the defender headed in from Maddison’s delightful free-kick, with a lengthy offside VAR review confirming the goal.
But the Argentine’s joy was short-lived as he was immediately substituted for Davinson Sanchez following an earlier clash of heads with Mbeumo.
Tottenham’s new skipper Son did not have the same early impact as his understudies, however, as he gave away a penalty. The South Korea forward caught Mathias Jensen inside the area in the 23rd minute but referee Robert Jones waved play on only to reverse his decision minutes later following a VAR review.
Despite the absence of regular penalty taker Ivan Toney, who is serving an eight-month ban after breaking FA betting rules, Mbeumo made no mistake from the spot to level in the 26th minute.
Just 10 minutes later Brentford completed the turnaround as Rico Henry cut back for Wissa whose shot deflected off Spurs debutant Micky van de Ven past Guglielmo Vicario to give the home side a 2-1 lead.
Following the Romero-Mbeumo clash of heads and a couple of lengthy VAR reviews, 11 minutes of stoppage-time were added on and Tottenham took full advantage of it. Maddison found Royal on the edge of the box and the Brazilian fired home a low shot to level in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
But Spurs were fortunate not to go in behind at the break as Mbeumo missed a sitter in the 10th minute of added time as he somehow put over from close range after great work from Henry.
Tottenham had the better of a quieter second half as Son missed the chance to make up for his penalty mistake after his shot at the back post when unmarked was saved by Brentford debutant Mark Flekken in the 60th minute.
Richarlison also wasted a good chance four minutes later as he fired straight at Flekken when played in by Maddison.
But Spurs fans would have been encouraged by the display after seeing their side have 18 shots at goal and 69 per cent possession.
Postecoglou: We lacked creativity
Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou:
“Pleased with the effort. I thought we acquitted ourselves well, in terms of not letting the game get away from us at 2-1 down. I thought the lads held it together well – we controlled the game for the most part.
“We probably weren’t as much of a threat in the final third as we’d want to be, but pleased with the effort.
“It’s not about possession, for us it’s more about being a threat. I thought we could have been a bit more direct in our play, force the issue a bit more. It’s no secret, we’re trying to change the way we play. The players are taking lots of information on board in training, so this is a starting point. We need to use this as a basis to keep improving.
“We could have been more creative – part of that front third is about having the players play with more freedom. At the moment they’re still in learning mode. It’ll happen, we’ve got dangerous players.”
Frank content with ‘fine’ performance
Brentford manager Thomas Frank:
“We performed fine, and created the most chances in the game. In a tight game, we should have won, no doubt about that. I think we were dangerous in behind and produced lots of crosses.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the goals we conceded, because they were the smallest chances they had.
“It’s very important [for Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa to score]. They have a habit of doing that when Ivan [Toney] is not playing. I’m pleased they continued that today.
“I’ve said this before, I hope we can attack the league and be an asset – we want to keep improving.”
Opta stats: Spurs name youngest PL XI since March 2020
- Spurs’ starting XI today had an average age of 25 years and 65 days; their youngest in a Premier League match since March 2020 v Wolves (24y 357d), under Jose Mourinho.
- Brentford are unbeaten in their last 10 London derby matches in league competition (W5 D5) – only the second time in their history they have gone 10+ without defeat in such games, along with an 11-game streak in August 1955 (11).
- Spurs have only lost their opening game of a Premier League campaign in one of the last eight seasons (W5 D2), and are unbeaten in the last four in which they’ve started away from home (W2 D2).
- Brentford and Spurs both scored twice in the first half of this match – the first MD1 game to see both teams to do since Liverpool 4-3 Leeds in 2020-21 (3-2 to Liverpool at HT).
FPL Stats: Brentford 2-2 Tottenham
|Goals||Mbeumo, Wissa | Romero, Royal|
|Assists||Jensen, Henry | Maddison (2)|
|Bonus points||Wissa (3), Maddison (2), Royal (1)|
It is another London derby for Brentford as they visit fellow west Londoners Fulham on Saturday; kick off 3pm.
On the same day, Postecoglou takes charge of his first competitive Spurs home game as they host Manchester United in a 5.30pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports.